Greetings National UNITY Council,
Your UNITY youth leaders have been busy! On behalf of your elected Executive Committee representatives, we are eager to share the following proposed initiatives sponsored by various Programs within the UNITY Network. Each Program focuses on a different aspect of the social, mental, spiritual and physical development. As you may know the 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). Read More
Article submitted by UNITY Earth Ambassador, Samuel Lopez: “I was the coordinator of a workshop titled “Tohono O’odham Hunting/Traditional Foods” at our annual Tohono O’odham Nation Youth Conference. The goal of this workshop was to teach youth the importance of Tohono O’odham traditional food in our physical, social, spiritual, and mental well-being as a people. The participants sorted two types of Ba:wi (Tepary Beans), Weg ck Tota (Red and White), the only two of about thirty two types that survived through WWII. This is a very calm and peaceful process, so a lot of youth found comfort in this. Read More
Tulalip News shares “The future is bright! Congratulations to the Tulalip Senior and Junior Youth Council members who were officially sworn into office by the Tulalip Board of Directors this morning!” These 14 future leaders were elected by their peers to guide them through 2020 and ensure their collective voice is heard on important community-wide issues, and also that the youth are properly represented at local gatherings.
UNITY Wellness Warriors has released its final wellness campaign posters, part of an ongoing series featuring Native American youth. Featured is Truman Pipestem, a citizen of the Eastern Band of Cherokee and descendant of the Osage Nation and the Otoe-Missouria Tribe. Truman is a freshman at Yale University. Truman is in the Directed Studies Program, serves as the Freshman class liaison to the Native American Cultural Center (NACC), a member of ANAAY (Association of Native Americans at Yale), and is a member of the Yale Native drum group. Truman is also a member of Lux Improvitas, a long-form Yale improv group specializing in full-length improvised plays. The posters feature Native youth from communities across the country, representing the lifestyles they live as they express their culture, daily habits, and hobbies that allow them to live positive and healthy lifestyles.
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.
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.”
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.”
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