Youth Council News – UNITY, Inc.

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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UNITY Earth Ambassador thrives in Social Justice Fellowship

There are more than 500 abandoned uranium mines on and near the Navajo Nation, most of which have not been cleaned up, and UNITY Earth Ambassador Zunneh-bah Martin, Diné and Modoc’, New Mexico, plans to do something about this.  Martin shares that she is “having a great experience with the Indigenous Lifeways Social Justice Fellowship. It is empowering to be amongst Indigenous women leaders from across the Navajo reservation and to be working on social justice issues in our communities. I believe that it is important to build these types of relationships to grow/strengthen support systems for our people who advocate for social justice. It is always comforting to know that you are not the only one who wants to make positive changes, even if you are one of a few.”
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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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Coastal Salish Canoe Teachings with Rocky Mountain Regional Representative

National UNITY Council (NUC) Rocky Mountain regional representative ArriAnna Henry-Matt, Bitterroot Salish, shared her experiences building a salishan sturgeon nose canoe to join her relatives on the Qlispé canoe journey. This was a historic event, as it has been over a hundred years since the upper Seliš have been paddling with their relatives. The UNITY Executive Committee member helped share the traditional teachings behind canoe making with her community members. This traditional art holds deep significance and cultural roots that are being revitalized locally. Read More

UNITY Alumni Spotlight: Colleen Medicine

Meet UNITY Alumni, Waabshkaa Asinikwe – Colleen Medicine, she is of The Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians, from Bahweting (place of the rapids) also known as Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan. Colleen took part in UNITY conferences in Phoenix 2004, Buffalo 2005, Oklahoma City 2007 and Reno 2008, with her Tribal Youth Council, the Waaniiniigaanzijig (those who will lead). Read More

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

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

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

Kewa TRUTH Youth Council Wellness Warriors

Youth from the Kewa T.R.U.T.H. Youth Council of Santo Domingo Pueblo in New Mexico share their experiences of addressing wellness in various ways. The Youth Council took the UNITY Wellness Warriors Challenge to address Physical, Mental, Spiritual and Social Wellness development through community service projects.

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Ak-Chin Youth Council Wellness Warriors

National UNITY Council Representatives Xendryk Silas-Antone and Marie Antone share how Ak-Chin Youth Council helped promote Physical, Mental, Spiritual and Social Wellness throughout the year. Youth councils can join the national Wellness Warriors movement by sharing traditional wellness teachings.

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