CHAMPIONS FOR CHANGE

Recognizing Native youth who inspire one another to make a positive impact in their communities

The 2019 Champions for Change, Autumn, Shandiin, Charitie, Madison, and Adam, serve as representatives of the next generations of leaders… READ MORE

Navajo Nation
AGE: 21
HOMETOWN: Monument Valley, UT

Shandiin recognizes the power of using her voice in spaces where Native people are absent. Her role as a Diné… READ MORE

MOHAWK NATION OF AKWESASNE
AGE: 23
HOMETOWN: Hogansburg, NY

Madison is an advocate for higher education, raised awareness of Indigenous issues between the United States and Canada, Kanienkeha language… READ MORE

Native Village of Kongignak
AGE: 17
HOMETOWN: Anchorage, AK

Charitie currently serves as student representative on the Native Advisory Committee within the Anchorage School District (ASD) and has been… READ MORE

Confederated Tribes and Bands of the Yakama Nation
AGE: 22
HOMETOWN: Ellensburg, WA

Autumn advocates for the children affected by the implementation and lack of implementation of the Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA).… READ MORE

The Mohegan Tribe
AGE: 20
HOMETOWN: Lebanon, CT

Adam sees the most important challenge his community faces to be a disconnect from their culture. He helped create a… READ MORE

Native Hawaiian
AGE: 25
HOMETOWN: Ewa Beach, HI

Carin Young is the first Native Hawaiian to be named a CNAY Champion for Change. Carin is dedicated to raising… READ MORE

Northern Arapaho Tribe
AGE: 19
HOMETOWN: Riverton, WY

Christie’s community is located in a border town where racial tensions run high. To combat negative misperceptions of Native people… READ MORE

St. Regis Mohawk Tribe
AGE: 22
HOMETOWN: Hogansburg, NY

As a first year college student, Brayden founded Helping Hands, a peer education and mentoring program focused on drug, alcohol… READ MORE

Yup'ik, Tlingit, Dena'ina
AGE: 18
HOMETOWN: Anchorage, AK

Tatiana is a student at the University of Alaska-Anchorage, majoring in electrical engineering. Over the years, she has served as… READ MORE

Pawnee Nation of Oklahoma
AGE: 21
HOMETOWN: Minneapolis, MN

While a student at Pomona College, Rory founded and directed the Claremont College IndigeNATION Scholars program. IndigeNATION pairs Claremont mentors… READ MORE

Collectively, Damien, Isabel, Shawna, EllaMae, and Anthony are working to connect Native youth with the healing power of tribal lands,… READ MORE

Navajo Nation
AGE: 19
HOMETOWN: Bethesda, MD

For the past four years, Sam has led the Navajo Nation Service Learning Trip, an effort his family plans and… READ MORE

Nooksack Indian Tribe
AGE: 18
HOMETOWN: Bellingham, WA

Hamilton advances culture and promotes healthy lifestyles through traditional sports. After losing his father to suicide, he became an avid… READ MORE

Kenaitze/St. Lawrence Island Siberian Yupik
AGE: 18
HOMETOWN: Seattle,WA

Sam is an Alaska Native youth who spends part of his year as one of only two Native students in… READ MORE

Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa Indians
AGE: 23
HOMETOWN: Petoskey, MI

After participating in and learning about youth-led efforts at a National Congress of American Indians conference, Sarah was inspired to… READ MORE

Oneida Tribe of Wisconsin
AGE: 19
HOMETOWN: De Pere, WI

At an early age, Lauren became a reading buddy for younger children at her local bookstore and noticed the lack… READ MORE

Oglala Lakota Sioux
AGE: 23
HOMETOWN: Pine Ridge, SD

As a college student, Keith Martinez chaired the Youth Advisory Board of Lakota Children’s Enrichment, Inc. (LCE), an organization dedicated… READ MORE

Lummi Nation
AGE: 20
HOMETOWN: Ferndale, WA

As a senior in high school, William was part of the Lummi Nation’s Teens Against Tobacco Use (T.A.T.U.) group. The… READ MORE

Tohono O’odham Nation
AGE: 19
HOMETOWN: Sells, AZ

Damien harnesses the healing effects of ancestral lands to help Native youth battle feelings of isolation and depression. In connecting… READ MORE

