Wellness Warriors – UNITY, Inc.

Snow Snake Games

‘Ojibweg (snake) Bibooni (Snow) Ataadiiwin (Game)’ is the Ojibwe language of the Anishinaabe. The Annual Snow Snake games were hosted by Ojibwe Charter School in the Bay Mills Indian Community. It was a freezing snowy winter day. Nonah and her brother Tyler participated. They are UNITY Alumni Josh and Sarah Homminga’s children. Nonah, beat her brother Tyler’s length in this friendly, but competitive match.
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Resources for Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month

In observance of Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month, UNITY is sharing Healthy Native Youth’s resources that will help you promote healthy relationships and deliver sexual health programming to youth in your community, virtually and in-person.

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I would be lost without my culture

Healing Indigenous Lives Youth Submission: Natane Pelkey, Cheyenne and Arapaho

By sharing my experience of getting through hard times and my mental health struggles, I can help other native youth who may be going through similar situations. I was put into the Child Services when I was young. It honestly is a struggle to talk about it even to this day. Growing up without parents can be very hard. Around 9 years old, my sister and I were taken away from our mother in Oklahoma after we moved to escape my father’s abuse in Iowa. We were placed with our grandparents who helped shape who I am today. #NativeYouthVoices

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Learn with Alumni: Healing Through Sport

Look at healing properties of sport and traditional games with UNITY Alumni Robert Johnston.  As some sporting events and gatherings have been postponed, join Coach Rob in examining the origins of the wellness foundation built into our indigenous identities. Robert works closely with the Native Wellness Institute. The Native Wellness Institute exists to promote the well-being of Native people through programs and trainings that embrace the teachings and traditions of our ancestors.

When I learned to love the desert, I learned to love myself

UNITY Healing Indigenous Lives Youth Submission: Damien Carlos
My whole life until I was fifteen, I didn’t know much of anything about my culture besides the fact that I belonged to the Tohono O’odham tribe. I knew nothing about where I came from. I went to schools on and off the reservation. My family dealt with alcoholism. I was in a dark place for a long time. When I was fifteen I moved back to the reservation and found people that were willing to take me places to learn about my culture. I learned songs, stories, and helped in ceremonies. I haven’t looked back since. When I learned to love the Tohono (Desert), I learned to love myself. For the last two years, I’ve been working with other youth from my community that have stories similar to mine to create a program to create opportunities for more youth to experience and learn out culture. I believe my culture saved my life and can help many more kids. Read More

Thomas Henry’s vision for Saginaw Chippewa

Youth Leader Submission: Boozhoo Ginewanakwad ndiznikaaz miishiks ndoodem, Mount Pleasat nidojiba. Hello my spirit name is Golden Eagle Cloud, I am of the Turtle Clan and live in Mount Pleasant. My English name is Thomas Rae Henry, attending Mount Pleasant High School. As a member of the Saginaw Chippewa Indian Tribe of Michigan, I enjoy running, playing guitar, skateboarding, and dancing at powwows. My interests are in fashion, native culture, traditional foods and medicines, our native language, politics, and economics. I run cross country and track and am the oldest sibling in my family. I take pride in having two sisters and a little brother who look up to me. I set a good example for the native youth in my community living a drug and alcohol free life. Read More

Bring racial healing to your community

Spark racial healing conversations with W.K.Kellogg’s  conversation guide and download additional resources. It is not the responsibility of one person, one group, or even one organization to drive this work. The responsibility belongs to all of us to participate in these honest, powerful, and moving experiences, and pursue this journey together. Through racial healing, we can all forge deep, meaningful relationships, lay the groundwork to transform broken systems, and create a world in which, together, we are a new force for positive change.

Bring racial healing to your own community with these ideas you can download and print.
CLICK HERE for a Conversation Guide for your Youth Council. Read More

Laughter is Good Medicine

The best times of UNITY are when smiles are wide and there is a harmony of laughter. It is good to have daily doses of soulful laughter. Scientific studies show that laughter creates positive bonds between people. Laughter relieves stress, anxiety, and. It can lead to resilience and recovery.

Chance Rush, Hidatsa, is one of UNITY’s Youth Trainers. He has major gifts besides Training. He is an MC, Actor and Speaker, but did you know that he is a Comedian?

”Comedy was my form of communication. It can help me get through so many conversations. I owe a lot of my opportunities To my sense of humor”  said Chance.“I see Comedy as an art form. Always practice on being funny. Never laugh at your own jokes because the focus is your audience!” Read More

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

Indigenous 20 Something Project Gathering

The Native Wellness InstituteCenter for Native American Youth and, We R Native are partnering together “calling in” all Indigenous young people, who are in their late teens through early 30’s, to come join in on this unique collaboration where we will gather virtually to learn, share, connect and strategize ways to help this generation let go of things that no longer serve them in a good way and how to better live a life of balance.

The gathering will take place January 19 & 20, 2021. Registration is FREE for all attendees! For more information, click here. Read More