Release: Center for Native American Youth Sends Youth Leaders to White House Tribal Nations Conference

News Release
One Dupont Circle · Suite 700 · Washington, DC, 20036
Tel. 202-736-5800 • Fax 202-467-0790

For Immediate Release
Contact: Erin Bailey
Executive Director
Center for Native American Youth

Native American Youth Leaders Attend White House Tribal Nations Conference

Native Youth from the Center for Native American Youth’s Champions for Change Program Participate in Tribal Nations Conference for Second Straight Year

Washington, DC, December 3, 2014 –– The Center for Native American Youth (CNAY) is sending four Native American youth leaders as special guests to the 6th Annual White House Tribal Nations Conference on December 3rd. The young leaders, who were recognized by CNAY as Champions for Change for positive contributions to Indian reservation and urban Indian communities, will attend sessions with Cabinet Secretaries alongside elected leaders from the 566 federally recognized tribal nations in the United States. Cabinet Secretaries scheduled to attend include: Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell, Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack, Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Julian Castro, and Secretary of Transportation Anthony Foxx.

Learn more about the work of these young leaders at

Last year, CNAY sent a class of Champions to the Tribal Nations Conference and Secretary Jewell highlighted the positive efforts of Dahkota Brown, 2013 Champion for Change, and quoted him during her remarks when she said, “it’s about happy, healthy kids. That is our future.”

“I am excited to be part of this year’s White House Tribal Nations Conference,” says William Lucero. “It’s really important to involve us [youth] in these types of events since we are impacted by policies created here in DC but often overlooked.”

The Champions’ participation in the Tribal Nations Conference is an example of CNAY’s deliberate and tireless efforts to ensure the voices of Native American children are elevated. CNAY’s goal is to shine a spotlight on the youngest First Americans and make them a top priority.

“I couldn’t be more proud of our Champions for Change and the great things they do for their communities. Bringing them out to Washington, DC is a great way to connect them to important leaders and help further develop their efforts to improve lives,” remarked CNAY’s chairman and founder, Senator Byron Dorgan (ret.).

The Champions will also take part in other activities during their week in Washington, DC with the National Congress of American Indians, the National Museum of the American Indian, federal agencies, and Nike’s N7 Program. Their participation in the White House activities and CNAY’s accompanying events was made possible by the Aspen Institute scholarship fund.

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



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