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News Release

Center for Native American Youth at the Aspen Institute

The Center for Native American Youth at the Aspen Institute (CNAY), IllumiNative, and Native Organizers Alliance partnered to launch the Indigenous Futures Project. Acclaimed researchers Dr. Stephanie Fryberg (Tulalip) of the University of Michigan and Dr. Arianne Eason of the University of California, Berkeley, generated the Indigenous Futures Survey -- a groundbreaking research project.

“Data speaks loudly in all forums; politics, education etcetera,” said Dr. Fryberg. “This is research for Native people by Native people. In the past we have been studied in ways that we didn't consent to or didn't represent our voice. Native people have done every part of this survey.”

For the first time, Native Americans have the opportunity to share their issues and priorities. The Indigenous Futures Survey asks questions that haven’t been asked of Native people prior; including disclosing their needs, experiences and hopes in this anonymous survey. The findings will influence policy change and help shape programming for Native serving organizations.

“Native voices need to be heard in important policy decisions,” said Congresswoman Deb Haaland. “No matter how big or small your participation is, your voice matters. When we have a seat at the table, we have the power to make change.”

Indigenous Futures Survey: Native youth "Our Future - Our Survey" graphic.

Indigenous Futures Survey: Native youth "Our Future - Our Survey" graphic.

The goals of the 2020 Indigenous Futures Survey are to:

1. Identify Native people and tribal communities’ priorities for changing narratives about Natives and building a more equitable future, especially in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic.

2. Explore the experiences and attitudes toward federal, local, and tribal governance and engagement in democratic processes.

3. Demonstrate how to engage tribal and Native communities to promote shifts in the public discourse and point the way to collective actions and democratic engagement.

IllumiNative, Organizers Alliance, Aspen Institute Center for Native American Youth - Indigenous Futures Project survey graphic.

IllumiNative, Organizers Alliance, Aspen Institute Center for Native American Youth - Indigenous Futures Project survey graphic.

Once the survey is completed, there is an opportunity to enter into a raffle. The raffle is completely separate from the survey, and those enter the raffle will not have their survey associated with their information to be considered for the raffle. Prizes include Nike N7 sneakers and clothing, beaded earrings and barrette sets, lanyards, beaded bolo, original ledger art, oil paintings, t-shirts from brands such as OXDX and Urban Native Era and gift cards from Native-owned businesses such as Bison Star Naturals, B. Yellowtail, Lauren Good Day and Eighth Generation, and more.

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“This survey is crucial to being able to be the driving force to make a huge change,” said Miss Indian World, Cheyenne Kippenberger. “This is a moment that we will look back on and know that we stepped up and made that change as a community. Let's be that positive change.”

To learn more about the 15-20 minute survey, or to take the survey, please visit the Indigenous Futures Survey page. If you have questions regarding the survey, please email

About Center for Native American Youth

The Center for Native American Youth is a national advocacy organization working to improve the health, safety, and overall well-being of Native American youth ages 24 and under. Founded by former US Senator Byron Dorgan, Center for Native American Youth is a policy program within the Aspen Institute, headquartered in Washington, DC. While a part of the Aspen Institute, Center for Native American Youth is also overseen by a Board of Advisors. We strive to bring greater national attention to the issues facing Native American youth while fostering community-driven solutions, with special emphasis on youth suicide prevention.

About IllumiNative

IllumiNative is a Native-led nonprofit, launched to increase the visibility of Native peoples in American society by changing the national narrative. IllumiNative challenges negative narratives, stories, and stereotypes about Native peoples. We provide tools for Native advocates and allies including youth, community and tribal leaders, activists, and professionals across critical sectors — to develop and advocate for accurate and contemporary representations and voices of Native peoples.

About Native Organizers Alliance

The Native Organizers Alliance (NOA) is dedicated to building the organizing capacity of tribes, organizers and community groups for transformational policy change. It also provides a forum for Native leaders, organizers and organizations to work in collaboration with each other and promote their work with non-Native national allies.

IllumiNative , Center for Native American Youth at the Aspen Institute, Native Organizers Alliance

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IllumiNative, Native Organizers Alliance, and Aspen Institute’s Center for Native American Youth announce 'Indigenous Futures Survey' research project