Native Youth Alliance was founded in 1990 as a religious organization and has been incorporated as a non-profit since 1993. We strive to ensure that traditional Native American cultural and spiritual ways continue for the coming generations. Since its founding, NYA has maintained ongoing programs which provide children and youth the opportunity to observe and participate in the ceremonies, gatherings and culture practiced by members of their families and Nations for generations.
Native Youth Alliance and its members share a common belief in the need for a balance between spiritual, physical, mental and emotional development; and the necessity of a healthy environmental, cultural, linguistic, governmental, and economic foundation.
Working in defense of our People and our lands has led us to ally ourselves with many grassroots Native communities and to work on a number of issues of concern to Indigenous Peoples; this includes all the stages of the nuclear cycle, as Native lands have been affected from mining to power stations to waste sites to nuclear bomb testing. We have worked in support of the Gwich'in Nation on ANWR, the Dine of Big Mountain, and in support of political prisoner Leonard Peltier. We have also worked on the passage of the Indian Religious Freedoms and Indian Child Welfare Acts. For 8 years begining in 1993 we held the Healing Global Wounds Pow Wow for all those affected by the nuclear cycle. Every November from 1999-2002, NYA put up tipis and held 30-day vigils on the grounds of the Washington Monument for Native American Heritage Month; in November of 1999 we held the first Native American Church service ever held on the National Mall. In October 1996 we worked with the EPA to host a youth conference where Native Youth from communities experiencing difficulties came and had the opportunity to be heard on these issues.