Native American Contractors Association Sponsors Center for Native American Youth Champions for Change; Sends Young Leaders to White House Town Hall

WASHINGTON, JULY 24, 2014 – On Monday, July 20, 2014, President Obama announced new commitments to the My Brother’s Keeper initiative and invited four young men from the Center for Native American Youth’s (CNAY) Champions for Change program.

With support from the Native American Contractors Association (NACA) these four young men traveled from their tribal communities to attend the event and talk about the priorities they see for young men in tribal communities across the country.

“It is an honor and a privilege to support these young people, leading their communities,” said NACA Executive Director Kevin Allis. “We are investing in the future leaders of Indian Country and could not be happier to be a part of this experience that each of them will remember for a lifetime.”

The My Brother’s Keeper event featured remarks from the President and dialogue with youth in the audience. CNAY, a policy program at the Aspen Institute created in 2011 by former US Senator and longtime champion of American Indian issues Byron Dorgan, was allowed to select four youth leaders to attend. These youth — who make up our country’s most at-risk population — shared Native American priorities; ensuring Native youth perspectives were included in the discussion with President Obama.

Announced earlier this year, My Brother’s Keeper is a White House effort aimed at addressing persistent gaps in opportunity facing young men of color and ensuring that all young people can reach their full potential.

“I want to tell the president that having this opportunity to be in the White House with him is a dream come true,” remarked Keith Martinez, a youth from the Oglala Sioux Nation.”[It] shows other young men on my reservation that they too can do so through education.”