Indigenous Youth Council (IYC)

 The Indigenous Youth Council (IYC) was formed in February 2021 following two listening sessions that the New Mexico Indian Affairs Department (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 connections between the Nations, Tribes, and Pueblos in the state.

The IAD 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.

For more information, please contact iad.iyc@state.nm.us. 

Jeremy Begay

Jeremy Begay

Indigenous Youth Council Member

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

Triston B. Black

Indigenous Youth Council Member

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 an 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

Alysia Coriz

Indigenous Youth Council Member

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.

Shayna Naranjo

Shayna Naranjo

Indigenous Youth Council Member

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

Trinity Roybal

Indigenous Youth Council Member

Trinity Roybal (she/her) is from P’osuwaegeh 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.

Ian Teller

Ian Teller

Indigenous Youth Council Member

Ian Teller is from the Navajo Nation; he is of the Bitter Water Clan and born for the Towering House Clan. Ian attended Ft. Lewis College and recently graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Business Administration. Ian has been admitted to the University of Southern California Thornton’s School of Music, where he will pursue a Master of Science in music industry. Ian enjoys film and photography in his spare time and hosts a vlog on Youtube under the name Yazh.

Kaylee Wood

Kaylee Wood

Indigenous Youth Council Member

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.

Resources for Native Youth

The Indian Affairs Department has gathered the below resources from across the state to direct youth to various opportunities available. Below are information and tools to help Native youth prepare for higher education, joining the workforce, or learn about local and federal resources and programs. 

Department of Workforce Solutions (DWS)

The New Mexico Department of Workforce Solutions offers great resources for developing careers whether you are a first-time job seeker or looking to gain additional skills.  This main page includes links to job fairs, resources available to find jobs, work permits (16 and under), and job preparation. Some of their most helpful tools are for youth are:

CAREER EXPLORATION: What do you want to do? You’ve been asked that a lot, but do you have an answer? Take time to evaluate who you are and what you want so you can get started on a path that is right for you.

Here’s how it works

Assess personal interests, strengths, and values –

Knowing personal work interests and values will help individuals decide what kinds of jobs and careers they might want to explore.

  • Learn more about their field of interest –
    • How much does each role pay on average in New Mexico
    • How many jobs in that field are currently available in New Mexico
    • How many jobs in that field are projected to become available in New Mexico
    • What programs are available in New Mexico to start my career pathway
  • Compare occupation interests –
    • Compare occupations side by side, review information on wages, education, and job tasks

WHY I WORK TOOL: This is a financial tool that shows you how much money you need to make to afford the things you want and need. Use Why I Work to get an idea of how much you need to earn and explore occupations with wages that match what you need.

Here’s how it works:

  • Click through the screens to identify what you spend each month on different items
  • Your spending for each category will be totaled
  • Use Career Solutions to explore occupations that have annual wages similar to what you need

APPRENTICESHIPS: Apprenticeship programs combine paid on-the-job training with related classroom instruction. The Apprenticeship page allows students to explore “earn and learn” career pathways. Apprenticeships require that you be over the age of 17 to apply but do not require that you be enrolled in school before applying.  Examples of apprenticeships currently offered are Electrician, Developer, Ironworker, and many more.

  • List of current New Mexico apprenticeship programs – over 30 different career options to explore
  • Overview of each program
  • The average pay for each career IN NEW MEXICO
  • Requirements for each career
  • Direct contacts for each program

INTERNSHIPS:  important for students, employers, and experienced professionals in career pathway planning.  If you are a current student in high school or college you are able to apply your classroom knowledge to real-world experience and gain experience, build your resume, improve your skillset, get insight, expand your network, and explore future possibilities. Internships vary some are paid and some are not.

WORKSHOPS: Virtual workshops offer skills to help professional development workshops offered by the New Mexico Workforce Connection encompass the tools and resources to support and guide you.  Topics include:

  • Soft Skills
  • Resume Skills
  • Interview Skills
Higher Education Department (HED)

The New Mexico Higher Education Department (HED) has great resources for youth interested in obtaining an education after high school.  HED hosts a resources page specific for Native students through their Indian Education Division use this website to find:

Upcoming Opportunities