25 Under 25 – UNITY, Inc.

2016 Class of UNITY 25 Under 25 Honorees Share Their Experiences

The 25 Under 25 UNITY Honorees participated throughout the year in various leadership roles at UNITY events. They served as Peer Leaders, photographers, videographers in UNITY’s Today’s Native Leaders training sessions, workshop presenters, group leaders and co-host/emcees at the UNITY National and Mid-Year conferences. One of the honorees was recently named a 2017 Champion for Change through the Center for Native American Youth, and two others were among the recipients of a Dreamstarter grant through the Running Strong For American Indian Youth organization. Read More

NIEA Youth Report

The following report was prepared by TaNeel Real Bird, ‘Chi-wa-ga-la-jish,’ One Who Always Prays, who is a member of the White Clay and Nakoda Tribes of the Fort Belknap Indian Reservation.

taneel-real-birdAs Native youth, we hold so much value for Indian Country and the United States as a whole. We belong in professional spaces like NIEA because we are directly impacted by the choices NIEA makes. We are in a powerful time as Native people tell our stories in a strong & impactful way and teach our children that education is a right, and not a privilege. We tell them with the belief that we can achieve more as a community and an understanding of the sacredness of our children. My role as the NIEA Student Board Member has very much embodied this belief. I have worked to build right relationships with Native youth organizations, such as the Center for Native American Youth, and to build these beliefs into actions and real outcomes. This year’s annual convention was the first time NIEA has heard the Native youth voice on stage, speaking to the very real educational issues that impact our generation and expressing our ideas to the educators & policy makers who have the ability to directly implement those solutions. I look forward to strengthening these relationships and building a platform for all Native youth, both within NIEA and at the national level.

Meet the New 25 UNDER 25 Class Members

Meet the new 25 UNDER 25 class members who were honored at the 2016 National UNITY Conference in Oklahoma City in July.

birk-albertBirk Albert, 17, Athabascan, Lake Placid, NY: Henry “Birk” Albert is a member of the Koyukon Athabascan Nation from the village of Ruby, Alaska. He currently resides in Lake Placid, New York where he will be entering his senior year in high school this fall. Over this past year he has broadened his experiences and reconnected to Native communities because of UNITY and CNAY. Birk was among those selected to attend the White House Tribal Youth Gathering and the Tribal Nations Conference in Washington, DC last July. He was selected as a UNITY Earth Ambassador and has been able to share his viewpoint as an Indigenous youth raised in a subsistence bush lifestyle through speeches and slideshows. He has worked tirelessly to increase awareness about climate change and Alaska’s future through his school Environmental Club and the Adirondack Youth Climate Summit. Birk was instrumental in connecting New York and Alaska youth to work towards realizing youth driven climate summits where participants can share, take action and work collectively to address climate change. Birk likes to play Varsity soccer, study history and use social media to promote opportunities and progressive ideas among Native youth – GenIzine.blogspot.com.

caitlin-bordeauxCaitlin Bordeaux, 24, Rosebud Sioux, St. Francis, SD: Caitlin Bordeaux graduated from Black Hills State University with a major in Graphic Design and Communication and is a certified teacher in the state of South Dakota. After graduating college, she interned in Washington, DC through the Washington Internships for Native Students (WINS) Program. During her time in DC, she realized that her true passion was to work with youth in her community. Caitlin started teaching computer science/multimedia classes at St. Francis Indian School in 2015. She is an avid supporter of the arts, Computer Science for All, and Generation Indigenous. In the near future, Caitlin plans to pursue her master’s in education at Harvard University. She is grateful for this opportunity to work with inspiring Natives and to gain leadership skills to help better her community! Read More


Honorees to be recognized at the 2016 National UNITY Conference in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

The United National Indian Tribal Youth, Inc. (better known as UNITY) has announced the second class of its “25 Under 25 Native Youth Leaders” national recognition program that honors Native American and Alaska Native youth. The program, which launched in 2014 and is awarded every other year, recognizes and celebrates the achievements of Native youth leaders under the age of 25, who embody UNITY’s core mission and exudes living a balanced life developing their spiritual, mental, physical and social well-being.

