Champions for Change

Champions for Change

The Center for Native American Youth created the Champions for Change (CFC) program as an effort to shine a spotlight on inspirational stories and promote hope in Indian Country. In our visits to tribal and urban Indian communities, our team listens to and learns from young Native Americans about youth priorities, challenges and successes. We continue to hear from and about inspirational Native youth who are taking the lead in tackling community challenges and inspiring entire communities. The CFC program is a way to recognize and encourage those youth-led efforts!


Each year, CNAY selects five inspirational Native youth to join the Champions for Change youth leadership network. Champions are individuals who initiate programs, events, or other efforts that are improving the lives of fellow youth in Indian Country. Our Champions play an essential role in elevating Native youth priorities and advocating for positive, meaningful change for young people in Indian Country.  

Champions for Change (CFC), inspired by a 2011 White House initiative, recognizes and encourages inspirational Native youth (ages 14 to 22) working in their tribal or urban Indian communities to promote hope and make a positive impact. In 2013, CNAY recognized its first class of Champions - Dahkota Brown, Cierra Fields, Joaquin Gallegos, Vance Home Gun, and Sarah Schilling - all of whom continue to work closely with CNAY today. 

Senator Dorgan (CNAY Founder & Chairman), the CNAY Board of Advisors, and team welcome our 2015 class of Champions for Change, and invite you to learn more about these remarkable young leaders by visiting the 2015 Champions page.

Click here to access a two-page description of the CFC program, which includes information about the newest class of Champions. Feel free to share this document with people in your community!

 Champions for Change Toolkit

Interested in creating your own Champions for Change initiative in your community? The 2013 CFCs developed a Champions for Change Toolkit to encourage local tribal and urban Indian communities to recognize and celebrate Native American youth leaders across the nation. Check out the CFC Toolkit to get started today!

Submission Categories

Health (including youth suicide prevention; bereavement, grief, and healing practices/promotion; and substance and alcohol abuse prevention)

Sports, Nutrition or Wellness

Education, Mentorship or Afterschool Programs

 Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention

Building Healthy Relationships (teen dating, elders and family)

Cultural Preservation and Native Languages

Anti-Bullying and Personal Empowerment

Self-Expression through Arts and Crafts

Emerging Leadership in Government Service

Economic and Community Development

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