Building Communities of Hope  

Creating transformation through resilience and culture  

The Building Indigenous Communities of Hope (Building Communities of Hope) is a Fellowship that is designed for Native American youth passionate about transforming the foster care system. This six-month long fellowship is through the Center for Native American Youth at the Aspen Institute, in partnership with Casey Family ProgramsNMCAN, and the Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA) Law Center.

About the Program

The Building Indigenous Communities of Hope fellows will raise awareness and advocate on the impacts of foster care in tribal communities. Modeled after CNAY’s Champions for Change program, fellows will receive a series of intensive trainings, a national platform, speaking opportunities, and engagements to enhance their advocacy skills. The fellows will engage in customized, Indigenous, and culturally centered programming to support their enhance their leadership efforts. In recognition of the importance of the Indian Child Welfare Act, fellows will expand leadership skills and integrate resiliency as a means of transformation. This collaborative initiative will equip fellows to advocate for changes in state, national, and tribal policies, and practices.

Eligibility Requirements

Youth must:

Questions? Check out the FAQ or email Senior Program Associate, Tahnee Poafpybitty at

Want to learn more? 

If you would like to learn about this program, email our team at

Learn about our partners

About ICWA Law Center    

The Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA) Law Center works with the Indian community to preserve and reunite Indian families by providing culturally appropriate legal services, governed by the Indian Child Welfare Act of 1978, to children, parents, extended family members, and tribes; and to serve as a community development resource for Indian Child Welfare Act education, advocacy, and public policy. 

About NMCAN 

NMCAN partners with young people to build community, promote equity, and lead change. We authentically engage young people impacted by foster care, juvenile justice system, and/or homelessness to advocate for systems change that improves their transition to adulthood and positively transforms our community.