Champions for Change

Champions for Change

The Center for Native American Youth created the Champions for Change program as an effort to shine a spotlight on inspirational stories and promote hope in Indian Country. CNAY is aimed at bringing greater national attention to the issues facing Native youth through communication, policy development and advocacy. In our visits to tribal and urban Indian communities, our team listens to and learns from young Native Americans about youth priorities, challenges and successes. We continue to hear from and about inspirational Native youth who are taking the lead in tackling community challenges and inspiring whole communities. The CFC program is a way to recognize and encourage these youth-led efforts!


Each year, CNAY invites Native youth to apply to the CFC program. Champions can include individuals who initiate programs, events, or other efforts to improve the lives of fellow Native youth and Indian Country. We want young people to join us in our work to elevate Native youth voices while providing many leadership opportunities through the CFC program.  

The Champions for Change application process is now closed. Stay tuned for the announcement of our 2015 Champions for Change this Spring! 

Champions for Change (CFC), inspired by a 2011 White House initiative, recognizes and encourages inspirational Native youth (ages 14 to 22) working in their tribal or urban Indian communities to promote hope and make a positive impact. In 2013, CNAY recognized its first class of Champions - Dahkota Brown, Cierra Fields, Joaquin Gallegos, Vance Home Gun, and Sarah Schilling - all of whom continue to work closely with CNAY today. 

Senator Dorgan (CNAY Founder & Chairman), the CNAY Board of Advisors, and team welcome our 2015 class of Champions for Change, and invite you to learn more about these remarkable young leaders by visiting the 2015 Champions page.

Click here to access a four-page description of the CFC program, which includes information about each of the 2013, 2014, and 2015 Champions. Feel free to share this document with people in your community!

 Champions for Change Toolkit

Interested in creating your own Champions for Change initiative in your community? The 2013 CFCs developed a Champions for Change Toolkit to encourage local tribal and urban Indian communities to recognize and celebrate Native American youth leaders across the nation. Check out the CFC Toolkit to get started today!

Submission Categories

Health (including youth suicide prevention; bereavement, grief, and healing practices/promotion; and substance and alcohol abuse prevention)

Sports, Nutrition or Wellness

Education, Mentorship or Afterschool Programs

 Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention

Building Healthy Relationships (teen dating, elders and family)

Cultural Preservation and Native Languages

Anti-Bullying and Personal Empowerment

Self-Expression through Arts and Crafts

Emerging Leadership in Government Service

Economic and Community Development

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