Last week, the Washington D.C. based Center for Native American Youth (CNAY) announced their release of a comprehensive map of resources as part of the Obama administrations Generation Indigenous or GEN-I initiative.
CNAY’s map, which is available online, includes a list of nationwide programs, services and Native Youth contacts in support of the Obama Administration’s GEN-I initiative to improve the lives of Native Youth in Indian Country.
Last year at the White House's Sixth Annual 2014 White House Tribal Nations Conference in Washington, President Barack Obama, Vice President Joe Biden, Dept. of the Interior Secretary Sally Jewell, Attorney General Eric Holder and other Senior Administration officials addressed a number of relevant issues to Indian country to assist Native Youth. The predominant topic of discussion to assist the youth was the GEN-I initiative.
According to President Obama and others in his administration, the Generation Indigenous or “GEN-I” initiative is an initiative that “takes a comprehensive, culturally appropriate approach to ensure all young Native people can reach their full potential.”
According to CNAY’s release last Thursday: "As a part of President Obama’s Generation Indigenous (GEN-I) initiative, the Center for Native American Youth (CNAY) at the Aspen Institute has developed a map of impactful programs and Native American youth leaders creating positive change across Indian Country. This 'GEN-I Network map' includes local organizations, youth councils, youth-led volunteer projects and connects youth with each other to expand access to resources and services – two key goals of Gen-I and CNAY’s National Native Youth Network."
Erin Bailey the Executive Director of CNAY also expressed in the release, “Every day youth leaders and stakeholders from Indian Country reach out seeking to connect with their peers on the community-level,” said Bailey, “This map is a tool to make our resources and connections available to all.”
Bailey also told ICTMN, that the map would be a great way for Native youth from nearly any community to connect with other youth leaders seeking to reach out to connect and change their own lives for the better and/or change the lives of others.
“This map is a great way for a young person to go out and connect with other youth leaders. It is an incredible body of information that we have worked to compile,” she said.
The map, released as of last week, will be updated consistently and CNAY is also asking others in Indian Country to inform them of other impactful youth programs:
Through the Network map, stakeholders – including funders and policymakers – can easily see programs making a difference in Indian Country as defined by the young leaders who are creating positive community change. Through our outreach to more than 5,000 Native youth over nearly five years, CNAY has learned about and met with hundreds of programs across Indian Country that Native youth believe are making a difference. The map provides a platform to share this critical information with stakeholders and youth leaders.
The Network map will be updated regularly with CNAY engaging and working with youth to submit these programs in order to build out and grow the map. To learn more about our mapping efforts, to view the Network map, or to tell us about impactful youth programs in your community, please visit: http://cnay.org/Network_Map.html .
According to Celeste Terry, (Oglala Lakota) a GEN-I Youth Ambassador and Founder of Thinking Indigenous, “This is going to help improve youth networking. I am positive this will prove to be a great source for collaborating and planning activities and events with other youth leaders in different regions.”
The Center for Native American Youth is dedicated to improving the health, safety and overall well-being of Native American youth through communication, policy development and advocacy. Founded by former US Senator Byron Dorgan in February 2011, CNAY is a policy program within the Aspen Institute, headquartered in Washington, DC. CNAY works to strengthen and create new connections as well as exchange resources and best practices that address the challenges facing Native youth, with a special emphasis on suicide prevention. Visit CNAY’s website for a comprehensive list of resources available to young Native Americans, tribes and the general public. For more information, visit www.cnay.org
Follow ICTMN’s Vincent Schilling (Akwesasne Mohawk) on Twitter – www.Twitter.com/VinceSchilling