Tribal Youth Resource Center Youth Ambassadors are active in their tribal communities and committed to enhancing the lived experiences of themselves and their peers. They represent the future generations. This group of young Indigenous leaders are scholars, activists, athletes, tribal royalty, and culture keepers. Their unique wisdom adds both depth and breadth to the work of the TYRC. Ambassadors program embodies the mission of the TYRC : “Enhancing the opportunities for Indigenous communities to expand their potential in protecting and nurturing their most sacred asset – their youth.”
Hó čík’ala (Little Voice), Oglala Lakota
I attend Red Cloud Highschool on the Pineridge Reservation. Alongside being a Youth Ambassador, I am an intern for the Vice President Alicia Mousseau of the Oglala Sioux Tribe. In my spare time, I am a music enthusiast and an activist. I hope to attend Brown University and become an attorney. My biggest goal in life is to help revitalize the Lakota language and support my community in any way that I can.
Isabella N. Fridia
Hanhe Wi Iyoyanpa Win (Bright Shining Moon Woman)
Wichita, Kiowa, Caddo, Hunka Oglala Lakota
Isabella Fridia is a Senior at Norman North High School in Oklahoma. She is the eldest daughter of Maj. Brandon and Tasha Fridia. In addition to her ambassadorship with the TYRC, Isabella also serves as a Vice Presidential Intern for the Oglala Sioux Tribe, We R Native Youth Ambassador, and Center for Native Youth Ambassador. Ms. Fridia is the reigning Wichita and Affiliated Tribes Princess who balances the powwow trail with competing as a level 10 Jr. Olympic Gymnast. Isabella is grounded in Indigenous culture and spirituality and is dedicated to preserving and promoting her culture and language. She dreams of attending college to study Physical Therapy to promote wellness within tribal communities by incorporating both traditional and Western medicine. In her free time Isabella loves watching The Office and shopping.
Kiowa, M.O.W.A. Choctaw, and Ponca
My full name is Tdohasan Chastang Tikdahikiya Sunray. I am Kiowa, M.O.W.A. Choctaw, and Ponca. My first name means “Little Mountain” or “Little Bluff.” I also have a second native name that is in Choctaw. It is Tikdahikiya, which means “He who stands for his people.” My middle name, Chastang, derives from a chestnut tree. It is one of the main last names in the M.O.W.A. Choctaw tribe. Finally, my last name Sunray is a Scottish last name that really traces back to meaning “son of Ray.”
As for what I do, I play point guard on my school’s basketball team, I run track and field, play guitar, sing, lift weights, gourd dance, hike, kayak, journal, and I am a part of my school’s academic team. I was lucky enough to be admitted to the Oklahoma Summer Arts Institute for the Creative Writing discipline over this summer as well.
O’odham and Dine
My O’odham name is Ju:kiMad (translates to rain baby but that is the word we use for Ladybug), my English name is Kaitlin Martinez. I am a proud O’odham and Dine woman from Sacaton Arizona on the Gila River Indian Community. I come from a long line of ranchers and cowboys who have shaped me into the person I am today. With strong mentors with knowledge of my culture and language, I work to continue speaking and learning my language.
I am 25 years old and a Tribal Governance major at Salish Kootenai College. My passions include being of service to my community elders and children. I recently got involved with language 3 years ago. Now I can see firsthand what it takes to teach the next generation of young speakers, with the help of my amazing mentors. When I started doing this work,I had the opportunity to reflect on my experience as a child. I didn’t have too many people I could refer to when it came to speaking or even learning my language. I want to change that; I knew who my target audience would be–the eager youth in my community. That is exactly what we have done, even in the middle of a pandemic were able to reach so many young people and make lifelong impacts on their life using our similar interests, learning and preserving our language. What an honor it is to be in this kind of work, I always knew I wanted to be involved in my community, but in a different light. I wanted to use my passion to drive something different. With the help of my mentors and boss I hope to create software programs that are native language inclusive. With our goals and aspirations, we can dream big, with our drive to better our communities we will succeed
Kennedy G. Fridia
Unpan Wayang Hipi Win (Came to See Female Elk Woman)
Wichita, Kiowa, Caddo, Hunka Oglala Lakota
Kennedy Grace Fridia is a basketball-loving Sophomore at Southmoore High School in Moore, OK. She plays varsity basketball as well as for her traveling team Trae Young Elite. When she is not on the court, you can find Kennedy at a powwow or in ceremony. Ms. Fridia is the current Moore JOM Princess who uses her platform to share her culture and promote issues facing tribal youth. Kennedy is dedicated to social justice and uplifting tribal communities. Kennedy has offered her voice both locally and nationally in this effort. She serves as a Vice Presidential Intern for the Oglala Sioux Tribe. In the future, Kennedy hopes to attend an Ivy League school, utilizing her education to benefit her community. Kennedy’s hobbies include cooking, TikTok, and reading.
Since the age of twelve, Rory has been an active community organizer, volunteer, advisor, and leader throughout the Seneca Nation, which had included roles in their Executive, Legislative, and Judicial branches as well as serving as their government/external affairs fellow & youth ambassador.
He currently serves as the Vice President and Northeast Representative for United National Indian Tribal Youth, Inc., and has served as the Youth Commission President for the National Congress of American Indians. He also serves on the Board of Directors for the Association on American Indian Affairs, Community Advisory Board for the Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center, and was a Health Policy Fellow with the National Indian Health Board.
He received his Bachelor of Arts, cum laude, from Niagara University in Political Science and has been an active member since 2010 of the Cattaraugus Indian Reservation Volunteer Fire Department.
Kenaitze Indian and Siberian Yupik Eskimo
Sam is Siberian Yupik Eskimo and Kenaitze Indian from Kenai, Alaska. He is an avid subsistence hunter and fisherman concerned with the impacts climate change has on rural Alaskan communities. He currently serves as an Arctic Youth Ambassador, Center for Native American Youth Advisory Board Member, Vice Chair for the Arctic Youth Network, and previously sat on Alaska Governor Bill Walker’s Climate Action Leadership Team. He is a steering team member and youth lead for our National Tribal Climate Change Summit. Sam is the recipient of the 2020 Alaska Federation of Natives Roger Lang Youth Leadership President’s Award. He is studying Political Science at Stanford University.