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: (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 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 or (202) 736-2908

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
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 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 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


Youth Ambassador Ashley Fox reports on Ashley Fox, the Tulsa Oklahoma high-school senior who joined the White House Tribal Nations Conference in November 2014.  “I hope to continue the week in D.C. at home, within the Cherokee Nation, and continue making my voice heard as an advocate for other Native American students,” Fox said. “It was truly an honor to be nominated by (Cherokee Principal) Chief (Bill John) Baker and then selected by the White House. My week in D.C. has shown me that there are a plethora of people who want to see Native youth succeed, and I want to be part of the solution.” Read more of her story.

Tribal Youth Ambassadors meet Eric Holder