Gen-I Network



Erik Stegman Headshot Photo

Erik Stegman

Executive Director

Erik Stegman, Carry the Kettle First Nation (Assiniboine), is Executive Director at the Center for Native American Youth at the Aspen Institute. Before joining the CNAY team, Erik led field outreach and advocacy for the Poverty to Prosperity program at the Center for American Progress.  Before American Progress, he served as majority Counsel for the U.S. Senate Committee on Indian Affairs under the leadership of Sen. Daniel K. Akaka (HI). He was an expert on a wide range of policy issues affecting tribal governments including economic development, law enforcement, violence against women, tax, education, and telecommunications. In that role, he also led the development of the Stand Against Violence and Empower (SAVE) Native Women Act, which was signed into law as part of the Violence Against Women Act Reauthorization of 2013. Before joining the Senate, Erik was appointed in 2011 to serve as Policy Advisor to Assistant Deputy Secretary Kevin Jennings at the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Safe and Drug-Free Schools. During his time in the administration, he led an intra-agency working group on American Indian policy development. He began his career in Washington, D.C. at the National Congress of American Indians Policy Research Center.

Erik holds a J.D. from UCLA School of Law, an M.A. in American Indian Studies from UCLA’s Graduate Division, and a B.A. from Whittier College. 

Josie Raphaelito

Josie Raphaelito

Program Manager

Josie Raphaelito is a Program Manager for the Center for Native American Youth at the Aspen Institute. Josie graduated with a Master's Degree in Public Health from The George Washington University. Her Master's thesis focused on a policy initiative, aimed to increase access to mental health services through workforce development strategies, for the Indian Health Service. Suicide prevention in Indian Country is an area of true passion for Josie.

Prior to graduate school, she studied Athletic Training at the University of New England in Maine. While living in DC Josie has interned at both the National Congress of American Indians and the National Indian Health Board. Other experience includes time at the Albuquerque Area Southwest Tribal Epidemiology Center and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Josie grew up on the Ramah Navajo Reservation in New Mexico and is an enrolled member of the Navajo Nation.

In 2012, Josie was recognized by the National Council of Urban Indian Health with their 2012 Impact Award and was also selected as a recipient of the National Center for American Indian Enterprise Development's prestigious "Native American 40 Under 40" award.

Amber Richardson

Amber Richardson

Communications Associate

Amber Richardson serves as Communications Associate, managing CNAY’s social media platforms, marketing and promotional efforts, and digital constituent and donor engagement. Amber is from Hollister, North Carolina and a member of the Haliwa-Saponi Indian Tribe. She earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology from Duke University, where she was a Gates Millennium Scholar and President of the Native American Student Alliance. Amber was awarded the Joseph Richardson Outstanding Indian Student Award by her tribe in recognition of her academic excellence. 

Prior to CNAY, Amber worked with the BOOST Program (Building Opportunities and Overtures in Science and Technology) to increase access to mentorship and STEM opportunities for minority students in Durham, North Carolina. Her prior commitments to Native youth include service on the executive council of the North Carolina Native American Youth Organization, working with a youth grant-writing education program called North Carolina Giving Indians Volunteer Experience (NCGIVE), and an internship with her tribe’s enrollment office. Amber enjoys beading and traveling the powwow trail as a fancy shawl dancer. 

Teddy McCullough

Program Coordinator
Teddy McCullough is a Policy Fellow for the Center for Native American Youth at The Aspen Institute. Teddy is from the Coyote Valley Band of Pomo Indians in Northern California and recently graduated from American University in Washington DC. 
Prior to coming to CNAY, Teddy worked at the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy where he assisted in the administration of the Drug-Free Communities Support Program to help fund community organizations interested in preventing drug and alcohol abuse among youth. Teddy is also a Board Member of the National Urban Indian Youth Alliance and continues to be involved in his community through his language revitalization efforts. 
While at CNAY, Teddy will focus on building youth engagement strategies and supporting the Native Youth Network, a partnership with the White House and Department of the Interior as a part of President Obama’s Generation Indigenous initiative.

Aaron Slater
Program Associate

Aaron Slater is Navajo and belongs to the kiiya'áánii, nayiizii diné'e, tsinajinii, and só diné'e clans. For his undergraduate degree Aaron attended Middlebury College where he studied Philosophy, Sociology, and Classics.

While at Middlebury Aaron received a grant to study new approaches to combatting sexual and domestic violence in Navajo communities. Over the course of three summers Aaron has interned at the Navajo Nation Washington Office where he worked on policy research and analysis. 

While in high school Aaron worked with his family to organize and lead an annual summer service learning trip to the Southwest. The core tenants of the trip emphasized creating lasting relationships with community partners while simultaneously building strong allies in the non - Native community. Educating Americans and American Indians on indigenous cultures and issues is a principle passion of Aaron’s. He believes that harnessing the power of indigenous youth to ensure their future well being is crucial to change dominant--often inaccurate and bleak--discourses surrounding American Indians.

Bettina Gonzalez
Newman's Own Foundation Fellow

Bettina Gonzalez is the Newman’s Own Foundation Fellow for the Center for Native American Youth at The Aspen Institute. Bettina graduated from Trinity College in Hartford, Connecticut, receiving a B.S. in Psychology and Film Studies. 

As an undergraduate, Bettina conducted research on youth engagement and its effects on school performance. Additionally, as a filmmaker, she has worked on documentaries exploring gender-based violence, police brutality against immigrants, and class issues in higher education. Her thesis film illuminated the experiences of low-income and first-generation students at elite colleges and universities in the Northeast. 

Her passion to serve and uplift underserved and disenfranchised communities in the United States and globally led her to the Center of Native American Youth. As a fellow, Bettina focused on developing the inaugural State of Native Youth Report and supports all aspects of the organization including research, advocacy, communications, and event coordination.

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