Native Youth #OptOutside

The Gen-I #OptOutside Call to Action is part of The Center for Native American Youth’s partnership with REI to continue to build platforms for Native youth leaders to advocate for the protection of lands, sacred sites, and waterways. This collaboration highlights how stewardship of the outdoors is central to the value systems and cultures of indigenous communities across the country. As part of this collaboration, we asked Native youth leaders in the Gen-I network to join REI on the Friday after Thanksgiving to #OptOutside and share with us what nature and the outdoors means to them. Below are some highlights of the 2018 campaign.

Paul Wilson, The Klamath Tribes, 21 years old, Grand Prize Winner 


Gen-I #OptOutside Call to Action

This month, the Center for Native American Youth in partnership with REI is starting our #OptOutside Call to Action. Meant to help showcase how Native youth interact, use, and view nature and the outdoors, we are asking for your help. Show us how you #OptOutside! With a short video or picture tell us why is nature is important to you, and why it’s important to your culture. We hope this serves as an outlet to be creative and have some fun in the name of Gen-I!  


Gen-I Movement Builder Fellow Jarrette Werk Takes Over Gen-I Twitter for #WeAreStillHere Tweet Chat

Recently published public opinion research in the report Reclaiming Native Truth found that Native people are not only absent from K-12 education, mainstream news and pop culture, but that this lack of visibility—more than any other factor—directly undermines public support for Native rights. The report also found that 78% of Americans are ready for a new and more accurate narrative about the first peoples of this land.

On Thursday, October 25 from 1-2pm EST, Native organizations, advocates, and allies partnered to co-host a Twitter chat using the hashtag #WeAreStillHere to call for this much needed narrative change. Participating co-hosting organizations included American Indian College Fund, Center for Native American Youth, Everyday Feminism, IllumiNative,, Indian Country Today, National Indian Child Welfare Association, National Indigenous Women’s Resource Center, Native American Journalists Association, Native American Rights Fund, Native Appropriations, Native News Online, Native Organizers Alliance, NDN Collective, Not Your Mascot, Oneida Nation of New York, A Tribe Called Geek, The Women’s March, and Women’s Media Center.

Gen-I Movement Builder Fellow Jarrette Werk (Aaniih Nakoda) did a Twitter take-over of the Gen-I account to offer his youth perspective on the topic. As a young aspiring journalist, Jarrette is passionate about reclaiming and promoting indigenous narratives in the media. He offered great advice to organizations, particularly in the field of journalism, about including more indigenous writers and photographers in the newsroom. Additionally, Jarrette highlighted some incredible Native filmmakers, artists, and innovators working to make sure indigenous narratives and experiences are being represented.

To take part in the conversation, check out #WeAreStillHere on Twitter or visit the #WeAreStillHere Twitter Moment.