Center for Native American Youth Announces Remembering Our Sisters Fellows

May 3, 2021

Program aims to empower young Indigenous women and femme-identifying leaders and address the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women Girls and Two Spirit + (MMIWG2S+) epidemic

Contact: Jon Purves
Senior Media Relations Manager, The Aspen Institute

Nikki Pitre
Executive Director, CNAY

Washington, DC- The Center for Native American Youth(CNAY) at the Aspen Institute is proud to announce the inaugural cohort of the Remembering Our Sisters Fellowship. The cohort is comprised of six incredible young Indigenous women and femme-identifying leaders from across the country who are dedicated and inspired to raise awareness and address the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women Girls and Two Spirit + (MMIWG2S+) epidemic.

The six fellows are:

  • Lily Painter, Kiowa, Winnebego Tribe of Nebraska
  • Gracie Aragon, Haak’u (Pueblo of Acoma)
  • Cordelia Falls Down, Apsaalooke /United Keetowah Band
  • Maya Sanchez, Dine’/Mexika
  • Evynn Richardson, Haliwa-Saponi
  • Lauren Poterek, Ojibwe; Walpole Island First Nations

“We are honored to have these fellows join us to build a meaningful program as our inaugural cohort in Remembering our Sisters. The Center for Native American Youth will be hosting Remembering Our Sisters Week May 3-7, where we will virtually bring together fellows to learn from experts in the movement, grow in leadership, narrative sharing and be able to create meaningful projects through digital arts and storytelling as well as push for better policies on MMIWG2S+,” said CNAY Executive Director, Nikki Pitre. “Congratulations to Cordelia, Evynn, Gracie, Lily, Lauren, and Maya!”

The Remembering Our Sisters Fellowship is a storytelling and digital arts program by the Center for Native American Youth that aims to empower young Indigenous women and femme-identifying leaders (ages 18-24) to raise awareness, to honor sisters and families affected, and to push for better policies that will address the crisis.

Throughout the six-month fellowship, CNAY will work closely with the fellows to develop and enhance the necessary skills and knowledge needed to create a series of MMIWG2S+-focused digital art and storytelling projects. Fellows will participate in informational sessions to acquire a comprehensive understanding of the MMIWGS2+ epidemic and advocacy within the movement. Additionally, they will engage in trainings on topics including leadership, storytelling, narrative sharing, various digital art forms and more.

Fellows will be supported in their project development by Indigenous leaders in the MMIWG2S+ movement and digital arts, and media experts, who will support them on their journeys to increasing awareness and helping to address the crisis. Fellows will present their digital arts and storytelling project upon completion of the fellowship. Projects will be featured in a virtual gallery.

Editor’s Note: May 5, 2021 is designated National Day of Awareness for Missing and Murdered Native Women and Girls. To speak to a representative from CNAY about this ongoing epidemic of violence, please contact


The Center for Native American Youth believes all Native American youth should lead full and healthy lives, have equal access to opportunity, and draw strength from their culture and one another. As a policy program of the Aspen Institute founded by former US Senator Byron Dorgan (ret.), we work to improve the health, safety, and overall well-being of Native American youth. We do this through youth recognition, inspiration and leadership; research, advocacy, and policy change; serving as a national resource exchange; and by building a Native-youth driven narrative. For more information, visit

The Aspen Institute is a global nonprofit organization committed to realizing a free, just, and equitable society. Founded in 1949, the Institute drives change through dialogue, leadership, and action to help solve the most important challenges facing the United States and the world. Headquartered in Washington, DC, the Institute has a campus in Aspen, Colorado, and an international network of partners. For more information, visit

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