Gen-I Survey Winner Kyle Durrant Shares His Story with CNAY

Kyle Durrant is from the Yakama Nation and is 24 years old. Kyle first learned about the 2017 Gen-I Survey through a text message from We R Native. He participated in the Gen-Survey to share his experiences as a young Native person living and studying health in New York City.

Kyle is a graduate student obtaining his Master’s degree in nursing from Columbia University, and is pursuing a career as a family nurse practitioner. He noticed there was no mention or representation of Native healthcare in his curriculum. As one of two Native students in his program, Kyle took initiative to become a student advocate in his cohort and started to work with his health policy professor to create a new lecture on tribal healthcare. Kyle has made it his mission as a healthcare provider to bring awareness to Native issues among his patients and colleagues.

In Washington, his home state, Kyle worked at the Urban Indian Health Institute, which is the only tribal epidemiology center (TEC) dedicated to urban Native populations. From this work, he realized that urban Indian communities often lack access to critical resources like those provided by the Indian Health Service (IHS). He also felt a community and cultural disconnect among Natives living in urban areas. Kyle noted that the American Indian Community House, which helped address issues like these in the NYC Native community by providing social services and healthcare to Natives new to the area, recently lost its IHS funding despite being a much-needed resource for urban Natives. Kyle’s experiences on both sides of the country have shown him how Native people – and especially Native youth – often experience an array of unmet need.

By participating in this year’s Gen-I Survey, Kyle provided vital information about his tribal community, including an important perspective on his experience as an urban Native. This information helps the Center of Native American Youth further develop support systems for Native youth throughout the United States. As one of our randomly-selected Gen-I Survey prize winners, Kyle received a Native Sons Tee from Beyond Buckskin as thanks for this participation. Congratulations, Kyle!

This post contributed by Newman’s Own Foundation Fellow Del Curfman.