Today, Director of the White House Domestic Policy Council Cecilia Muñoz announced the launch of the Generation Indigenous Native Youth Challenge at the 2015 United National Indian Tribal Youth (UNITY) Midyear Conference. This challenge invites Native youth and organizations across the country to become a part of the Administration’s Generation Indigenous (Gen-I) initiative by joining the National Native Youth Network — a White House effort in partnership with the Aspen Institute’s Center for Native American Youth and the U.S. Department of the Interior.
President Obama launched the Gen-I Initiative at the 2014 White House Tribal Nations Conference to focus on improving the lives of Native youth by removing the barriers that stand between Native youth and their opportunity to succeed. Through new investments and increased engagement, this initiative takes a comprehensive, culturally appropriate approach to ensure all young Native people can reach their full potential.
In addition to the National Native Youth Network, the Gen-I Initiative includes a demonstration program called the Native Youth Community Projects, administered by the Department of Education, a restructuring of the Bureau of Indian Education, a Cabinet Native Youth Listening Tour, and the organization of the first ever White House Tribal Youth Gathering.
Also announced today was the signing of an agreement between UNITY, the Department of Justice’s Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, and the White House, to collaborate on the first ever White House Tribal Youth Gathering that will take place this summer.
We encourage everyone to take the Gen-I Native Youth Challenge and become a part of the National Native Youth Network today!
Gen-I Native Youth Challenge
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. Youth should share their stories online using #GenI and send the National Native Youth Network their story through www.cnay.org/Challenge.html. The National Native Youth Network or the White House may even feature their 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 onboard.
Gen-I Native Youth Challenge Early Acceptors