photos by Mel Ponder and Chantel Baker

Young Native Women's Leadership Academy


Join Us Online!

After initially cancelling our 2020 Youth Academy due to Covid-19, we’ve decided to take our convening online this year so we don’t miss out on the chance to come together and spend time in community.

Native Action Network is pleased to announce that the 10th Annual Young Native Women’s Leadership Academy will be held virtually June 25-26, 2020! During our two day event, young Native women will gather safely via video conferencing for special youth focused sessions as part of our Native Women's Leadership Forum and Enduring Spirit Honoring Luncheon.


This year Youth Academy participation is free and open to students of all ages, alumni, or any others interested in youth topics - simply use the ticket option marked Youth Academy or use code 100off on the registration page to get free access to all conference sessions. All registrations come with swag bags, beading kits, and gifts!

Get Continuing Education Units

We're partnering with Northwest Indian College to provide CEU tracking (Continuing Education Unit) for attendance at our virtual conference sessions! CEU credits are available for High School & college students ages 16 and older, Teachers, Counselors, Nurses, and others attending an event and needing to permanently track their attendance for professional development. There is no cost to process or fill out a CEU for tribally enrolled participants. CEU certificates are also no cost to the participant and are issued electronically via email attachment. 

Fill out the form linked below to claim your credits. Contact the CEU Coordinator Starla Jefferson if you have questions - (360) 392-4343,

About the Academy


The Youth Academy prepares the next generation of women Native leaders by combining cultural values with modern tools and services. Young Native women who are seniors in high school through their final year in college are invited to attend. The Academy includes two days of challenging and invigorating leadership training. Young women attendees push their minds and spirits to new limits through debate and discussion with their peers under the guidance and instruction of honored elders and national experts in their fields. Young women leave transformed, empowered, and prepared to make a positive difference in their communities.


In 2010, the inaugural youth academy class was represented by 26 young Native women from 19 different tribal communities. Through three days of training, they actively participated in eleven workshops that were designed to strengthen their understanding of money, popular media, personal development, goal setting, leadership, tribal sovereignty, Indian law, networking, and self-expression. Every year since, the Youth Academy has honed its curriculum and expanded its reach.


  • Define participant’s goals for the Native community

  • Uncover issues affecting our Native communities and discuss ways to address them​

  • Further participant's professional development

  • Enhance participant’s skills while developing new ones

  • Continue to expand an established network of Native women leaders of all ages


By joining forces with respected community and national experts, Native Action Network’s Young Native Women’s Leadership Academy hopes to prepare the next generation of women Native leaders. 

Native women have, and always will hold a strong, proud, and respected role in traditional Native communities. Native women are bearers of a sacred spirit and hold responsibility as nurturers, teachers, leaders, and warriors for their people and community. As modern society provides distractions and disconnects many young Native women from traditional values, it becomes imperative to declare and celebrate their true power. In doing so, these young women must also be prepared with the tools they need to claim their sacred and inherent role as leaders in our communities as they define their future.


Today, over 65% of the Native population is under 25 years old. In this rising generation, Native women are preparing to take lead of Native communities, cultures, and current issues. As a community, we must unite together behind our youth as they prepare to lead Native people to new heights and accomplishments. Every day, important decisions are being made by our tribal councils, local business leaders, or community elders. These decisions affect us all, and young Native women have the power to be a part of the decision making process and have their voices heard.  |  206-451-7298  |  815 1st AVE #113, Seattle, Washington, 98104

© 2020