Now Accepting 2015 – 2016 National UNITY Council Area Representative Election Petitions
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.
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.
Alexandria 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.
During 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.
The following story was provided by Jared Massey, UNITY staff member and former National UNITY Council Executive Committee Co-President.
It’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.
Jared Massey, UNITY staff member and former National UNITY Council Executive Committee Co-President, provided the following story.
“Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith and in purity.” – 1st Timothy 4:12
As a child I was taught the importance of giving and serving others, these teachings have shaped who I’ve become and my path in life. It is with great pleasure and excitement to share with the UNITY family that in the summer of 2015 I will be traveling abroad to Macedonia and Greece. It’s truly an honor to have been selected to serve and travel with the Arizona State University Chi Alpha Organization overseas. I will be traveling to Macedonia and Greece shortly after the spring semester ends, and my trip will entail establishing a Chi Alpha Organization at the University in Macedonia. In addition, we will be going into the streets helping in any way possible, I will also be doing Hoop Dance performances. This trip to Macedonia isn’t about my benefit but for those that are living in poverty and need a helping hand. My life has been directed and impacted by UNITY and I look forward to bringing awareness to Native America while I’m abroad.
The following story was published on the act.mtv.com website on November 26, 2014.
How Do Native Americans Really Feel About Thanksgiving?
We’ve all heard the story of the first Thanksgiving, but how much of what we’ve been told is true and how much of it has turned to legend over the years? And while the original Thanksgiving is supposed to be about a meal between the Pilgrims and the Wampanoags, Thanksgiving now rarely puts any attention on the Native Americans involved or how Natives view Thanksgiving today.
To get a Native perspective, I spoke with Brian Moskwetah Weeden, a member of the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe. He is the Male Co-President of the United National Indian Tribal Youth (UNITY), a member of the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribes Enrollment Committee and Youth Advisory Committee and a Chairman to the 2014 Pow Wow Committee.
For starters, he was able to clear up some myths about the first Thanksgiving…
Read the rest of the story HERE.
For the second year in a row, UNITY Executive Committee Co-Presidents have received an invitation to an event hosted by the President of the United States. Brian Weeden, Mashpee Wampanoag and Sarah Scott, Lummi Nation, will attend the 2014 White House Tribal Nations Conference in Washington, D.C. The purpose of the conference is to foster the relationship between the United States Government and American Indian and Alaska Native tribes. President Obama is expected to share remarks on behalf of his administration.
As representatives of UNITY, Brian and Sarah will have an opportunity to meet with tribal leaders from across the nation. They will also attend breakout sessions on topics such as Government to Government relationships, Wellness and Mental Health, Education and Supporting Native Youth, Environmental and Cultural Resources.
The conference will provide leaders from the 566 federally recognized tribes the opportunity to interact directly with the President and members of the White House Council on Native American Affairs. Each federally recognized tribe will be invited to send one representative to the conference. This year about 40 Native American high school students have been selected to attend the conference as Youth Ambassadors. This will be the sixth White House Tribal Nations Conference for the Obama Administration, and continues to build upon the President’s commitment to strengthen the government-to-government relationship with Indian Country and to improve the lives of Native Americans. Additional details about the conference will be released at a later date.
The following twelve individuals were elected during the 2014 National UNITY Conference in Portland, Oregon to serve on the 2014 – 2015 National UNITY Council Executive Committee.
Sarah Scott, 20, is an enrolled member of the Lummi Nation in Bellingham Wa. She is currently serving as the female Co – President of the National UNITY Council Executive Committee. She is also attending school at Northwest Indian College where she is going to attain an Associates Degree and her goal is to obtain a Bachelors in Educational Leadership and a Masters in Human services. Sarah partakes heavily in her culture and uses that to guide her in her journey as a mother and as a young leader. She is very honored to be serving her third term on the NUC Executive Committee and looks forward to serving her fellow peers.
Brian Weeden 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].