Native Youth Leadership Alliance

ATNI Youth Forum Portland

Portland ATNI Youth Forum: Cultural Based Leadership Training

When: Sunday May 21  9:30am – 4:30pm

Where: NAYA Family Center 5135 NE Columbia Boulevard Portland, OR 97218

Who: All middle school-high school age Native youth


In partnership with Affiliated Tribes of Northwest Indians (ATNI) Youth Committee, Native American Youth and Family Center (NAYA), Native Rehabilitation Association of the Northwest Inc. (NARA), Social Justice Fund Northwest, and Potlatch Fund: Native Student Success.


Workshop Descriptions*

*Detailed agenda coming soon


Demarginalization of Youth

Mariana Harvey & Jesse Short Bull

This session asks youth to use their info machines/phones to look up terms such as adultism, ageism, marginalize and from here we have a dialogue on what these terms mean to them and how they impact their lives


Youth Determined Space

Youth Participants

Sometime during the forum we poll youth participants on what they’d like to do at the end of the day. This one practice NYLA uses to de marginalize youth, by giving them their own right to choose how they’d like to spend time together, acknowledging all the planning of this forum that was done without their input.



Josephine Buck

We begin, end and break up each workshop with icebreakers to keep folks engaged and stimulated, to build trust, get to know each other, have fun, and balance ‘thinking’ time with some movement and light heartedness.


Leadership values

Tiffany Bahnimptewa

What are values leaders need to live by? What are your values? What are values you want to see in your own leadership? In this space, youth participants will co-create their values to lead/live by.


Spirit in Motion: Self Reflection Wheel

Tiffany Bahnimptewa

Where does our energy go? In this exercise, participants self reflect and map out where their energy/time is being spent, and if there are changes they’d like to see, participants will receive coaching in where they’d like their energy to go.


Our Food is Our Medicine: Cedar Box Teaching Toolkit

Mariana Harvey & Katie Swan

Participants will learn more about NW Native foods and medicines, will make tea/food/medicine, discuss treaty rights, wellness, and hear traditional stories about our foods.


Indigenous Public Speaking

Jesse Short Bull

As Indigenous people we have our own unique ways and teachings around public speaking. Participants will learn about various communication styles and practice their own public speaking; strengthening the power of youth voice.


Public Service & Activism: Frontlines are Everywhere

Anna Takes the Shield & Kaden Walksnice

Leadership is a  diverse path, whether you’re an elected official, on the frontlines of movements, or learning about your culture, it all has value and importance. In this workshop participants will learn from Anna Takes the Shield (Oglala Lakota), Oglala Lakota County District 2 Commissioner.  and her path to becoming an elected leader and the importance of Native people having a ‘seat at the table.’ This space will be interactive and engaging, NYLA will share stories of inspirations, hardships and work collaboratively with participants in hopes to support them to create steps forward on their own leadership pathway.


Native Arts

Josephine Buck

Native art goes back in our history as a people it is fluid in our culture through our baskets, canoes, songs, dances, oral history/storytelling, etc. Our ancient arts are still currently used to send and carry messages to give our people a voice.  In this workshop learn about about what different pathways of Native artists, how art can be a healing space, and there will be an open space to share your own art: dance, song, stories, drawing, painting, weaving, poetry.


Celebrate Life

Michelle Sherman
Michelle will share her coming out story and the organization she has founded. Also Participants will explore the empowerment through identity to create greater inclusion for individuals who challenge the norms of gender; it will create space for all individuals and have an understanding of identity. So we can Celebrate Life together.


NYLA Facilitator Bios


Josephine Buck

Josephine is a Full-time student at Yakima Valley Community College in Yakima, Washington. Josephine is fully committed to the health and wellness of Native Youth. She practices “camouflage learning” which uses fun activities to teach various lessons. Josephine is also a Youth Pastor for “Mending Wings” Native Youth Ministry on the Yakama reservation and is also a song/dance coach for the Yakama Swan Dancers. Since 2004 she has offered Teambuilding workshops for both Native youth and adults who work with Native youth-such as Yakama reservation childcare directors, Head Start teachers and summer camp staff. Josephine has also facilitated youth workshops for the Annual BAAD Tournament in Pendleton, OR for Drug and Alcohol prevention and Social Skills Training for Job Corps students. Other workshops include “Leaders of Tomorrow” with United National Indian Tribal Youth (UNITY) and Goal setting workshops for the Northwest Indian Youth Conference (NWIYC). With two children of her own, Josephine knows the honor and respect of time invested in our children. Visit for more information on the Mending Wings Native Youth Programs. Josephine is an alumna of the NYLA fellowship.


Mariana Harvey

Mariana, is an enrolled member of the Yakama Nation and was born and raised in Seattle, WA. She graduated in 2008 from Fort Lewis College with a BA in American Indian Studies. Mariana brings a wealth of experience to her leadership role with NYLA, including previous work with several Native non-profits, student organizations, the Yakama Nation, work with regional food sovereignty movements and with Native youth.

Mariana serves the Affiliated Tribes of Northwest Indians (ATNI) Youth Committee dedicated to increase the leadership capacity in tribal youth across ATNI member tribes. She is a contributing affiliate to the Northwest Native Plants and Foods Collective which aims to catalyze the indigenous foods and medicines revolution by raising awareness, mobilizing communities and supporting culture. Mariana enjoys gathering foods & medicines, making earrings, singing and is also passionate about creating spaces for all members of our community to thrive and belong.  Mariana is an alumna of the NYLA fellowship.


