Release: Center for Native American Youth and Actor Chaske Spencer Seek to Change Native American Youth Narrative Through Public Event at the Aspen Institute on 11/19

cnay logo from invite


News Release

One Dupont Circle · Suite 700 · Washington, DC, 20036

Tel. 202-736-5800 • Fax 202-467-0790

Contact: Erin Bailey
Executive Director
Center for Native American Youth

Actor Chaske Spencer Helps Change Native American Youth Narrative

Center for Native American Youth hosts panel of Native American leaders,
advocates and youth to advance dialogue, moderated by former US Senator

Washington, DC, November 18, 2014 –– The Center for Native American Youth (CNAY), a policy program within the Aspen Institute, will explore the narrative of Native American youth at a public event in Washington, DC on November 19 from 12 – 1:30 pm. The event is held in conjunction with National Native American Heritage Month. Native American actor, Chaske Spencer (Twilight Saga and Winter in the Blood), will provide keynote remarks with a panel discussion to follow. The panel will include Jodi Gillette, Special Assistant to the President for Native American Affairs, and Native youth advocates who are working to create positive narratives for Native Americans and tribal nations.

“Too often the stories of Native Americans in the national media are negative and based on misperceptions,” says Chaske Spencer. “I look forward to sharing my story and authentic, inspiring perspectives from Native peoples at this event, and with CNAY in the future.”

There has been a long history of inaccurate depictions of Native Americans and a focus on disparities, but over the last year there has been increased attention on the harmful impact of negative images and symbols, particularly the issue of racist mascots. This event is about changing the narrative of Native American youth through personal stories.

“The narrative about American Indians and especially Indian youth is too often negative. Yes, there are plenty of challenges, but there’s also good news to celebrate about some remarkable Indian youth doing inspiring things,” says CNAY founder/chairman US Senator Byron Dorgan (ret.). “At the Center for Native American Youth, we celebrate those achievements through our Champions for Change program.”

This event is a part of a series of public events CNAY hosts to shine a spotlight on Native youth, prioritize their needs and success, and work to engage new stakeholders to expand opportunity.

Event Details:

If you are unable to attend, but would like to watch the event online, you can do so using this link:


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 in February 2011, CNAY is a policy program within the Aspen Institute, headquartered in Washington, DC. CNAY works to strengthen and create new connections as well as exchange resources and best practices that address the challenges facing Native youth, with a special emphasis on suicide prevention. Visit CNAY’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 is an educational and policy studies organization based in Washington, DC. Its mission is to foster leadership based on enduring values and to provide a nonpartisan venue for dealing with critical issues. 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



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s