25 Under 25 – UNITY, Inc.

The best place to learn your language, is around the dinner table

It’s no secret, that during this time of a pandemic, many students have struggled to meet and socialize, or learn and interact with their culture. With the current challenges present in our communities, some native students have been creative in their own projects learning their culture. In this week’s highlight, we would like to spotlight a personal project that Brooke Thompson, a UNITY 25 under 25 awardee, has done for herself. The project she created, were laminated dinner mats with common table items names in her language. Brooke was kind enough to share a little bit about the idea behind her projects as well as some images of her table mats. Read More

Virtual Pow Wow a success in Chicago

The American Indian Center of Chicago, with the help of 25 Under 25 UNITY Youth Leader Frankie Pederson, hosted its first virtual powwow late last year. The Indian Center normally hosts an annual “in person powwow” every November but due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the committee opted to host a virtual event. The event kicked off with the premier of a short film about the origin and purpose of powwows and a feature about the Chicago Native community. Indian tacos were offered through contactless pickups. The 67th annual powwow featured teen, junior and adult categories plus two special contests. Read More

UNITY 25 Under 25 Made Moves in 2020

In the past several months, since UNITY announced the 2020 class of 25 under 25 awardees, UNITY’s 25 under 25 awardees have naturally been keeping busy during this time.  Even with the hurdles of a pandemic, these students have found ways to be helpful to their respective communities and be effective leaders.  Some have been helping with food drives to help families sustain themselves during this pandemic, others helped advocate for changes to Columbus Day in local communities. Read More

Prayer Fire event held in response to suicide crisis

Shoshone Paiute tribal youth leaders in Nevada hosted and participated in a Prayer Fire to address a rash of recent suicides in their tribal community. Marco Ovando, a member of the UNITY 25 Under 25 Leaders and members of the Shoshone-Paiute Tribal Youth Council teamed up to address three suicides within a two-week period along with other health-related deaths. The Prayer Fire, to recognize victims and ask for healing and protection, was held at the community’s pow wow grounds.

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UNITY 25 Under 25 Preserves Indigenous and Agricultural Heritage through FFA

Member Preserves Indigenous and Agricultural Heritage

FFA Member Preserves Indigenous and Agricultural Heritage

November is Native American Heritage Month, a time to pay tribute to the rich ancestry and traditions of Native Americans. Did you know the National FFA Organization includes more than 12,000 Native American members? UNITY 25 Under 25 Awardee and UNITY Earth Ambassador Marco Ovando, a citizen of the Shoshone-Paiute Tribes of the Duck Valley Reservation, made history when he became the first Native American to be elected FFA state president in any state or territory. He served as the Nevada state FFA president from 2018-19. Ovando says his FFA experience looked different from most. Read More

25 Under 25 Awardee celebrates IPD with Black, Indigenous Solidarity BBQ


How did you celebrate Indigenous People’s Day? 
UNITY’s 25 Under 25 Awardee Frankie Pedersen is an active member of her local Youth Council in the Midwest Region. According to Pederson “the Chi-Nations Youth Council held a Black, Indigenous Solidarity BBQ. We proudly set up our tipi as a group. We brought canopies, cooked, and once it got dark we screened Powwow Highway. It was a beautiful day of celebration and we’re so happy we were able to continue building our solidarity with different communities.” said Pederson. The Chi-Nations Youth Council was also previously awarded the 2019 UNITY Youth Council of the Year award for their its community impact.

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Applying Traditional knowledge in STEM fields Webinar

Click here to watch For this week’s Youth Track webinar for the 2020 Fall Webinar Series, Presenter Helen Fillmore, from Washoe, shares how Traditional knowledge and modern scientific research are shaping their Tribe’s future. Read More

Five Ideas for Celebrating Indigenous Peoples’ Day 2020

On Indigenous Peoples’ Day 2020, the museum brings young Native activists together online to discuss the tension between history and memory, and how both are reflected in the current racial and social landscape. Hip-hop artist Frank Waln contributes a musical performance. From left to right: Musician Frank Waln; panelists Brook Thompson, Dylan Baca, Lina Krueck, Julian Brave NoiseCat, Michaela Pavlat, and Alberto Correa III. (Photos courtesy of the participants)

www.smithsonianmag.com: On Indigenous Peoples’ Day 2020, the museum brings young Native activists together online to discuss the tension between history and memory, and how both are reflected in the current racial and social landscape. Hip-hop artist Frank Waln contributes a musical performance. From left to right: Musician Frank Waln; panelists UNITY 25 Under 25 Awardee Brook Thompson, 25 Under 25 Awardee Dylan Baca, Lina Krueck, Julian Brave NoiseCat, Michaela Pavlat, and Alberto Correa III. (Photos courtesy of the participants)

CLICK HERE TO WATCH LIVE

Are you a parent, grandparent, or other caregiver wondering what to do for Indigenous Peoples’ Day this year while you and your family are home? Perhaps you’re a college student, discussing social justice and hoping to do something meaningful that also respects public health guidance on in-person gatherings? Read More

Former UNITY 25 Under 25 Awardee Faith Long starts new internship with NCAIED

The National Center has a new virtual intern for the fall. Faith Long came to the National Center from Carson-Newman University in Tennessee and is an enrolled member of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians. Learn more about Faith, her work with the National Center, and the “wildlife” she has at home. Welcome to the National Center family, Faith!

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UNITY 25 Under 25 Awardee Dylan Baca helps make Arizona History

It won’t replace Columbus Day, but AZ Gov. Ducey proclaims Oct. 12 ‘Indigenous Peoples Day’ – AZ Central

UNITY 25 Under 25 Leader Dylan Baca, 18 years old, helped to make history in AZ! He created the Indigenous Peoples’ Day Initiative to push for Indigenous Peoples’ day in AZ.  State Sen. Jamescita Peshlakai has been working since 2013 to get a bill passed that would replace Columbus Day with Indigenous Peoples Day in Arizona, but she was always met with leaders telling her it would never happen. Read More