Center for Native American Youth announce GEN-I Movement Builder Fellows

ICT editorial team

The Generation Indigenous Movement Builders Fellowship helps emerging Native leaders connect with social justice efforts

The Generation Indigenous Movement Builders Fellowship (Gen-I MBF) amplifies the impact of emerging Native leaders by connecting them with large-scale social justice movements. The inaugural cohort of fellows consists of five young Indigenous activists who are already impacting their tribal communities in the realms of water protection, climate activism, journalism, and civic engagement. Gen-I MBF helps these leaders take that work to the next level, and strengthens the voice of Native youth in broader progressive movements.

"Native youth are rapidly organizing new movements across the country to make a difference on the issues that matter to them," says Center for Native American Youth Executive Director Erik Stegman. "But too often, they're not at the table in broader movements pursuing women's rights, protection of lands and waterways, and getting out the vote, to name a few. This fellowship is a unique opportunity for these passionate young Native leaders to diversify their networks, educate other sectors, and build power for Native youth in other movements."

The 2018 cohort of Gen-I MBF Fellows includes: JoRee LaFrance (Apsáalooke(Crow)), Maka Monture (Tlingit, Mohawk) Jarrette Werk (Aaniih Nakoda), Austin Weahkee (Cochiti, Zuni and Navajo) and Michael Charles (Navajo).

Meet the Fellows

JoRee LaFrance

Apsáalooke (Crow)

“When women are confident and loved, their homes are filled with confidence and love, then it radiates outside our homes into our communities and eventually to the land.”

Maka Monture

Tlingit, Mohawk

“The benefit of joining broader social justice movements with other communities is that it builds a network of allies all across turtle island that includes learners, educators, future elders, and protectors. We are stronger together. We always are.”

Jarrette Werk

Aaniih Nakoda

"The voice of Indigenous people is powerful, it just needs to be shared. I am dedicated to sharing our voice on a global scale."

Austin Weahkee

Cochiti, Zuni and Navajo

“As young people, we are full of energy, and eager to make change for our community”.

Michael Charles

Navajo Nation

“Our indigenous cultures and practices bring solutions, as we come from long histories of understanding our connection to nature and acting in harmony with our Mother Earth.”

Read more about the Fellows and their work here.


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