NUC Executive Committee – Page 3 – UNITY, Inc.

My Summer Internship at the UNITY Headquarters

NataaniiFor the second year I have served as an intern at the UNITY headquarters in Mesa, AZ. The experience has been adventurous, eye opening, and rewarding as I have been blessed with the opportunity to give back to the organization that provided so much for my community and me.

My first involvement with UNITY dates back 6 years ago with the Kirtland Central Diné Youth Council where I earned my way to attend the 2009 National UNITY Conference in Albuquerque, NM. My first national conference with UNITY changed the trajectory of my life as I realized my own potential to make an impact on the world around me. I encountered so many inspirational people that I still admire and call upon as mentors for help and support. Since then I have been empowered to take ownership of my life and take charge of my community as a change agent to help others.

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Meet the 2015 – 2016 Executive Committee

The following individuals were elected during the 2015 National UNITY Conference in Washington, DC to serve on the 2015 – 2016 National UNITY Council Executive Committee.

Sassamin WeedenFemale Co-President | Sassamin Weeden (Mashpee Wampanoag) 21, belongs to the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe of Mashpee, Massachusetts. She was born and raised in Mashpee and graduated with the class of 2012 at Mashpee High School and is now currently working in retail and also administration of a Cardiologist specialists. Sassamin is the former 2014 Powwow Princess of her tribe. She has been fully involved with United National Indian Tribal Youth organization (UNITY) for four years. At the National conference in Portland, Oregon she was re-elected to serve another year as representative and also elected Vice President of the Executive Committee. Aside from UNITY Sassamin has been involved with her Mashpee Wampanoag Tribal Youth Council since it was founded in 2009. The past 2 years have given her the privilege of being Chairwoman of the youth council. The laughter and shared memories she is surrounded by from the youth are what make her so passionate about what she does and who she does it for.

Brian WeedenMale Co-President | Brian Weeden  (Mashpee Wampanoag), also known as Moskwetah “Bear Heart” is a proud members of The Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe located in Mashpee Massachusetts on beautiful Cape Cod. Brian is currently a language teacher for the Wôpanâak Language Reclamation Project (WLRP) and teaches the Wampanoag Language. Outside of work Brian is a devoted tribal member who believes in giving back to the community. He serves on the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribes Enrollment Committee, Youth Advisory Committee and holds the current title of Chairman to the 2014 Pow Wow Committee. Back in 2009 Brian formed the Mashpee Wampanoag Youth Council and served as Chairman from 2009 until aging off of the council in 2012. However in 2012 Brian had the privilege of being elected Northeast Area Representative for the United National Indian Tribal Youth Inc. Executive Committee also known as UNITY EC. The following year he ran for Male Co President and did not succeed. However he did not give up and the following year he ran and became victorious.” I encourage everyone to chase his or her dreams. Don’t ever give up!” Over the next year as the newly elected Male Co President Brian plans on restoring the voice of the NUC (National UNITY Council) while amending the constitution and bylaws. If you have any questions or would like to contact Brian he can be reached via email at [email protected]

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National UNITY Council Executive Committee Spotlight: Sophie Tiger – Southern Plains Rep

In July of 2015 at the National UNITY Conference in Washington, DC, the 2015-2016 Executive Council leadership was elected, representing UNITY’s 10 distinct regions.

Sophie Tiger - Southern Plains RepresentativeSophie Tiger is an enrolled member of the Comanche Nation of Oklahoma and also from the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe. She is the 2015-2016 Southern Plains Representative, and also serves as a White House Tribal Youth Ambassador, honorary UNITY Earth Ambassador, Gen-I Youth Ambassador, and Center for Native American Youth (CNAY) Youth Ambassador.

Sophie has been actively involved with Generation Indigenous (Gen-I) initiative since its launch by President Obama at the White House Tribal Nations Conference in December of 2014. She uses her experience in leadership roles to devote her time to contribute to the change within her own community, as she was apart of the development of a drug free youth empowerment initiative that is supported by the Native community in Comanche Country.

As a 2015 Gates Millennium Scholar, she is now a freshman at Arizona State University in hopes of obtaining her degree in Public Policy and Public Service specializing in Native American Affairs with a minor in communication. Sophie always looks forward to networking with youth from across the country in hopes of making a change within Indian Country.

Traveling Moccasins: Macedonia – Greece 2015

The following story was written by Jared Massey.

“And while I stood there I saw more than I can tell, And I understood more than I saw; For I was seeing in a sacred manner.”  Black Elk, Black Elk Speaks

Jared MasseyMy ancestor’s fought to ensure the future of my people would be prosperous and filled with opportunities. Opportunities such as the one I embarked on.  As a young Native American, the likelihood of traveling to a land beyond the boarders of the country were slim to none, so I thought. My journey abroad has taught me lessons I’ll never forget, and began with five college students simply wanting to create change in a foreign land.

