JUNEAU, AK (March 1, 2020) – The Central Council of the Tlingit and Haida Indian Tribes of Alaska (Tlingit & Haida) congratulates Emerging Leader Simon Friday who was recently elected as the Co-President of the National Congress of American Indians – Youth Commission (NCAI-YC).
In addition to other duties as Co-President, Friday will serve as the official spokesperson and representative of the NCAI-YC and provide reports to the NCAI Executive Board.
"I am encouraged when I see youth in our community take on leadership roles like Simon has," President Richard Chaylee Éesh Peterson said. "Having the younger generation take action is beneficial to the entire native community. Simon has a great vision for the future and I have no doubt he will achieve great things."
The NCAI Youth Commission was established in 1997 to create a space for tribal youth to come together and discuss solutions to the unique challenges they face within their communities. Their mission is to have a unified voice to serve their people’s concerns and interests by enhancing the spiritual, mental, physical and emotional well-being of tribal youth.
Friday is pursuing a Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology through the University of Alaska Fairbanks. He plans to receive his Master of Science degree and eventually a Doctorate in Psychology to open up his own practice.
"At some point, I want to be part of the change, whether it's now or down the road," Friday said. "I hope one day I can make a difference in the climate change crisis for the sake of future generations. I am passionate about making a change in the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women issue and domestic violence. Right now, it is important to address issues in our Alaska Native communities head-on and pave the way for our future leaders."
Friday was raised in Kake, Alaska and attributes his motivation to his parents ─ Wayne Friday and Michelle Galushzka. His Tlingit name is Kawoot and he is of the Raven moiety and L'uknax’.ádi (Raven Coho) clan. Outside of his positions, he loves to play basketball and go hunting with his brothers Isaac and Xavier Friday.