UNITY Peer Guides – Page 5 – UNITY, Inc.

UNITY Leader finds Resiliency in Storytelling


UNITY youth leaders have taken center stage across the U.S. this Native American Heritage Month. UNITY Peer Guide and Earth Ambassador, Angela Noah, White Mountain Apache,  presented at the Oregon Students of Color Conference at Lane Community College representing the University of Oregon’s Native American Student Union. Her workshop, “Resiliency in Storytelling,” about the importance of oral traditional storytelling and cultural songs, was highlighted among students of color attending the conference from throughout the Northwest.

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UNITY Peer Guide named Miss Indian Arizona

UNITY’s Peer Guide and student intern is now also the current reigning Miss Indian Arizona.  Audriana Mitchell, Colorado River Indian Tribes, and her court are doing a fantastic job! Learn more about our Miss Indian Arizona through this great article shining light on her accomplishments. Mitchell shared “I was very proud to be able to represent my tribe at such a capacity. The entire experience was one I will never forget. I am very grateful to have had such an opportunity and to also partake in the pageant alongside some wonderful individuals. I feel very honored to have been chosen to step into the role of Miss Indian Arizona. I look forward to what this year will bring as I represent all 22 beautiful tribes of Arizona.”

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Backstage with UNITY Peer Guide at the Frank LaMere Native American Presidential Forum

UNITY Peer Guide Rory Wheeler, Seneca Nation, reflects on his experience volunteering at the Native American Presidential Forum:

I was honored to be part of the historic Frank LaMere Native American Presidential Forum in Sioux City, Iowa. The event paid tribute to Frank LaMere, who passed away earlier this year. LaMere dedicated much of his work around increasing Native American representation and activism in national politics. This non-partisan event was hosted by Four Directions and the Native Organizers Alliance with co-hosts that included the National Congress of American Indians and the Native American Rights Fund.

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Returning Home: Siletz Tribal Youth Development Program

Read the Original Article on the OJJDP Tribal Youth Resource Center’s Blog

This summer our Youth Development and Healthy Traditions Program chaperoned a group of Siletz youth on a four-day adventure down to Southern Oregon. Our first destination was a land-restoration conservation site called Vesper Meadows located east of Ashland in the higher elevations of the Southern Cascade Mountains. This was a special place to visit for several reasons: (1) We were restoring our indigenous relationship with a land that we hadn’t gathered on in for over 150 years and (2) We were connecting our youth with one of our most well-spoken and travelled tribal elders, Grandma Aggie Pilgrim. Our second destination was to gather yampah seeds at a meadow near the base of Table Rock, which was the site of our original reservation and where we signed the Rogue River Treaty was signed. Read More

Peer Guide visionary to Co-Chair Seminole Trauma-Focused Symposium

UNITY Peer Guide Cheyenne Kippenberger, 23, of the Seminole Tribe of Florida, has partnered with the Native Learning Center to host its Healing the Circle in Our Tribal Communities Symposium in Hollywood, Florida. The focus of the symposium is to bring awareness to the importance of safe and healthy environments for our Native people. According to Kippenberger the symposium will help bring awareness to the issues of domestic violence, self-care, elder abuse awareness and how to address Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women. The Peer Guide hopes that along with the Native Learning Center they will be able to  provide advocates cutting edge content on women’s empowerment along with tools for positive healthy relationships. 

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UNITY leaders attend Native Youth Design Lab

UNITY Peer Guide Cheyenne Kippenberger and UNITY National UNITY Council (NUC) Female Co-President Brittany McKane attended a Native Youth Design Lab in Pawhuska, OK, for a campaign involving narrative change surrounding Native peoples. The Design Lab was hosted by Center for Native American Youth (CNAY) and IllumiNative, as well as Ryan Redcorn with Buffalo Nickel Creative Studios. The UNITY youth leaders spent two days collaborating and exchanging ideas to spark change for positive representation for Indigenous people. Read More

California Peer Guide comes Full Circle with Jr. Indigenous Games

“Being able to come full circle in an event like this is so exciting, as a younger youth I participated in the annual Ingenious Games and now I got to help make this day possible for the youth of my community” said UNITY Peer Guide Leticia Lucille Gonzales, “It makes me proud that they are still as excited about the event as I used to be.”   As a Peer Guide ambassador Gonzales often assists with local drug and alcohol free activities for youth. The annual “Jr. Indigenous Games” in the Community of Bishop, CA, was their creative take on Alaskan Games engaging Native youth in wellness as cultural prevention.  Read More

Healing Indigenous Lives with Pueblo of Pojoaque Youth

UNITY Peer Guide Santana Bartholomew shares upon her experiences working with her Native youth as a Pueblo of Pojoaque Youth Path to Wellness Coordinator: “Spending time with the youth in my community and witnessing the internal growth that takes place is the most rewarding part of my job. To see young tribal members develop leadership skills and a love of helping others in their community is not only a result of my dedication, but it is also a glimpse of who these youth truly are, the things they value, cherish, wish to protect, and most importantly, who they will become in the future.  Read More

Getting To Know Kara McDonagh, OJJDP Program Specialist

The Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention provides support for UNITY’s Peer Guide Program through a cooperative agreement. This article was written by our partners at Tribal Youth Resource Center.

The Tribal Youth Resource Center (TYRC) team took a few minutes to ask OJJDP Program Specialist Kara McDonagh a few “get to know you” questions. We learned more about her work as an OJJDP program specialist and about her passion and dedication to Tribal youth programs.

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National UNITY Conference garners more than 2,300 Native youth

Native American youth from urban and rural communities across the nation gathered in July for the annual National UNITY Conference, held at the Gaylord Resort & Conference Center in Orlando, Florida. The 5-day conference, hosted by United National Indian Tribal Youth (UNITY), provided participants with culturally relevant leadership and skill-building training through workshops and keynote presentations. For 43 years, UNITY has offered essential support to Native American and Alaska Native youth, ages 14-24, through various programming opportunities, instilling a foundation for youth leaders and advocates to activate and build upon being positive change agents in their communities.

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