U.S. Department of Education Announces $3 Million In Grants Available to Help Native Youth  

The U.S. Department of Education today announced the availability of an estimated $3 million in grants to help Native American youth become college- and career-ready. Funding for the new Native Youth Community Projects is a key step toward implementing President Obama’s commitment to improving the lives of American Indian and Alaskan Native children. The new grants will support the President’s Generation Indigenous “Gen I” Initiative launched last year to help Native American youth.

“We know that tribes are in the best position to determine the needs and barriers that Native youth face,” said U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan. “The Native Youth Community Projects will allow tribal communities to come together to improve outcomes for students.”

In a Federal Register notice, the Department said it would award five to seven demonstration grants ranging from $400,000 to $600,000 to tribal communities before Sept. 30. The new program is based on significant consultation with tribal communities and recognizes that these communities are best-positioned to:

  • Identify key barriers to improving educational and life outcomes for Native youth, and
  • Develop and implement locally produced strategies designed to address those barriers.

Each grant will support a coordinated, focused approach chosen by a community partnership that includes a tribe, local schools and other optional service providers or organizations. For example, the program allows tribes to identify ways to achieve college and career readiness specific to their own communities – whether it’s early learning, language immersion or mental health services.  Communities can tailor actions to address one or more of those issues. The success of these first projects will guide the work of future practices that improve the educational opportunities and achievement of preschool, elementary and secondary Indian students.

The President’s FY 2016 budget proposal calls for increased investments across Indian Country, including a total request of $20.8 billion for a range of federal programs that serve tribes – a $1.5 billion increase over the 2015-enacted level. The budget proposal includes $53 million for fiscal year 2016 – a $50 million increase from this year – to significantly expand the Native Youth Community Projects program.

For more on the Administration’s investment in Native American issues, visit https://www.whitehouse.gov/nativeamericans.

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White House to Host Tribal Youth Gathering

WASHINGTON, DC – On Thursday, July 9, 2015, the White House will host the first-ever White House Tribal Youth Gathering in Washington, DC, to provide American Indian and Alaska Native youth from across the country the opportunity to interact directly with senior Administration officials and the White House Council on Native American Affairs.

The Tribal Youth Gathering, a collaboration between the White House and Unity Inc., will continue to build upon the President’s Generation Indigenous (Gen-I) initiative and his commitment to improve the lives of Native youth across the country. President Obama launched the Gen-I initiative at the 2014 White House Tribal Nations Conference to focus on improving the lives of Native youth through new investments and increased engagement. This initiative takes a comprehensive, culturally appropriate approach to ensure all young Native people can reach their full potential.

The Gen-I Native Youth Challenge invites Native youth and organizations across the country to become a part of the Administration’s Gen-I initiative by joining the National Native Youth Network — a White House effort in partnership with the Aspen Institute’s Center for Native American Youth and the U.S. Department of the Interior. Youth who complete the Gen-I Native Youth Challenge will be eligible to register for a chance to attend the upcoming White House Tribal Youth Gathering. The application to attend the Gathering can be found HERE. Additional details about the conference will be released at a later date.

As part of Generation Indigenous (Gen-I), the Center for Native American Youth (CNAY) is hosting a series of Gen-I Engagement Chats online for youth. We had our first chat two weeks ago and had a lot of great participation from youth, community members and tribal leaders. If you are a Native youth interested in learning more about the Gen-I Challenge, join CNAY on April 8 at 8:00PM EST for the second ONLINE chat!

The chat will focus on the Gen-I Challenge, with a special emphasis on taking the Challenge before the April 10 deadline to be eligible for the first ever White House Tribal Youth Gathering. Participants can ask questions about the Challenge, share updates on their progress, talk through their process in completing the Challenge and discuss issues that Native youth face. More information about the Gen-I Engagement Chat is provided below.

Chat Details:

  • Date: April 8
  • Time: 8:00 PM EST
  • Where: www.gen-i.chatango.com (directions below)
  • Topic: Gen-I Challenge
  • Discussion Question: Why should foundations and corporations support and invest in Native youth?

Chat Instructions:

To join the Gen-I Engagement Chat, you will go to www.gen-i.chatango.com. Once you get to the chat platform, click “Set Name” in the bottom right hand corner so we know who is on the call. You don’t have to create an account, but please be sure to create a temporary name with no spaces (example: ShoniSchimmel). Once you’ve created a name, you’re all set and ready to chat!

