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Local American Indian Chosen for National ‘Champions’ Program

By Beacon Staff

HELENA — Five Native American youths are being honored in a spinoff of a White House program called “Champions For Change.”

The Aspen Institute’s Center for Native American Youth said in a statement Thursday the program is meant to promote hope and leadership opportunities.

The participants are 14-year-old Cierra Fields of the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma; 19-year-old Vance Home Gun of the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes in Montana; 22-year-old Joaquin Gellegos of the Jicarilla Apache Nation and Pueblo of Santa Ana in Colorado; 18-year-old Sarah Schilling of the Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa Indians in Michigan; and 15-year-old Dahkota Brown of the Wilton Miwok of California.

They head to Washington for a May 4 reception for the National Congress of American Indians’ conference. They also will participate in a discussion in the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs Hearing Room.

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