Pride Month Q&A with CNAY's Erik Stegman

CNAY Staff sat down with Executive Director Erik Stegman to chat about his work with LGBTQ+ youth and his experience as a Native and LGBTQ+ professional. Erik is Carry the Kettle First Nation (Nakoda) and serves as the Executive Director at the Center for Native American Youth. 


CNAY's Nikki Pitre Gives Keynote at Children & Nature Conference

In May, CNAY Staff Nikki Pitre provided a keynote at the Annual Children & Nature Conference. This year, the conference was hosted in Oakland, California. This conference is a gathering for children and nature activists from around the world. The conference featured keynotes and interactive workshops focused on best practices for increasing equitable access to nature for children, families and communities. The conference offered several tracks including outdoor sessions. 


CNAY Staff Nikki Pitre Attends In Solidarity Conference

In May, CNAY Staff Nikki Pitre was invited to facilitate a deep-dive session as well as provide a closing keynote at the In Solidarity We Rise Conference in Atlanta, GA. In Solidarity is hosted by the National Crittenton, an organization who catalyzes social and systems change for girls and young women impacted by chronic adversity, violence and injustice. In Solidarity is a national convening of young leaders, advocates, social service professionals, community-based organizations and policy makers. The gathering includes a variety of opportunities to learn, engage and connect. The conference offers deep-dive learning sessions, interactive sessions, trainings, an exhibit hall and a self-care room.The focus of the conference includes: healing, opportunity and justice.

Nikki was joined by Kendra Becenti (Navajo), Mykel Johnston (Nez Perce), and Representative Ruth Buffalo (Mandan Hidatsa & Arikara). In the deep-dive, Nikki spoke of the work of CNAY and the importance of creating safe spaces for young women and girls. Kendra discussed the intergenerational trauma and mis-representation of indigenous women in the media. Mykel provided a presentation on her Fresh Tracks Community Action Plan, which was a walk to honor Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women. The event hosted on her college campus, Washington State University, raised awareness and brought together other college groups and clubs for cross-cultural awareness and healing space. The event was called “Taken, Not Forgotten”. Representative Buffalo discussed legislation she has worked on in North Dakota, as well as what it was like to serve as a searcher for Savannah LaFontaine-Greywind.

The four provided closing remarks on a panel to bring awareness of the missing and murdered indigenous women and girl’s crisis. The panel shared data provided by Urban Indian Health Institute’s report as well as legislation including Savannah’s Act and the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2019.The women shared their experiences, and most importantly, the resiliency of indigenous women. The panel closed with a call to action: to take care of one another and to speak words of kindness and love to one another.

CNAY thanks National Crittenton for their partnership and including this important topic in their conference.



CNAY Leadership Attends MBK Rising in Oakland

February 18-20, Oakland, California — This week, Center for Native American Youth (CNAY) Executive Director, Erik Stegman, and Associate Director, Nikki Pitre, joined My Brother’s Keeper Rising! (MBK Rising!) in Oakland, California. They were joined by several youth leaders and partner organizations to represent Native young men and boys.