Second Annual Brave Heart Fellowship Empowers Native Youth Fighting Climate Change

February 8, 2024

Contact: Harper Estey 

Second Annual Brave Heart Fellowship Empowers Native Youth Fighting Climate Change

Washington, D.C.: Native youth leaders in the Pacific Northwest and Alaska have a new partner in the ongoing battle to slow and mitigate the impacts of climate change.The Center for Native American Youth at the Aspen Institute (CNAY) is thrilled to announce the second annual cohort of the Brave Heart Fellowship (BHF), a program that strengthens and supports young Native leaders in their advocacy across their communities to protect traditional lands, waterways, and sacred sites. 

Through a culturally immersive curriculum and led by Indigenous values, BHF utilizes intergenerational learning spaces with elders and community members who have been on the front lines of climate change.

This regional fellowship supports projects led by Native youth leaders. In addition to various training opportunities and curriculum, each Fellow receives a micro grant from CNAY to execute a community action project. These projects are designed by fellows to address a need in their specific community. Fellows also join a growing network of passionate leaders and organizations working to address climate justice.

The 2024 Cohort of the Brave Heart Fellowship includes: 

  • Miro Hampson-Medina, Winnebago Tribe of Nebraska and White Earth Band of Chippewa
  • Letha Soto-Hauth, Klamath and Couer d’Alene
  • Olivia Chase, Hoopa Valley Tribe and Tnsungwe Descendant 
  • Sophia Turning Robe, Spokane Tribe, Paquachin First Nation, and Siksika Nation 
  • Tava Kairaiuak, Dena’ina, Yup’ik, and Aleut 
  • Tia Butler, Confederated Tribes of Siletz Indians 
  • Letkwu Moore Stanger, Colville Confederated Tribes 
  • Mazie Countryman, Northern Arapaho, Eastern Shoshone, Navajo, and Shoshone Bannock
  • Mackenzie Englishoe, Gwichyaa Zhee
  • Oteskwebeeksaki Shebala, Blackfeet and Navajo

The Brave Heart Fellowship is for self-identified Native American and Indigenous youth, ages 18-24 years old, living in the states of Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Alaska, and Northern California.

The Brave Heart program directly supports community members and like-minded organizations addressing environmental disruption. The program is continuously developing a national network of climate activists and climate-driven organizations. As Indigenous people protect 80 percent of the Earth’s biodiversity, CNAY believes that Native youth solutions should be at the forefront of the discourse surrounding environmental education and social change. 


About CNAY: 

The Center for Native American Youth (CNAY) at the Aspen Institute is a national organization that works alongside Native youth – ages 24 and under – on reservations, in rural villages and urban spaces across the country to improve their health, safety, and overall well- being. Rooted in culture, our vision is for all Native American youth to lead full and healthy lives, be honored for the leaders they are, and have the resources and agency to create the world Native youth are worthy of and deserve.