Jesse Short Bull

Jesse, is a tribal college graduate from Oglala Lakota College hailing from the Badlands of South Dakota. While a student he discovered a passion for filmmaking and writing. This passion was born out of love for his tribe and has taken him across the country from Los Angeles to New York. He has co-written and co-produced his first short film which has taken top honors at several film festivals and will be showcased at 2015 imagineNATIVE film festival in Toronto, Canada. Jesse is a part of the 2016 Development Fellowship through Sundance Institute Native Program. He is also passionate about helping young people accomplish goals and thrive in their communities and beyond. He co-founded The Native Youth Leadership Alliance alongside a network of amazing young tribal leaders from different tribal nations.  Jesse serves NYLA as Communications Manager.


Michelle Sherman

Michelle Sue Sherman is Dine’-Navajo born for the Ta’baaha’ (Water Edge people) and To’a’heedlinii (the Two Water that Flows together people) from Upper Fruitland, NM on the Navajo Reservation. Michelle is the founder and Coordinator for the community organization Celebrate LIFE. Celebrate LIFE is celebrating individuality among the Native Youth, educating the community about Two-Spirit/LGBTQA (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Questioning, and Allies) and creating a positive ripple effect across Tribal communities. I am a part of Native Youth Leadership Alliance (NYLA) and intergenerational collective of Tribal college students and allies supporting education and leadership for Native Youth, and a part of the National organization Brown Boi Project (BBP) from Oakland, CA, an ally committed to transforming our privilege of masculinity, gender, and race into tools for achieving Racial and Gender Justice.  I also serve  on the Board for Peer Advocate LGBTQ at San Juan College to help support and create safe zones at schools. I am currently a student at San Juan College Farmington, NM working on a Human Services Degree, and pursuing BA in Social Work.


Anna Diaz-Takes the Shield

Anna Diaz-Takes the Shield is a member of the Oglala Sioux Tribe, in South Dakota. Anna is a dedicated mother of three children, and senior at Oglala Lakota College, pursuing her Bachelors in Social Work. After her graduation, Anna plans to pursue a Masters in Lakota Leadership and Management with an emphasis on Human Services.

Anna’s love for her community lead her to organizations such as the Youth Opportunity Movement, Young People For, Native Youth Leadership Alliance, and Native Nations Rebuilders. In addition to that she has served as Miss Oglala Lakota Nation, on the Oglala Lakota College Board of Directors, and is currently serving on her second term as Oglala County Commissioner. Anna is also a vice president of a nonprofit called Ehanni Wicohan that encourages families to bring cultural awareness and restoration to the Oglala Lakota Nation.


Katie Swan

Katie Swan was born and raised in White Swan, Washington on the Yakama Reservation.  She is enrolled in the Confederated Tribes and Bands of the Yakama Nation and has Chippewa-Cree lineage.  Currently she resides in Ellensburg, Washington with her three daughters.  She received her Bachelors of Science in Recreation and Tourism from Central Washington University (CWU) in 2006.  She also completed coursework for Masters of Science in Resource Management (Natural and Cultural Resources) from CWU also.  She has provided contract support in a Climate Change study with USGS, helped with an exhibit at  the Wildhorse Windfarm.  Memorable trips include CWU Cross-cultural Leadership Exchange trip to El Salvador, Central America and the Disney Leadership Institute in Lake Buena Vista, Florida.  Presently, Katie is employed in Land Restoration.  She enjoys making moccasins, traveling, and gathering natural foods and medicines per family teachings.  Katie and her family pride themselves on reducing their carbon footprint, keeping generations yet unborn in mind.    


Tiffany Bahnimptewa

Tiffany, Hopi, is a member of the Water Clan from the Village of Hotevilla. After graduating from Hopi High School in 2006, Tiffany stayed within her community to serve as a Cultural Ambassador for the Hopi Tribe as Miss Hopi 2006-2007.  She was able to continue her love of volunteer work for the community through her reign and other community activities.  She began as a Volunteer for The Hopi Foundation and was later hired as a Program Assistant and Data Entry Clerk for the Hopi Foundation. Tiffany is a past volunteer of the Natwani Coalition, a founding member of the Hopi Food Co-Op, trained trainer with Adventures for Hopi, and was a past Hopi Girl Scouts Troop Leader. She has also participated in other local, national and international programs that have supplied her with various leadership experience and tools, including the Hopi Leadership Program, Up with People, Young People For, and the Native Youth Leadership Alliance in 2011. Her passion for community work and wellness has stemmed from her cultural identity, roots, and values.


Kaden Walksnice

Kaden, Northern Cheyenne Lame Deer MT.

I grew up on the reservation raised by my grandparents in a traditional manner until their passing then I had to raise myself while continuing to attend ceremonies and high school. I belong to the crazydog military society of the Cheyenne people, the law enforcers of traditional Cheyenne laws. I’m a wildland, structural firefighter and Tribal Historic Preservation Officer for the traditional government. Currently I’m the Coordinator for the Northern Cheyenne Youth Commission of the NC-Tribe. My focus is on integrating a next generation view on traditional leadership and laws.


Steven Pahe

Steven, member of the San Carlos Apache Tribe located in eastern Arizona. I’m a co-founder of the Native Youth Leadership Alliance (NYLA). Currently, I’m working on my American Indian Studies degree.

Recently, spoke on at NYU, FLorida State and at the National Education building along with other NYLA co-founders about our work. My main goal is starting a basketball club for the youth of my tribe. I want to use sports to help combat the reservation issues that the youth face on my reservation.