Skip to main content

News Release


Native Organizers Alliance

Aspen Institute Center for Native American Youth 

IllumiNative, Native Organizers Alliance, and Aspen Institute’s Center for Native American Youth are partnering with acclaimed researchers Dr. Stephanie Fryberg (Tulalip) of the University of Michigan and Dr. Arianne Eason of the University of California, Berkeley, to conduct the Indigenous Futures Survey — a groundbreaking research project for Native peoples by Native peoples.

“This year has been difficult for many reasons. We’ve had to change and adapt to a new way of living, being in community, healing, learning, operating, and caring for our communities,” said IllumiNative Executive Director Crystal Echo Hawk. “As we prepare for the 2020 election, an election that will have far-reaching consequences for our nations and peoples, we want to empower and uplift the voice of Native peoples and move towards better understanding through data driven by Native people from our own perspectives.”

Building on the learnings of the Reclaiming Native Truth (RNT) body of research, co-led by IllumiNative Executive Director Crystal Echo Hawk, the Indigenous Futures Survey (IFS) is the first survey in Indian Country that provides an opportunity for all Native peoples to be a part of shaping our future, offering a platform for understanding critical issues impacting Indian Country that can be used to motivate change. The survey will raise the collective voices of Native people in the critical policy debates which will unfold in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic and the 2020 elections.

“We bring the past and the future together by how we walk today,” said Native Organizers Alliance Director Judith Le Blanc. “Let Native people reshape our world and establish a ‘new, better normal’ that includes Native peoples’ voices in shaping the next steps for our communities and for humanity.”

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

The 15-20 minute survey launched Tuesday, June 23, 2020 and will close on August 1, 2020. To learn more about the survey, or to take the survey, please visit the Indigenous Futures Survey page. Indigenous Futures Survey researchers are looking to reach as many Native relatives as possible and are seeking to partner with organizations and tribal leaders to help disseminate the survey to at least 2,000 participants 18 years of age and older. Indigenous Futures Survey disseminating organizations and tribes can request access to data collected from the survey to be helpful to their future work.

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.

“This survey allows us to learn the priorities and hopes of Indian Country that can influence the experiences of future generations,” said Center for Native American Youth Acting Director Nikki Pitre. “By having access to data from our people, this will help support our programming at the Center for Native American Youth and identify what the priorities are for our people.”

To participate in the Indigenous Futures Project survey dissemination, or have questions regarding the survey, please email or call (202) 736-2905.

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.

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.

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