Peer Guide – UNITY, Inc.

2019 State of Native Youth Report: Native Youth Country

From the Center for Native American Youth:

On November 20, the Center for Native American Youth released its annual State of Native Youth report. The report highlights young leaders who are working hard to create a brighter future for tribal nations, the programs that help them do so, and the policy issues that impact their lives. The report also shares what we’ve learned from community meetings with youth and service providers about the priorities and solutions that matter most.

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UNITY Advisory Cohort empowers Native youth voice

Get to know the newest UNITY Peer Guide Cohort and learn more about their passion for advocating for “non-traditional” Native youth leadership. UNITY has recruited this diverse group of youth mentors, to design and facilitate six regional trainings across the nation. These trainings will empower Native youth to speak out about critical aspects of juvenile justice and delinquency prevention efforts within their home communities.

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Miss Indian World Calls on Native youth to embrace Native American Heritage Month

As Indian Country’s cultural goodwill ambassador, UNITY Peer Guide Cheyenne Kippenberger, of the Seminole Tribe of Florida, has created a call to action for Native Youth and her fellow tribal royalty. See Kippenberger’s video to learn more on her efforts to instill cultural pride in Native youth identities and sense of belonging.

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Dancing with my Siletz Sisters

UNITY Peer Guide Savanna Rilatos, Confederated Tribes of Siletz, OR, shared how she was able to give back to her community in a meaningful way: “Serving as Miss Siletz was such a rewarding experience, I represented my people, my community, my family, my culture, and my traditions. I was able to travel around the United States representing my tribe with two of the most inspiring and courageous girls I know, Junior Miss Jocelyn Hernandez and my Little Miss Sahaylee Mason. Holding this title was something I dreamed of growing up, and I am proud of myself for having the courage to go after it.”

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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