This area of the site provides a brief historical overview of UNITY and its activities since 1976, the year it was established.
UNITY’s Mission is to foster the spiritual, mental, physical, and social development of American Indian and Alaska Native youth, and to help build a strong, unified, and self-reliant Native America through greater youth involvement.
UNITY Defined: UNITY is a national network organization promoting personal development, citizenship, and leadership among Native American youth.
UNITY has a long (40+ years) and impressive track record of empowering and serving American Indian and Alaska Native youth. UNITY is well regarded among the nation’s Native American organizations, tribal leaders, and government officials.
The heart of UNITY is its affiliated youth councils, which are sponsored by tribes, Alaska Native villages, high schools, colleges, urban centers, and others. Youth Councils engage in annual projects in four areas – cultural preservation, environmental awareness, healthy lifestyles, and community service. UNITY has a growing number of affiliated youth councils, which currently stands at 320 in operation in 36 states. UNITY is the only organization to have a formal network of youth councils.
Members of each UNITY-affiliated youth council appoint two individuals (one young woman, one young man) to serve as their representatives on the National UNITY Council (NUC). Native youth throughout the United States, who are UNITY affiliates, elect individuals to serve as Area Representatives on the National UNITY Council Executive Committee. The ten geographical areas are as follows: Great Plains, Midwest, Northeast, Northwest, Pacific, Rocky Mountain, Southeast, Southern Plains, Southwest, and Western. Two youth (one young man, one young woman) are elected by the NUC membership each year to serve as National UNITY Council Co-Presidents.
UNITY’s eight member governing board — Council of Trustees — includes the two National UNITY Council Executive Committee Co-Presidents. All trustees are Native American, and five are UNITY alumni.
UNITY conducts a national youth leadership conference each year with the number of participants ranging from 2,000 – 2,300. The UNITY Midyear Conference is normally held each February in the Phoenix, Arizona area and attracts about 450 attendees. UNITY’s current youth projects/programs include: a variety of leadership training sessions/webinars, the Earth Ambassador program, a 25 Under 25 leadership class, the Peer Guides program, and the UNITY News communications network.
One of UNITY’s valued resources is its more than 200,000 alumni, which includes tribal leaders, medical doctors and other health professionals, educators, lawyers, and judges.
UNITY participates in the Combined Federal Campaign, and is recognized by the Oklahoma City Community Foundation – where UNITY maintains an endowment fund.
UNITY’s National office is in Mesa, Arizona.