New Mexico Indian Affairs Department Announces Indigenous Youth Council
April 5, 2021
SANTA FE – The New Mexico Indian Affairs Department (IAD) on Friday announced the establishment of the inaugural Indigenous Youth Council. The council was formed in February 2021 following two listening sessions that IAD held with tribal youth from across the state. Issues discussed ranged from the desire to have access to higher education resources to behavioral and mental health needs for tribal communities. Participants also voiced the desire to have more intertribal connection between the Nations, Tribes, and Pueblos in the state.
The NM Indian Affairs Department selected members representing the 23 Nations, Tribes, and Pueblos to engage with the department and help steer the work related to the issues raised at the listening sessions. IAD provides this space to come together to share mutual experiences, collaborate on shared initiatives, and build community.
“Our department is proud to stand up this Indigenous Youth Council,” said Secretary Lynn Trujillo. “We look forward to hearing and learning from the next generation of tribal leadership.”
The members appointed are:
Jeremy Begay is a member of the Mescalero Apache Tribe. Jeremy is 21 years old and currently attends New Mexico State University, majoring in pre-nursing. He also works a full-time job at the Inn of the Mountain God Resort and Casino. Jeremy is a member of the Mescalero Nde Youth Council that is associated with the Mescalero Prevention Program. The Nde Youth Council helps the Mescalero Apache youth by offering workshops providing motivational youth activities and educating youth in the community. The focus is to help the youth get involved and to find a better way to cope with mental and physical health rather than to go a different route, which may lead to drug addiction, alcohol, and suicide.
Triston B. Black is a member of the Navajo Nation. His clan relations are Kinyaa’áanii nishłí, Tó’dích’íi’nii bashishchiin, Bit’ahnii dashicheii, dóó Tł’ízí’łání dashinálí. Tséhílí̜í̜dé̜é̜’ naashá. Triston works as a Student Intern at the Navajo Sovereignty Institute and is enrolled in the Navajo Cultural Arts Program. He is an emerging Navajo artisan with an emphasis in Navajo Moccasin-Making and Navajo Silversmithing. Triston graduated in 2019 and 2020 with an Associate of Arts and Bachelor of Arts, both in Diné Studies. The knowledge he acquired while attending Diné College influenced his educational journey in relearning the Diné way-of-life teachings and disciplines. He is also a M.A. graduate student at Arizona State University, majoring in Indigenous Education. Aside from school, Triston was appointed by the 3 Branch Chiefs of the Navajo Nation to serve on the Navajo Nation Youth Advisory Council, as an At-Large representative. He feels in order to remain grounded in Navajo society, someone must relearn the ancestral knowledge. Triston never stops learning and is always eager to learn from others. It is his hope to learn and teach the sacred knowledge to future generations with the guidance of the Holy People.
Alysia Coriz (she/they) comes from Kewa Pueblo (formerly known as Santo Domingo Pueblo) and currently serves as the Co-Chair of the All Pueblo Council of Governors Youth Committee. She is also the Female Co-President for the Kewa TRUTH Youth Council and former Co-President of the UNM Kiva Club. Alysia is a 2020 recipient of UNITY's 25 under 25 Award and an Uplift Climate Fellow. She is passionate about creating empowerment through community building, revitalizing, and maintaining Indigenous languages and cultures, and making positive social change in Native communities beginning with young people. When she is not busy organizing, Alysia can be found creating traditional arts and crafts, whether it is making Pueblo jewelry with her family in their multi-generational business or teaching her younger sister how to embroider and sew traditional and contemporary clothing. Alysia holds a Bachelor’s degree in Native American Studies, with a concentration in Indigenous Learning Communities, and a minor in Business Management from the University of New Mexico. She hopes to continue her education further with a master’s and a doctorate degree, to continue supporting students in their educational journey.
Reniah Manygoats is from the Navajo Nation. She is 18 years old. Reniah is Naakaii Dine’e (Wandering People Clan) born for Dzil Nat’ oh Dine’e Taachii’ii (Mountain Smoke-red running into water Clan). Her maternal grandfathers are the Ta’neeszahnii (Tangle Clan) and her paternal grandfathers are the Hooghan lani (Many Hogans/Many Homes). Reniah is from Newcomb but resides in Shiprock. She is currently a junior in high school and doing online classes. Reniah enjoys working with her livestock and doing ranch work. She also enjoys being around her family, especially her grandparents. In her free time, she likes playing sports that include volleyball, basketball, and roping. Her screen time is watching bull riding, time events, and ball games. This is Reniah’s second term with the Navajo Nation Advisory Council, and she represents the Northern Navajo Nation.
Shayna Naranjo (she/her) is from the Pueblo of Santa Clara and a senior at Stanford University. She is pursuing a degree in Comparative Studies in Race and Ethnicity with a focus in Politics, Public Policy, and Equity and a minor in Social and Cultural Anthropology. She currently serves as a Co-Chair for the All Pueblo Council of Governors Youth Committee which aims to engage and integrate youth voices and perspectives in advocacy work concerning the 20 Pueblos in New Mexico and Texas. Shayna is also a former IAD intern, working at the Department during the summer before her junior year where she co-produced a podcast that covered a variety of issues such as New Mexico’s Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women Task Force, food sovereignty, and broadband access. Shayna is looking forward to carrying conversations relating to Indigenous youth and mental health into spaces with youth representation from all 23 Pueblos, Nations, and Tribes in New Mexico.
Trinity Roybal (she/her) is from P’osuwageh Owingeh (Pojoaque Pueblo/Water Drinking Place Village). She is 17 years old and a junior at Santa Fe Waldorf High School. Trinity currently resides in Santa Fe with her parents and three dogs. She enjoys drawing, reading, and spending time with her family. Trinity is interested in finding ways to get Native youth engaged on issues such as Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women, language revitalization, and learning to grow traditional foods. She looks forward to being a part of the council and working with the other members to help connect Native people and assist in bringing much needed resources to Tribal communities.
Kaylee Wood a member of the Jicarilla Apache Nation, located in north central New Mexico. Kaylee’s parents are Romaine and Alison Wood. She is currently attending the College of Nursing at the University of New Mexico and resides in Albuquerque, NM. Kaylee is a member of the UNM Student Nurses Association, which involves nursing students giving back to our communities and meeting other nursing students. As former Miss Jicarilla Apache 2018-2019, she had the privilege to be an ambassador for her tribe, which gave her the opportunity to meet a lot of great people and participate in several amazing events. Kaylee is excited to be a part of the New Mexico Indian Affairs Department’s inaugural Indigenous Youth Council and looks forward to working with all the amazing people that are a part of this council.