The Aspen Institute to Hold Event Commemorating National Native American Heritage Month







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Today, November 16 at 12 PM, former US Senator Byron Dorgan,
the founder and chairman of the Aspen Institute Center for Native American
Youth will moderate a discussion on issues facing Native American youth. The
event will commemorate November’s National Native American Heritage Month,
which is youth themed this year. The event, entitled “Historical
Journey of Native American Youth
“, will highlight Native American
issues, the challenges facing Native youth and tell the story of Native youth
success today.

“We are excited to host a dialogue at the Aspen Institute commemorating
Native American Heritage Month. More must be done to raise awareness and bring
new people to the table to discuss and develop solutions to the challenges
facing young people in Indian Country,” said Senator Byron Dorgan.

The expert panel will include Kim Teehee, senior policy
advisor for Native American Affairs from the White House Domestic Policy
Council; and two members from the Center’s board of advisors, Allison
, partner, Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP and Dirk
, Tribal Secretary of the Sac and Fox Tribe of the Mississippi
in Iowa.

The panel and Senator Dorgan will discuss the past, present and future of
Native youth in the United States. The event aims to educate and incite
meaningful discussions on the history of Indian Country, Indian law and
influential policy, tribal sovereignty, and other key issues facing Native
Americans today. Furthermore, Dirk Whitebreast will share his inspirational
story of running 262 miles in an effort to honor his younger sister who took
her own life in 2003 and raise awareness to suicide prevention in Indian

The audience will include Indian advocates and tribal organizations, the
Aspen Institute constituency, federal agencies, and other local non-Indian
specific organizations, as the Center hopes to bring new partners to the

The “Historical Journey of Native American Youth” will be streamed
live online at
(12:00pm to 1:30pm Eastern Standard Time, Wednesday, November 16, 2011). A
recording of the event will also be posted on the Center for Native American
Youth’s website
following the event. To RSVP for the event call 202-736-2905.

Several events celebrating National Native American Heritage Month will take
place in Washington, DC and around the country during the month of November.
These events are coordinated through a roundtable group made up of DC-based
tribal organizations and federal agencies, including the Center for Native
American Youth. More information about this group and event details can be
found on the Heritage
Month website

Center for Native American Youth is dedicated to improving
the health, safety and overall well-being of Native American youth through
communication, policy development and advocacy. Founded by former US Senator
Byron Dorgan, the Center is a policy program within the Aspen Institute,
headquartered in Washington, DC. The Center works to strengthen and create new
connections as well as exchange resources and best practices that address the
challenges facing Native youth. Visit the Center’s website for a comprehensive
list of resources available to young Native Americans, tribes and the general
public. For more information, visit

The Aspen Institute mission is twofold: to foster
values-based leadership, encouraging individuals to reflect on the ideals and
ideas that define a good society, and to provide a neutral and balanced venue
for discussing and acting on critical issues. The Aspen Institute does this
primarily in four ways: seminars, young-leader fellowships around the globe,
policy programs, and public conferences and events. The Institute is based in
Washington, DC; Aspen, Colorado; and on the Wye River on Maryland’s Eastern
Shore. It also has offices in New York City and an international network of
partners. For more information, visit


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