The inaugural class of fellows will gain knowledge and support to raise awareness of the impacts of foster care
Contact: Nikki Pitre
Executive Director, CNAY
Washington, DC, August 11, 2021 — The Center for Native American Youth (CNAY) at the Aspen Institute in partnership with the Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA) Law Center, Casey Family Programs, and NMCAN are proud to announce the launch of the Building Indigenous Communities of Hope Fellowship. This fellowship is designed for Native American youth (ages 18-24) who have lived experience in the foster care system.
“We are grateful to work alongside NMCAN and the ICWA Law Center to provide such meaningful programming to Native American youth,” states executive director Nikki Pitre of the Center for Native American Youth, “the Building Indigenous Communities of Hope Fellowship will support our mission to improve the health, safety and overall well-being of Native American youth.”
Building Indigenous Communities of Hope Fellows will raise awareness and advocate 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 platform, speaking opportunities, and engagements to enhance their advocacy skills.
“Young people impacted by foster care are the requisite leaders that will guide us on how to re-envision the systems to better support youth and families, and we believe this fellowship will give them the tools and resources to support this change in our communities,” states director of policy and advocacy Arika Sanchez of NMCAN.
The fellows will engage in customized, Indigenous and culturally centered programming to support the transformation of the foster care system and experience. In recognition of the importance of ICWA, fellows will expand leadership skills and integrate resiliency as a means of transformation.
Building Indigenous Communities of Hope Fellowship applications are available here. Applications will remain open until August 30, 2021.
CNAY acknowledges that this fellowship program is made possible with support from Casey Family Programs.
About the Center for Native American Youth
The Center for Native American Youth is a national education and advocacy organization working to improve the health, safety, and overall well-being of Native American youth ages 24 and under. Founded by former US Senator Byron Dorgan, Center for Native American Youth is a policy program within the Aspen Institute, headquartered in Washington, DC. While a part of the Aspen Institute, Center for Native American Youth is also overseen by a Board of Advisors. We strive to bring greater national attention to the issues facing Native American youth while fostering community-driven solutions, with special emphasis on youth suicide prevention.
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.
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.