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 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


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:

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 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


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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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Change is coming: Presidential visit inspires tribal youth

Source: The Bismarck Tribune
December 28, 2014 6:00 am  •  Article link

Kendrick Eagle spoke about how he — at 21 years of age — ended up single-handedly raising his four younger brothers while attending college.

When his father died several years back, his stepmother turned to alcohol and drugs. His younger siblings remained under her care while he moved to Bismarck for school and later to Washington state.

He didn’t stay away long.

“I kept getting texts and calls from people in my hometown,” he said.

His brothers’ home situation had gotten out of hand. People were abusing his siblings. His brothers — one as young as 5 — wandered around Cannon Ball at midnight looking for their mother.


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!

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