In 2018, the Center for Native American Youth launched its first ever Creative Native call for art, an art contest that supports Indigenous artists ages 5-24 years old by providing them an opportunity to receive national recognition, funding for art supplies, and a $200 prize.

5-9 Years Old: Lozen, 9 years old, Cheyenne, Blackfoot, Yaqui, and Chichemeca, Sacramento, California

My piece is about mother earth and how we need to help her and remember that we’re all special in our own ways and It’s going to take all of us to make a better world for the future generations to come.


10-14 Years Old: Hapan, 10 years old, Crow Creek Sioux Tribe/Dine Nation, Ft. Duchesne, Utah

To be Generation Indigenous means to be born strong. You are born worthy. Indigenous is small, compared to the feeling and the connections that come with being born Indigenous. We are a sacred part of the sacred hoop my family talks about. We are protectors, we are providers, we are our culture and our language. We are courageous. We are resilient. My drawing represents all life and life, no matter the form, is sacred and has a purpose. I hope you like it!

15-19 Years Old: Louisa, 15 years old, Muscogee Creek, Okemah, Oklahoma

My art piece is called Hesaketv Encehvlletv (Struggle to breath/survive). The late Wilbur Chebon Gouge once made a speech called “The Struggle to Survive” and it is about the strength of the Muscogee (Creek) woman. Today, being a young Creek woman, I believe in being strong and understanding where we come from is what Generation Indigenous is. Our women are leaders, mothers, sisters, artists, soldiers, and keepers of traditions. My submission is a traditional ribbon dress that I sewed and painted. The red and yellow represent the fire and strength of our women. Being proud of your culture is survival!

20-24 Years Old: Darby Raymond-Overstreet, 24 years old, Diné/Navajo Nation, Santa Fe, New Mexico

This piece is a portrait of my brother who, to me, embodies the hope and strength that Generation Indigenous represents. I created his portrait with 3 patterns, embodying different characteristics of Gen-I. The leftmost is a vibrant and energetic saddle blanket design representing the initiative and persistent energy that Gen-I must uplift its communities. The middle is a traditional banded design, representing the respect, and thoughtfulness that Gen-I possesses by being grounded in their elders’ teachings. The rightmost design is a storm-pattern design representing the leadership and dedication that Gen-I will continue to provide to their communities.

In addition to having her work featured on the cover of CNAY’s annual report, Darby flew to Washington, DC to join CNAY for their report release event in November 2018.