CNAY Announces the 2022-2023 Youth Advisory Board Executive Committee

January 27, 2023

The Center for Native American Youth (CNAY) is proud to announce and introduce the 3 leaders who will guide the CNAY Youth Advisory Board (YAB) this year. This advisory board consists of Native youth leaders, from across the nation, dedicated to the center’s mission of improving the health, safety and overall well-being of the Native American youth population. 

“Our Youth Advisory Board guides our work at CNAY. These youth leaders from throughout Indian Country continue to influence and inspire us,” shared Executive Director Nikki Santos. “Congratulations to our new Chair, Kaliko Kalāhiki, Vice Chair, Charitie Ropati, and Secretary, Jazmine Wildcat.” 

Allison Binney, Chair of CNAY’s Board of Advisors, also extends her congratulations to the new executive committee sharing that, “Kaliko, Charitie, and Jazmine will be a strong voice and asset to our board and our program(s) at CNAY.”

The three elected officers have varying roles within the organization. The Chair is responsible for managing and providing leadership to the YAB, and acts as a liaison between the YAB, CNAY staff, and CNAY Board of Advisors. The vice Chair serves as direct support to the Chair and is responsible for sending YAB meeting agendas to CNAY staff and attending quarterly CNAY Board of Advisors meetings. The secretary is responsible for documenting meetings and correspondence of the YAB. One of the most important roles of each position is how they plan on building community within the organization. 

CNAY congratulates all candidates and looks forward to a meaningful year with the newly elected executive committee. Read more about each below:

Kalikoonāmaukūpuna (Kaliko) Kalāhiki, Kanaka Maoli, Chair. 

Kaliko is a queer and māhū Kanaka Maoli student, community builder, artist, creative, aloha ʻāina, and mahiʻai raised in Kāneʻohe, Oʻahu. They are also a 2021-2022 Champion for Change. They are currently a junior at Brown University studying Critical Native American and Indigenous Studies. Their work focuses on building sustainable, supportive, loving, and caring communities for peoples from marginalized identities. After college, they hope to return to their home island Oʻahu where they will continue learning about and practicing traditional loʻi kalo farming partially as a means of healing intergenerational trauma and interpersonal conflict. They believe that turning towards Indigenous Knowledge Systems and Lifeways, coupled with recognizing and upholding the sovereignty of Native communities, is essential to actualizing environmental justice and combating climate change. 

Charitie Ropati, Yup’ik & Samoan, Vice Chair.

Chairitie is a 21 year old education and environmental activist who worked to implement an accurate and inclusive sub-curriculum of Indigenous peoples in Western pedagogy in Alaska. She is a researcher who studies the intersections of plant ecology, permafrost, and cultural resilience in coastal Native communities at Columbia University in the Griffin Lab and is an Indigenous woman in STEM. She also works on the Co-Production of knowledge and is a member of the Earth Network at the Columbia Climate School.

Jazmine Wildcat, Northern Arapaho, Secretary

Jazmine is a sophomore at the University of Wyoming, dual majoring in Psychology and Native American & Indigenous Studies. She was a 2020 CNAY Champion for Change, a UNITY 25 under 25 honoree & Earth Ambassador, a Generation Indigenous Ambassador, and currently works with entities such as Teen Vogue, MTV, Twitter, and Pinterest. In her free time, she coaches Special Olympics and participates as a partner when needed. She is an advocate for gun control, inclusion, equal rights, the environment, voting rights, MMIP and the destigmatization of mental illness.

For more information about the Youth Advisory Board and its members, you can find it HERE.