New Mexico Indian Affairs Department Announces 2022 Indigenous Youth Council

SANTA FE, NM – The New Mexico Indian Affairs Department (IAD) has announced the 2022 Indigenous Youth Council (IYC). The IYC was established in February 2021 following two listening sessions that IAD held with Indigenous youth from across the state. The topics covered varied from the need for access to higher education resources to behavioral and mental health issues. Participants also expressed a desire for stronger intertribal collaboration among the state’s nations, tribes, and Pueblos.

The IAD selected members representing the 23 nations, tribes, Pueblos, and urban areas to engage with the department and help steer the work of the council. The IAD provides the space for Indigenous youth to come together to share mutual experiences, collaborate on shared initiatives, and build community. Since 2021, the IYC has hosted two Youth Wellness Summits focused on holistic well-being.

“The Lujan Grisham administration remains committed to supporting and elevating the voices of Indigenous youth,” said Lynn Trujillo, IAD Cabinet Secretary. “The IAD is excited to hear and learn from the next cohort of young leaders. I look forward to working with each of them this coming year.”

2022 Indigenous Youth Council Members

Returning Council Members:

  • Alysia Coriz, Kewa Pueblo
  • Ian Teller, Navajo Nation
  • Jeremy Begay, Mescalero Apache Tribe
  • Shayna Naranjo, Santa Clara Pueblo
  • Trinity Roybal, Pojoaque Pueblo

New Council Members:

  • Ameerah Suina Thomas, Laguna Pueblo
  • Andrea Toledo, Jemez Pueblo
  • Chenoa Scippio, Navajo Nation
  • Cheyenne Gallegos-Harjo, Santa Ana Pueblo
  • Joel Biakaiddy, Navajo Nation
  • Joseph Harker, Zuni Pueblo
  • Kaiya Brown, Navajo Nation
  • Kaleia Vicenti, Zuni Pueblo
  • Kari Vallo, Acoma Pueblo
  • Kiera Toya, Jemez Pueblo
  • K’wani Cortés, Acoma Pueblo
  • Kylea Garcia, Kewa Pueblo
  • Levi Shije, Zia Pueblo
  • Mathis Quintana, Jicarilla Apache Tribe
  • Taneya Garcia, Santa Ana and Acoma Pueblo
  • Taylor Lucero, Laguna Pueblo

The council provides a space for young Indigenous people to share their perspectives, thoughts and ideas. Throughout their term, council members meet regularly with IAD staff to provide feedback on strategy, initiatives, and projects.