We hope you are able to join us for the April 8 chat! Just a reminder, there is no call-in information since this chat will occur online. Our next Gen-I Engagement phone call will happen on April 23 and we will share information as we get closer to that date. If you have any questions, please feel free to reach out to CNAY by contacting ryan.ward@aspeninstitute.org or (202) 736-2908

Native Youth, you are invited to attend a kickoff event for Generation Indigenous!  President Obama launched the Gen-I Initiative at the 2014 White House Tribal Nations Conference to focus on improving the lives of Native youth by removing the barriers that stand between Native youth and their opportunity to succeed. Through new investments and increased engagement, this initiative takes a comprehensive, culturally appropriate approach to ensure all young Native people can reach their full potential.

Join representatives from The White House, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the Administration for Native Americans, and the Gathering of Nations Pow Wow for this exciting kickoff event!  Native youth in Grades 9-12 are eligible to attend on Thursday, April 23rd, to learn about Gen-I and to take the Gen-I Challenge to make a positive impact in your community!

The event will be held on Thursday, April 23rd, 11:30 AM – 4:00 PM at the Albuquerque Convention Center.  Registration will open at 11:30 AM, the event will begin promptly at 1 PM MDT.  Lunch will be provided.

We hope you can join us in celebrating, you, Gen-I and working with us toward a better future for Native Youth!

Please see the attached Save the Date flyer for more information.  If you are interested in attending, please Register Here. Registration is on a first come, first serve basis and will be capped at 300 participants.

Where

  • Albuquerque Convention Center

When:

  • Thursday, April 23rd at 11:30 AM MDT
  • Registration begins at 11:30 AM, the event will begin promptly at 1 PM MDT
  • The event will last approximately 4 hours.

Through ongoing outreach into Indian Country and listening sessions with Native youth, the Center for Native American Youth (CNAY) consistently hears that young people want to be engaged in a large network of their peers that also provides increased access to new and exciting opportunities and serves as a resource for their communities. In support of Gen-I, CNAY is excited to create a new leadership opportunity to engage and support a large network of “young movers and shakers” in Indian Country – Gen-I Youth Ambassadors.

What is a Gen-I Youth Ambassador? 
Gen-I Youth Ambassadors serve as spokespersons for Gen-I and CNAY. CNAY works closely with these youth to foster their development as community liaisons who share resources and opportunities with their peers and communities. Specifically, Gen-I Youth Ambassadors will:

  • Be eligible to participate in the first ever White House Tribal Youth Gathering; 
  • Be part of a growing Gen-I Network of community leaders and young experts in the field;
  • Serve as direct connections to tribal and urban Indian communities; and 
  • Provide their perspectives on priorities for youth in Indian Country. 
Becoming a Gen-I Youth Ambassador:
The Gen-I Youth Ambassador network consists of leaders between the ages of 14 and 24 who want to directly connect with CNAY, the Administration, and key stakeholders, and also actively promote Gen-I and encourage peers and communities to support and/or get involved in positive community projects.

  • Accept the Gen-I Youth Challenge;
  • Sign up as a Gen-I Youth Ambassador to be added to the National Native Youth Network map; and
  • Follow Gen-I on Facebook & Twitter

UPDATE: Youth who sign up for the Gen-I Youth Challenge BY FRIDAY, APRIL 10 will be eligible to attend the 2015 White House Tribal Youth Gathering in Washington, DC this summer!

CLICK HERE TO ACCEPT THE CHALLENGE TODAY!
https://aspeninstitute.wufoo.com/forms/geni-native-youth-challenge/

By signing up for the Gen-I Youth Challenge, you are agreeing to take the following steps to create positive change in your community:

Step 1: ACT. Within 30 days of accepting the challenge, work with other youth in your community or at your school to do something positive of your choosing (for example: do a volunteer project with a local organization or charity, visit with elders in your community, or become a mentor to a younger person). You can use Toolkits from the National Native Youth Network and their partners to help you in this work.  Your local tribal youth council, urban tribal youth group, or Native youth organization may also be resources.

Step 2:  CAPTURE. Document your community efforts through a short summary (3-4 sentences) and with photos and video!

Step 3: SHARE. Share your story online using #Gen-I and send to the National Native Youth Network here.  The National Native Youth Networkor the White House may even feature your story!