Arizona State University’s Chi Alpha is a Christian organization centered around the idea of creating an authentic community on campus.  My journey to Europe was made possible through this amazing life-changing organization. I encourage other youth, seek authentic community and faith while pursuing higher education.

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Co-President Election Petition Now Available

Co-President Election Petition

The Co-President Election Petition is available online HERE.

Declare Your Candidacy

Now Accepting 2015 – 2016 National UNITY Council Area Representative Election Petitions

National UNITY Council Petition

Each year, the UNITY Organization convenes for a National Conference in various cities throughout the country. At these conferences, a young man and a young woman from UNITY affiliated youth councils participate in business meetings where they elect 10 officers to the National UNITY Council (NUC), which make up the Executive Committee (EC). The 10 officers or area representatives on the NUC EC represent 10 regions. Also elected are two Co-Presidents, one male and one female. It’s that time of year again to consider running for the Executive Committee of the NUC. Individual members, those not affiliated with a youth council, can also run for an area representative position. Please refer to the current National UNITY Council Constitution and Bylaws for additional information about the election process.

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UNITY Youth Leaders Select Suicide Prevention as Top Priority

UNITY will be sharing a series of resources available to Native individuals and communities to help address this serious issue of Suicide. UNITY youth leaders voted unanimously at the UNITY Midyear Conference in Washington, DC to make Suicide Prevention a top priority (see resolution attachment below). Please share these resources far and wide! Please call 1-800-273-TALK (8255) if you need to talk to someone.

This webiste is a great resource for individuals working with Native populations. Please share.

UNITY Executive Committee Profile: Alexandria GreyBull

Alexandria GreyBullAlexandria GreyBull, Great Plains Area Representative, is nineteen years old. She is an enrolled member of the Fort Peck Assiniboine and Sioux Tribes of Poplar, MT but she was born and raised on the Sisseton Wahpeton Lake Traverse Reservation in South Dakota. Alexandria is the daughter of Brian and Emma Greybull. She is currently the Vice President of the Seventh Generation Oyate Voices youth council of the Sisseton Wahpeton Oyate. Alexandria graduated from Tiospa Zina Tribal School in May 2012. She is an employee at the Sisseton Wahpeton Early Headstart and full time college student at Sisseton Wahpeton College and is majoring in Dakota Studies. Alexandria is a women’s old style jingle dress dancer. Her culture plays a huge part in her life.

National UNITY Council Adopts Resolution Supporting “Generation Indigenous”

National UNITY Council in SessionDuring the recent 2015 UNITY Midyear Conference in Washington, DC, the National UNITY Council passed a resolution in support of President Barack Obama’s Native Youth initiative, which he announced during the annual White House Tribal Nations Conference. The “Generation Indigenous” initiative is a national effort that will focus on removing barriers that stand between Native youth and their opportunity to succeed. The aim is to focus on the: creation of Native Youth Community Projects; creation of a National Tribal Youth Network, launch of the Cabinet Native Youth Listening Tour; and creation and implementation of a White House Tribal Youth Gathering in the Summer of 2015.

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Running My First Half Marathon

The following story was provided by Jared Massey, UNITY staff member and former National UNITY Council Executive Committee Co-President.

Jared on the Starting LineIt’s amazing how much one can overcome and defeat; its amazing how resilient Native youth can be. Overcoming challenges in life is like running up a mountain that seems unending; it’s both painful and can cause hurt. Overcoming the rough terrains of the mountain builds strength and perseverance, much like life’s obstacles, you grow through each unexpected challenge.

As I ran the Arizona P.F. Changs Rock ‘n’ Roll Half Marathon I thought of the youth I’ve crossed paths with, from the young girl who contemplated suicide, to the young people located at the bottom of the Grand Canyon, to the youth I read about in a book called “Eagle Blue,” to the youth of my own community of 7-Mile on the White Mountain Apache Reservation, and of course to my little sister who is border line diabetic. I ran those 13.1 miles for these future leaders and over-comers.  People often ask, “Why would you punish yourself and run that long?” I’m sure the 22,000 plus participants were asked the same question. I imagine they too had their reasons for running the race, and I’m sure many prayed the same prayer I prayed as I ran, which was a prayer of prosperity, good health, success, protection, and favor for loved ones. I also kept in mind the elders of our great nations, had it not been for these beautiful teachers we would not be able to call ourselves Indigenous, Native American, Indian, powerful, great, Navajo, and White Mountain Apache.

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