On Thursday, July 9, 2015, the White House hosted the first-ever White House Tribal Youth Gathering in Washington, DC, to provide American Indian and Alaska Native youth from across the country the opportunity to interact directly with senior Administration officials and the White House Council on Native American Affairs.

The Tribal Youth Gathering, a collaboration between the White House and UNITY Inc., will continue to build upon the President’s Generation Indigenous (Gen-I) initiative and his commitment to improve the lives of Native youth across the country. President Obama launched the Gen-I initiative at the 2014 White House Tribal Nations Conference to focus on improving the lives of Native youth through new investments and increased engagement. This initiative takes a comprehensive, culturally appropriate approach to ensure all young Native people can reach their full potential.

NCIA Sovereign Native Youth Leadership Academy (SNYL) coordinator Rebekka Schlichting and SNYL counselor and former NCIA intern Alexander Mallory were selected to participate in this historic gathering. Both participants submitted their applications based on their work and dedication to Native youth leadership.