Step 4: PARTICIPATE. By participating in the National Native Youth Network, you may be invited to apply to send a representative to the first ever White House Tribal Youth Gathering in Washington, D.C. in the summer of 2015.

Make sure to accept the challenge HERE.

Dial in Thursday, March 19 from 6-7pm EST for a call about the Gen-I Initiative and the Gen-I Challenges with the Center for Native American Youth! The call will feature updates from the White House as well as from a tribal leader and a youth who have accepted the Challenge. CNAY will also be announcing prizes for youth who commit to the Challenge!! So tune in!

Please join the call to learn more and ask questions by using the call-in information below. RSVP for the call here.

If you are not able to join tomorrow, there will be future opportunities to stay engaged through calls and Gen-I Engagement Chats online. You can also email ryan.ward@aspeninst.org or call (202) 736-2908 for specific questions regarding Gen-I and the Challenges.

Call Information below:

Date and time:

  • March 19
  • 6pm — 7pm EST

Call-In Information:

  • Dial:                    (712) 775-7031
  • Meeting ID:         549-705-684

The White House will host a call on Monday, March 16th at 3:00 PM to discuss the Obama Administration’s Generation Indigenous (Gen-I) Initiative. You will hear from key Administration officials, tribal leaders, and organization partners on the structure of Gen I and how you can get involved. There will be an opportunity for comments and Q&A.

Additional information about the President’s Gen-I initiative can be found in the 2014 White House Tribal Nations Conference Fact sheet, and the FY16  President’s Budget Fact Sheet: Standing with Indian Country. Information on how you can get involved directly in Gen I by taking the Gen I Challenge for Native youth, tribal leaders, and organizations, can be found on the White House blog:

Please use the dial-in information below. We look forward to speaking with you.

Call Details

  • Date: Monday, March 16th
  • Time: 3:00 PM ET, please join 5-7 minutes early to avoid connection delays
  • Dial in Number: 1-855-845-4321 Event ID: 600572

(Please note that lines are limited. Callers will be accepted on a first come, first served basis until the call has reached capacity).

This call is off the record and not for press purposes. We look forward to speaking with you.

Do you know about the Gen-I Challenge? The Challenge is available to Native American youth, colleges, organizations, corporations and many other stakeholders. Challenge acceptors are asked to follow simple steps to complete the challenge, with the initial step of just making a commitment.Seneca SewingAn acceptor commits to take the Challenge by filling out this form and sharing a brief description about what that person, youth council, organization, corporation, etc., is planning to do. The activities description can be a rough draft, but we still want to hear what the acceptors’ awesome plans are for making a difference in their communities. It’s also a great way for us to stay in touch and offer support and information as acceptors complete their challenge. At any time, acceptors can reach out to the Center for Native American Youth to ask questions about eligibility and find resources for completing the challenge.Once you commit to the Challenge and fill out the form, you have 90 days to complete the challenge. To complete the challenge, acceptors will take the following steps:

1.  ACT – Within 30 days of taking the challenge, youth, organizations, and corporations should work to do something positive of their choosing.

a.       Examples of positive activities include: completing a volunteer project with a local organization or charity, starting an internship for Native American youth at your business or corporation, hosting a meeting with other youth to brainstorm how to address an issue of concern in their community, offering an academic scholarship for Native American youth or becoming a mentor to a younger person.

b.      This toolkit can help get you started!

2.  CAPTURE – Document your community efforts through a short summary (3-4 sentences) and with photos and video!

a.       The more photos and videos, the better!

3.  SHARE – Share your story online using #Gen-I and send the National Native Youth Network your story by clicking “Share Your Gen-I Story” at http://cnay.org/ShareGenIStory.html. The National Native Youth Network and/or the White House may even feature your story so make sure you include all relevant information and documentation!

4.  PARTICIPATE – By participating in the National Native Youth Network, you may be invited to be a part of the first ever White House Tribal Youth Gathering in Washington, D.C. in the summer of 2015. Participation includes taking the challenge, but also staying involved through Twitter and/or Facebook.

If you have questions about the challenge process, please reach out to ryan.ward@aspeninst.org. More information about Gen-I can be found here and you can stay up to date with activities on Twitter at @gen_indigenous and Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/GenIndigenous.

