Earth Ambassadors

This page is dedicated to the program and a resource where those interested may learn about the application process, program activities, and upcoming events, and meet the current/incoming class of Ambassadors.

United National Indian Tribal Youth, Inc. (UNITY) has announced that the application process will open in December for the 2023 class of its Earth Ambassadors Leadership Program. The environmental stewardship program (which was started in the 1990s) was re-established in 2015 with the support of the Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community.

The 2023 class will attend training sessions and informational workshops to increase their knowledge of environmental issues affecting Native America, learn to serve as an ambassador to increase awareness of the issues affecting the environmental quality on Native lands, and promote the efforts to address environmental concerns within the nation’s Native communities.

Recent projects range from “the return of planting foods using native seed banks and traditional seeds as an exercise of Native sovereignty, and by growing it exercises an act of environmental sovereignty” says Earth Ambassador Gabriella Nakai (Choctaw/Navajo) from Phoenix to creating “business sustainability within her tribal community through the promotion of greener businesses, less waste, recyclable products, recycling, and making the San Carlos Apache Tribe a greener mindset” explains Earth Ambassador Lauren Pino (San Carlos Apache), a recent graduate of Penn State University.

Each Earth Ambassador will host their community service project showcasing the new skills and leadership tools they have gained throughout the year. Topics can focus on but are not limited to, recycling, conservation, sustainability, regeneration, and restoration. In addition, the ambassadors will be provided special opportunities, coordinated through UNITY, to take their message to tribal and government agency representatives, and lawmakers. Earth Ambassadors will present their projects at UNITY-hosted events and submit written reports on their progress throughout the year.