Center for Native American Youth Fellow Ivy Pete Advocates for Indigenous Rights at United Nations Global Indigenous Youth Forum

New York City, NY (April 25, 2024) — This week, Center for Native American Youth (CNAY) Youth Advisory Board member and 2022 Champion for Change Fellow Ivy Pete (Pyramid Lake Paiute and Blackfeet) participated in the Biennial UN Global Indigenous Youth Forum (UNGIYF) at the United Nations in New York City.

Driven by a passion for change, Ivy is an advocate for food sovereignty, equitable education, and champions civic engagement for Native youth. She holds a special interest in food sovereignty, spending her time away from school learning about traditional food ways and traditional ecological knowledge. Ivy currently studies Ethnicity, Race, and Migration at Yale University.

At the forum’s event, “Calls to Action for Safeguarding Seven Generations in Times of Food, Social, and Ecological Crises,” Ivy emphasized the vital importance of Indigenous knowledge, food sovereignty, and self-determination over land and resources for Indigenous communities.

“I am 20 years old and feel a great sense of responsibility to share the immense knowledge that we as Indigenous youth hold for those yet to be born, protected for us by our ancestors seven generations ago,” Ivey said. “We as Indigenous people know that our ways of being and existing in relation to each other and to the land as kin are sustainable and ecologically sound and that we have the right to define our own food sovereignty and radically imagine what food justice looks like.”

This first in-person UNGIYF since its 2021 inauguration was hosted by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) at its headquarters in Rome last October. Indigenous Youth leaders of the Global Indigenous Youth Caucus reported on the outcomes and calls to action deliberated at the Forum, which gathered 186 Indigenous Youth from 54 countries and over 100 Indigenous Peoples.

“As an Indigenous youth, my vision for the future is one of peace and self-determination,” Ivy stated. “To heed the recommendations of global Indigenous youth is to ensure a Mother Earth whose water and soil is healthy.”

The Biennial UNGIYF is the only high-level UN forum dedicated to Indigenous Youth. Hosted by the FAO since its inception, it provides a unique space for dialogue where Indigenous Youth from all seven socio-cultural regions can meet, raise their voices, and share concerns and proposals with member states, UN agencies, academia, research centers and other stakeholders.