White House Call with Native Youth to Recap the Tribal Youth Gathering


Dear Tribal Youth,

The White House would like to thank you for making the first-ever White House Tribal Youth Gathering on July 9th a huge success!  We’d like to personally express our gratitude to all who were able to attend in-person, who watched at one of the dozens of watch parties that took place nation-wide, and to all of those who have accepted the Generation Indigenous (Gen-I) Challenge!

We’d like to invite you to participate in a conference call to recap the historic White House Tribal Youth Gathering, get your feedback, and discuss some of the federal resources the government will be offering to Native youth as well as resources offered by organizations that support Gen-I.

We hope you’ll join us this coming Monday, August 10th, at 7:00pm Eastern Time (other time zones listed below).

Please use the following dial-in information in order to access the call. Space is limited, so dial in 5-10 minutes early in order to secure a spot!

What: White House Native Youth Call to Re-Cap the White House Tribal Youth Gathering

When: Monday August 10th, 2015, 7:00pm Eastern Time

Dial-in Number: 1-855-845-4321
Conference Code: 600768

(Please note that this call is off the record and not for press purposes.)

Call Time by Time Zone:







U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker and Aspen Institute President and CEO Walter Isaacson launched the Communities that Work Partnership, a brand new joint project aimed at accelerating industry-led workforce development and training efforts.

Secretary Pritzker has made skills and workforce development a top priority for the Department of Commerce, and is working with the private sector and government leaders at all levels as part of the ‘Skills for Business’ initiative to prepare workers with the training needed to secure the 21st century jobs business leaders are seeking to fill.

At today’s event, it was announced that AspenWSI has published a website with information about the initiative here. Their national selection committee will competitively select six teams from different regions. AspenWSI will document the strategies and lessons learned from these six original teams and provide new learning tools and case studies that can help communities and regions across the nation develop their talent pipelines to fill in-demand jobs.

AspenWSI was selected from among a dozen other applicants to partner with Commerce because of its proven track record and innovative work with workforce and leadership development.

About the U.S. Economic Development Administration (www.eda.gov)
The mission of the U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA) is to lead the federal economic development agenda by promoting competitiveness and preparing the nation’s regions for growth and success in the worldwide economy. An agency within the U.S. Department of Commerce, EDA makes investments in economically distressed communities in order to create jobs for U.S. workers, promote American innovation, and accelerate long-term sustainable economic growth.

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 has campuses in Aspen, Colorado, and on the Wye River on Maryland’s Eastern Shore. It also maintains offices in New York City and has an international network of partners. www.aspeninstitute.org

Key Facts for Prospective Applicants

  • National Webinar for Prospective Applicants: May 13, 2015, 2:00-3:30 p.m. EDT. To watch the recording click here.
  • Requests to Participate Due Date: June 5, 2015, by 5:00 p.m. EDT
  • Selection Announcement: July 13, 2015
  • Opening Learning Exchange Retreat: September 14-16, 2015, at The Aspen Institute’s Wye River conference center near Baltimore, MD
  • Resources: Travel and lodging for 3-4 registered members of each selected regional collaborative to participate in two learning exchange retreats, ongoing strategic coaching, and access to a pool of customized technical assistance services
  • Period of Performance: July 2015 to September 2016
  • Contact for Questions: Bill Browning, AspenWSI, at Bill.Browning@Aspeninst.org


The Deadline for the Gen-I Challenge Has Been Extended!

UPDATE: The deadline has been extended for youth who sign up for the Gen-I Youth Challenge to be eligible to attend the 2015 White House Tribal Youth Gathering in Washington, DC this summer!


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.

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.


  • Albuquerque Convention Center


  • 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.
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.


Photo caption above: June 13, 2014 –  “The First Lady and the President hug Native American youth following a meeting with them at the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe Reservation in Cannon Ball, North Dakota. The Obamas were so moved by this meeting that they arranged for these youth members to visit them at the White House later in the year. A photograph from that visit also appears in this gallery.” (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

Post by: Raina Thiele, Associate Director of White House Intergovernmental Affairs 

On June 13th, 2014 President Obama, accompanied by First Lady Michelle Obama, made his first Presidential visit to Indian Country when he visited the Standing Rock Indian Reservation in North Dakota. While they were there, they met with six youth from the Reservation for a roundtable discussion and attended the Cannon Ball Flag Day Celebration. During the roundtable, the President and the First Lady invited the Standing Rock youth to visit them in D.C. Watch highlights of the trip here!

President Obama Engages Native Youth at My Brother’s Keeper Town Hall

In July, the President gave remarks at a town hall session to announce new commitments in support of this My Brother’s Keeper (MBK) initiative. Youth from the Center for Native American Youth’s Champions of Change program, the Native American Political Leadership Institute’s INSPIRE Initiative, and the Navajo Nation attended the town hall and asked the President about the Administration’s work to support Native American language and cultural preservation. The President reaffirmed his commitment to Native American youth and the importance of honoring one’s roots. Watch the full video here and read the blog post here! 

President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama Visit with Standing Rock Sioux Tribe Youth

The Standing Rock youth visited Washington, D.C. on November 20th, 2014. They met the President and First Lady in the Oval Office before going to lunch with them at We The Pizza/Good Stuff Eatery. 

Photo 4

Photo caption: Standing Rock Sioux youth and her huge piece of pizza at We the Pizza/Good Stuff Eatery with President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama. (Photo by the White House Office of Intergovernmental Affairs)

President Obama Establishes the Generation Indigenous Initiative

At the White House Tribal Nations Conference on December 3rd President Obama announced the launch of the Generation Indigenous Initiative (Gen I). The program includes the National Native Youth Network, a program in partnership with the Center for Native American youth The Youth network, of which this website is a part, will support leadership development, provide peer support through an interactive online portal that links resources and tools, and empowers youth to become leaders within their communities. The White House, in cooperation with the Aspen Institute, will also host a high-level convening on challenges facing Native youth in February 2015.  Watch the President’s full speech here!

Gen I Youth Ambassadors

IMG_0067 (2)The 2014 Tribal Nations Conference also welcomed the very first ever class of Gen I Youth Ambassadors!  Thirty seven inspiring young Native people from across the country traveled to DC to attend the Conference and participate in a range of exciting activities, including a screening of MTV’s Rebel Music production: Native America, learning about the opportunities available to them through the federal government, and meeting Vice President Joe Biden and Attorney General Eric Holder!

Two of the Youth Ambassadors were featured in an MTV video about their experiences which can be viewed here!