Confederated Salish & Kootenai Tribes
AGE: 23
HOMETOWN: Arlee, MT

When he was just 11 years old, Vance’s aunt introduced him to a Salish language camp that would inspire him… READ MORE

Navajo Nation
AGE: 17
HOMETOWN: Coyote Canyon, NM

After losing a friend to suicide, Faith started #codepurple, a social media based suicide prevention campaign, to connect peers going… READ MORE

Lower Sioux Indian Community
AGE: 23
HOMETOWN: Morton, MN

Vanessa believes that language can be used to heal from historical trauma and has dedicated her life to learning and… READ MORE

Blackfeet Nation
AGE: 23
HOMETOWN: Kalispell, MT

A graduate of Columbia University, Mariah is passionate about food sovereignty and health and wellness. Mariah created Indigikitchen, a web-video cooking… READ MORE

Muscogee Creek Nation
AGE: 21
HOMETOWN: Okmulgee, OK

After witnessing the effect of incarceration on Native communities in her home state, Isabel helped create the American Indian Criminal… READ MORE

Jicarilla Apache Nation & Pueblo of Santa Ana
AGE: 27
HOMETOWN: Denver, CO

Joaquin supports U.S. policy actions to strengthen Indian Nations. He was originally named a Champion for Change in recognition of… READ MORE

Passamaquoddy Tribe
AGE: 16
HOMETOWN: Pleasant Point Perry, ME

CJ’s goal is unity, strength, and healthy partnerships for all. After overcoming the effects of middle-school bullying, CJ poured his… READ MORE

Standing Rock Sioux Tribe
AGE: 26
HOMETOWN: Bismarck, ND

Danielle is a hardworking, positive role model for Native American youth. In college, she drove three hours twice a week… READ MORE

Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma
AGE: 18
HOMETOWN: Fort Gibson, OK

Cierra Fields is a two time melanoma survivor. Her work with the Cherokee Nation Comprehensive Cancer Control Program to promote… READ MORE

Stockbridge Munsee Band of Mohican Indians
AGE: 20
HOMETOWN: Bowler, WI

Jazmyn founded the Warrior Circle Project as a safe space for youth to support one another through challenges such as… READ MORE

Muscogee (Creek) Nation
AGE: 22
HOMETOWN: Okemah, OK

Nancy is a college senior who started her own initiative focused on cultural preservation called the Youth Enrichment Camp (YEC).… READ MORE

Kickapoo Tribe of Oklahoma
AGE: 18
HOMETOWN: Shawnee, OK

Shawna grew up in foster care and is working to counter stereotypes of Native American foster youth. By striving to… READ MORE

Wuskwi Sipihk First Nations Cree and Sicangu Lakota
AGE: 18
HOMETOWN: Chicago, IL

Anthony Tamez challenges misconceptions about urban Native youth. As co-president of Chi-Nations Youth Council in Chicago, Anthony leads Native youth… READ MORE

Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma
AGE: 21
HOMETOWN: Claremore, OK

Elizabeth Burns is a student at Rogers State University studying Spanish, English and Political Science. She is passionate about promoting… READ MORE

Wilton Miwok
AGE: 18
HOMETOWN: Jackson, CA

Dahkota is a student at Stanford University who understands the importance of education and the need for encouragement from peers,… READ MORE

Southern Ute Indian Tribe / Southern Cheyenne/Caddo Nation
AGE: 18
HOMETOWN: Durango, CO

As a high school student, Noah secured funding from the Billy Mills Dreamstarter program to launch Tribal Adaptive Organization, which… READ MORE

Confederated Tribes and Bands of the Yakama Nation
AGE: 17
HOMETOWN: Pendleton, OR

EllaMae advocates for language revitalization among Native youth in Oregon. She’s learning all three Native languages spoken in her tribal… READ MORE

CJ, Faith, Mariah, Nancy, and Sam come from diverse tribal communities throughout the United States with unique stories that led… READ MORE

Brayden, Christie, Noah, Sam and Vanessa are all working within and beyond their tribal communities to educate and support their… READ MORE

These five inspiring Native leaders are working diligently to create positive change within their tribal and urban Indian communities. The… READ MORE

The 2014 CFCs are five young Native American leaders who are creating positive change for their peers and tribal or… READ MORE

As the very first class of CNAY Champions for Change, Sarah, Cierra, Vance, Joaquin, and Dahkota have inspired other Native youth… READ MORE