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Deadline for “25 Under 25 Native Youth Leadership Awards” is Monday, February 29! Nominate a deserving Native youth today!

The 2016 recipients of the award are eligible to receive Hotel and Travel Assistance to the National UNITY Conference taking place July 22-26, 2016 in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, where they will be honored. Read More

Nominate Your Native Youth Leader

Deadline approaching for UNITY’s 25 Under 25 National Youth Leadership Recognition Program

The United National Indian Tribal Youth, Inc. (UNITY) will be accepting applications through February 29 for the second class of its national youth leadership recognition program, the “25 Under 25 Native Youth Leadership Awards”. The awards program celebrates the achievements of Native American and Alaskan Native youth ages 14 to 24 who embody UNITY’s core mission and exude living a balanced life developing their spiritual, mental, physical and social well-being. In addition to being recognized, each awardee will receive special training by UNITY over the period of one year that is designed to build on their individual achievements.

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2016 UNITY 25 Under 25 Applications and National Conference Registration Opens December 1

UNITY 25 Under 25

UNITY will begin accepting applications on December 1 for the 2nd class of its national youth leadership recognition program, the “25 Under 25 Native Youth Leadership Awards”. The awards program is designed to celebrate the achievements of Native American and Alaskan Native youth ages 14 to 24 who embody UNITY’s core mission and exude living a balanced life developing their spiritual, mental, physical and social well-being.

Honorees will be recognized at a ceremony during the UNITY National Conference taking place July 22-26, 2016 in Oklahoma City. In addition to being recognized, each awardee will receive special training by UNITY over the period of one year that is designed to build on their individual achievements.

The online application form is available HERE.

2016 National UNITY Conference – 40th Anniversary

More than 1,800 Native youth leaders from across Indian Country are expected gather July 22-26,2016 in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma for the 40th Anniversary of the National UNITY Conference. The five-day agenda will feature several nationally known keynote speakers, more than 30 workshops, a cultural exchange night, talent show, and awards banquet and dance. 

Registration for the National UNITY Conference will open on December 1, with a special pre-early-bird rate of $200, good only through January 15, 2016. Those interested in attending can register HERE. Tribes are highly encouraged to send representatives from their communities to participate in the conference that hones leadership skills, encourages peer-to-peer interaction and networking, and celebrates Native youth.

From Her Grandparents’ House to the White House

Kelly CharleyIf you look at Kelly Charley, you’ll see an average American teen. However, if you start talking to her, you’ll realize that she’s far above average.

Charley, a sophomore at Navajo Preparatory School in Farmington, New Mexico, was recently at the White House. No, she wasn’t on a tour. She had been invited to the White House Science Fair to display her prize-winning project.

When Charley first received the email from AISES telling her about the invitation, she was excited. “I realized this was a once in-a-lifetime kind of thing,” she says.

Read the rest of the story on the AISES Website.

Inaugural Class of 25 Under 25 Reports

Members of the inaugural class of the UNITY 25 Under 25 program have been requested to provide a report on their activities during the year. The attached reports show that some class members have had a busy and productive time. You may read about the activities of nine program participants by clicking on the links below.

Other reports will soon be posted so check back to this page for the new additions.

Taylor A. Charlie: Project Update

Taylor CharlieWhat an exciting year and busy year it has been for me.  My focus has been working with the homeless population in the greater Phoenix area, a project that I hold dear to my heart.  For many people, homelessness can be just one paycheck away.  According to the Department of Economic Security’s 2013 annual report, 27,877 adults and children experience homelessness in Arizona, with Maricopa County representing 64% of the state’s homeless population. 

By providing food, warm clothing and toiletries I have taken to the streets a couple times a month to serve food and distribute my donations. In addition, I have been working with a local group that focuses on serving the homeless and providing them with my photography skills.  They use my pictures to promote service on their social media pages and in publications.

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