CNAY Connects with Native Youth in Oregon

In May 2016, CNAY’s Ryan Ward and Amber Richardson spent a week in Oregon connecting with Native youth, community programs and tribal leadership. To date, CNAY has engaged Native youth in more than 151 roundtables in 23 states to:

  • learn about challenges affecting their tribal or urban Indian communities;
  • map and exchange resources that address those issues; and
  • connect with and encourage youth who are leading positive change.

Before the roundtables began, CNAY met with partners at N7 for a lunch conversation and tour of Nike’s headquarters in Beaverton, OR. N7 is providing head-to-toe athletic gear packages for two lucky Native youth who participate in CNAY’s recently launched #GenISurvey. Youth under the age of 25 can >click here< to complete both Part 1 and Part 2 of the survey for a chance to win. CNAY is grateful to N7 for their continued partnership, support, and generosity!

CNAY's Ryan Ward and Amber Richardson with Jackie Blackbird of Nike N7
CNAY’s Ryan Ward and Amber Richardson with Jackie Blackbird of Nike N7

Next, CNAY visited the Confederated Tribes of Coos, Lower Umpqua, and Siuslaw Indians (CTCLUSI) in Coos Bay, Oregon. There, we were welcomed by CTCLUSI Chief Brainard and a host of tribal program staff who shared information about existing resources that support Native youth across their widespread 11-county service area. We also spoke with young tribal members who are motivated and eager to revitalize their youth council. The visit concluded with a tour of CTCLUSI’s dental clinic, where trained staff provide over twenty different oral health care services to tribal and community members. We learned that CTCLUSI is sponsoring a young tribal member named Naomi Petrie as a Dental Health Aide Therapist (DHAT). Naomi is currently being trained in Alaska and will return to Coos Bay upon completion of the program to join the CTCLUSI dental team. Learn more about Naomi in CTCLUSI’s tribal newsletter.

CNAY's Ryan Ward with staff from the Confederated Tribes of Coos, Lower Umpqua, and Siuslaw Indians (CTCLUSI) during a tour of the CTCLUSI dental clinic.
CNAY’s Ryan Ward tours the Confederated Tribes of Coos, Lower Umpqua and Siuslaw Indians’ dental clinic.
CNAY staff Amber Richardson with Siletz tribal leadership and program staff. Group photo in front of Siletz cedar dance house.
CNAY staff Amber Richardson with Siletz tribal leadership and program staff.

Later, CNAY traveled north along the coast to meet with the Confederated Tribes of Siletz Indians of Oregon. Greeted by Vice Chairman Bud Lane, we joined a diverse group of youth service providers whose work spans the arenas of education, culture and language preservation, domestic violence intervention, sport and recreation, and much more. Our dialogue with program staff and tribal leadership was followed by a separate roundtable with members of the Siletz Tribal Youth Council, who shared their perspectives on important issues affecting their communities.

Staff with CNAY Youth Ambassador SuSun Fisher
Staff with CNAY Youth Ambassador SuSun Fisher

We were pleased to be joined by CNAY Youth Ambassador and current Miss Chemawa Indian School (2015-2016) Susun Fisher, who served as a speaker in CNAY’s 2015 Native Heritage Month event entitled “Generation Indigenous: Elevating Young Native American Leaders“.  Youth discussed their individual and collaborative efforts to improve their tribal communities, and  were excited to learn about Champions for Change, the Gen-I Ambassador program, and other opportunities to grow as advocates and connect with Native youth leaders throughout the country.

 

Siletz Tribal Youth Council, tribal leadership, and community program staff.
Siletz Tribal Youth Council, tribal leadership, and community program staff.

Before returning to Washington, DC, CNAY also met with the Ford Family Foundation in Roseburg, OR, and the Oregon Native American Chamber in Portland. Stay tuned to see where CNAY goes next!

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