June 26-28, CNAY staff visited the Portland, Oregon area to meet with and learn from Two-Spirit and LGBTQIA programs, leaders, and allies. This outreach trip is the first of three engagement opportunities through CNAY’s new project to support Two-Spirit and LGBTQIA Native youth. CNAY was joined by Se-ah-dom Edmo, the Movement Building Director at the Western States Center and a Project Advisory Panel member with CNAY.
While in Portland, CNAY met with staff and community leaders from the Native American Youth and Family Center; Siletz Tribal Change Team; the Pride Foundation; and the Portland Two-Spirit Society among others.
CNAY also hosted a Gen-I Two-Spirit and Native LGBTQIA Youth Dinner and Discussion on June 28. This was a public event inviting community members and allies to join a discussion to learn about CNAY, our project, and engage in a conversation to share perspectives and ideas on how to better support Native youth who identify as Two-Spirit or LGBTQIA. We had a good turnout, and much was shared across community members. We will take what we learned to better inform the project and future community engagement.
During the visit, CNAY also introduced our work and Gen-I initiatives to the 2017 We R Native Youth Ambassadors attending the 7th Annual THRIVE Conference. Many thanks to the We R Native and THRIVE team for their meaningful partnership and support. Also, big shout out appreciation to the Portland State University‘s Native American Student and Community Center who hosted these gatherings!