NCAI Youth Commissioners Elected at NCAI Convention
Atlanta, Georgia—Ten NCAI Youth Commissioners took their oath of office at the recent annual National Congress of American Indians Convention in Atlanta, Georgia. Elected as Co-Presidents include Tyler Owens, Gila River Indian Community, and Jared Massey, White Mountain Apache and Navajo. Elected as Co-Vice Presidents include Cassondra Church, Pokagon Band of Potawatomi and Brian Weeden, Mashpee Mashpee Wampanoag. Other officers include Treasurer David Colbert, Muscogee (Creek) Nation, and Secretary Brian Barlow, Cherokee Nation. Elected to Member-At-Large positions include Mary Guenther, Aleut, Michaela Custodio, Ho-Chunk Nation, Skyler Daisy, Pokagon Band of Potawatomi, and Collin Church, Pokagon Band of Potawatomi.
Established in 1997, the NCAI Youth Commission has been a space for tribal youth to come together and discuss solutions to the unique challenges they face within their communities. The youth commission has served as a space for Indian Country’s young people to stand together, empowered, to inform Indian country’s greater decisions regarding the future. Youth Commission members have often informed NCAI’s general membership on various issues, informing key advocacy decisions. The youth commissioners also provide leadership development opportunities and provides a forum for national native youth networking.
We, the National Congress of American Indian Youth, unite to serve our peoples concerns and interests by enhancing the spiritual, mental, physical and emotional well-being of tribal youth for a better Native America.
The National Congress of American Indians (NCAI) Youth Commission is designed specifically for college and high school students ages 16-23 with an interest in political science, tribal government and Native American legislative and governmental affairs.
The Youth Commission provides a unique perspective on issues relevant to tribal youth. It is to be a resource to NCAI and Tribal Leaders. It is an opportunity to acquire knowledge from NCAI and Tribal Leaders about the organizational processes of NCAI and structure of Tribal Politics. The Commission also serves to enhance leadership skills and cultivate those we may have obtained prior. Most importantly the NCAI Youth Commission is a mechanism for achieving a unified voice for ALL Native American and Alaskan Native youth.