 

Secretary Jewell Kicks Off Native Youth Listening Tour

 

Jewell Listening Tour 1

Last week, Secretary Jewell kicked off President Obama’s Native Youth Listening Tour in both the Salt River Pima-Maricopa and Gila River Indian communities. The tour is a key part of the Obama Administration’s Generation Indigenous (Gen-I) initiative, a program meant to break down barriers standing between Native youth and their opportunity for success. To watch a video of her first visit, click here.

Jewell Listening Tour

Over the coming year, Obama Administration Cabinet officials will host similar listening sessions and discussions with Native Youth across the country. You can find out more by visiting: http://www.whitehouse.gov/nativeamericans.

As part of the process of establishing the National Native Youth Network, we invite Native youth and all young people across the country to take part in the Gen-I Challenge.  This call to action is the first step in engaging a broad network of people interested in addressing the issues facing Native youth and creating a platform through which Native youth can access information  about opportunities and resources, and have their voices and positive contributions highlighted and elevated.

Here’s how it works: Youth 14-24, non-profits, and educational institutions are invited to join the National Native Youth Network by accepting the Gen-I Challenge.

Who: Individuals, youth councils, and youth groups can participate as Challenge Acceptors.  Non-profit organizations, Colleges, Universities, and Tribal Colleges and Universities (TCU) can become acceptors by helping their youth and students complete the Gen-I Challenge!

Youth and others can accept the challenge by following this link and committing to take the following steps.

Step 1: ACT. Within 30 days of taking the challenge, youth should work with other youth in their community or at their school to do something positive of their choosing (for example: completing a volunteer project with a local organization or charity, hosting a meeting with other youth to brainstorm how to address an issue of concern in their community, or becoming a mentor to a younger person).  The youth can use toolkits from the National Native Youth Network and their partners to help them achieve their goal.  Their local tribal youth council, urban tribal youth group, or Native youth organization can also be a resource.

Step 2:  CAPTURE. Youth should document their community efforts and projects through a short summary (3-4 sentences) with photos and video!

Step 3: SHARE. Share your story online using #Gen-I and send the National Native Youth Network your story through http://cnay.org/ShareGenIStory.html. The National Native Youth Network or the White House may even feature your story!

Step 4: PARTICIPATE. By participating in the National Native Youth Network, youth may be invited to apply to send a representative to the first ever White House Tribal Youth Gathering in Washington, D.C., in the summer of 2015.

Organizations, colleges, universities, and TCUs can take the Gen-I Challenge too by committing to help their youth and students complete the Gen-I Challenge!  They just follow this link to get signed up.

The following organizations have already committed to take the Gen-I Challenge and get their youth on board!

Gen-I Native Youth Challenge Early Acceptors

American Indian College Fund
American Indian Higher Education Consortium
Boys and Girls Clubs of America
Center for Native American Youth at the Aspen Institute
National Indian Education Association
National Congress of American Indians
National Indian Child Welfare Association
National Indian Health Board
United National Indian Tribal Youth

IAMNDN – #Gen-I

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My name is Sophie Maria Tiger and I am an enrolled member of the Comanche Nation of Oklahoma. I also come from the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe. I am one of the founding members of a peer-to-peer organization started in Comanche Country, IAMNDN. This new organization is dedicated to empowering Native youth to become outstanding sons, daughters, sisters, brothers, students. employees, community members and future leaders. The future of Native people rests upon the youth; therefore, the purpose of IAMNDN is to positively impact the negative effects of underage drinking and prescription drug abuse that often plagues each and every Indian community. With this organization, I want young natives to be able to say "IAMNDN, I AM HERE, AND I AM PROUD!". The picture above is of my little relative, Corbyn J. Swift and myself at my high school demonstrating part of our culture during Native American Month. I am motivated and inspired when I look at youth like Corbyn because they need someone to look up to who is drug-free, who is thriving to change the statistics of Native people, and who is keeping their culture alive. I want to be a role model for Native youth and I want them to stand with me against the use of drugs and alcohol to better themselves and to better our Native people. This is close to my heart because I have witnessed amazing people fall under the pressure of the temptations and throw away their lives. We are in power of our destiny and I want youth like Corbyn to understand that. There are many problems in our Indian communities. It will be a challenge to resolve all of these situations, but reaching our youth is one step closer to minimizing the problems in Indian Country. #IAMNDN #YouthIsOurFuture #TribalNations -Sophie

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