CNAY Celebrates National Native American Heritage Month with Champions for Change

On
November 12, the Center for Native American Youth hosted a public event at the
Aspen Institute in Washington, DC to celebrate National Native American
Heritage Month. The panel event featured CNAY’s five
Champions for Change (CFC) with Senator Byron
Dorgan

moderating the discussion. The Champions discussed a number of different issues
including: how sport benefits Native young people; why governments should
involve youth in decision-making; and the importance of culture in shaping the
identity of young Native Americans. The 2013 CFCs also announced the release of
the
Champions for
Change Toolkit

created by the Champions for tribal and urban Indian communities to design
their own CFC initiatives to recognize young Native leaders.   

The
event was attended by over 150 people, including
Senator John Hoeven (R-ND) and Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency
Prevention Administrator Bob Listenbee
, both of whom gave brief remarks during the event.  The goal of this event was to highlight some
achievements and successes that Native youth are having in Indian Country.  During the event, Senator Dorgan stressed,
“Despite our failure as a federal government
to meet trust responsibilities, Indian Country is full of good news. We all
need to thank the valiant leadership of tribal leaders and youth; further, it
is our obligation to show these youth that their voices matter and their needs
are not invisible.” 

The Champions also shared some
highlights from their year as CNAY Champions for Change, which included joining
CNAY staff for at least one event or conference throughout the year. Some of
the highlights mentioned were the CNAY
Grief and Bereavement Convening in October, the National Indian Health Board Youth Summit in August, and the National Congress of American Indians’ Annual Convention in October. The
CNAY Champions attended a number of other meetings and events in Washington
D.C. related to
Native American Heritage Month, including the White House Tribal Nations Conference

The 2013 Champions for Change also
serve a two year term on the CNAY Youth Advisory Board, and are looking forward
to the second class of CFCs to join CNAY in the spring of 2014.
Applications are now
available for the 2014 CNAY Champions for Change
class and will close on January 3, 2014.

If you would like to watch the video of
the event, you can click here:

http://cnay.org/Videos.html#2013_HM_Event_CFC 

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