California Native Youth Collective

A cross-sector movement & platform to connect, engage, and provide opportunities for Native youth.

The California Native Youth Collective (CNYC) is a network of Native youth leaders from across the state of California ready to hone their leadership skills, amplify their voice, and advocate for their communities at the local, state, and national level. The Center for Native American Youth (CNAY) will select Native youth throughout the state to engage in CNAY’s leadership training, develop interventions to improve outcomes in their communities, and have a seat at the table for policy conversations at the state and national level.

The CNYC is an initiative under the Generation Indigenous Network (Gen-I) which was established by the Obama White House to improve the lives of Native youth by prompting a national dialogue, and policies and programs to mobilize and cultivate the next generation of Native leaders. All applicants, regardless of acceptance, will be named Gen-I Ambassadors and will receive opportunities to engage with CNAY and the Gen-I Network.


We are looking for young leaders who have demonstrated commitment to bettering their communities. This can be done through a school or a program, on their reservation, or urban community. Ambassadors aspire to grow in skills to support their work, connect with other youth leaders, and receive resources through CNAY to amplify their platforms. We invite nominations and self-nominations of individuals who meet the following criteria:

Applications Now Open

If you, or someone you know, are interested in being a part of the 2023-2024 California Native Youth Collective, apply today!



Ambassadors will be required to attend four training sessions (virtual & in-person) and an in person convening held in Sacramento, CA in January. Ambassadors will have various opportunities to attend state and national convenings based on availability, participation in trainings, and advocacy areas of interest. Any cost of travel will be covered and a participation stipend will be provided.

For questions about the Collective or to become a partner please contact Katy Stewart at