Scroll Top

Midwest Region

UNITY Regional Profile

The UNITY Midwest Region Represents Minnesota, Wisconsin, Illinois, Iowa, Indiana, Michigan, and Missouri. Our goal is to provide a voice for the youth of the Midwest and uphold UNITY’s mission of fostering the spiritual, mental, physical, and social development of American Indian and Alaska Native youth.

Midwest Tutorial: How to Set Up Your UNITY Connect Membership Dashboard


Midwest Regional Representative: Marla Mesarina

Marla Mesarina – UNITY Midwest Area Representative 

Tribes: Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe/Sisseton Wahpeton Oyate Sioux

Click +  to learn more:

Marla is from the Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe, and an enrolled member of the Sisseton Wahpeton Oyate Tribe. Marla is culturally motivated and shows her perseverance through her cultural involvement. Marla served as the Miss Minnesota Indian Education Association Ambassador 2022-2023, where she hosted specials for the community to be involved in. Marla is active in her community by traveling to powwows and jingle-dress dancing. One of her dancing                     accomplishments is receiving “Iron Woman Jingle Dress Champion 2021.” She was recently elected to serve as a Representative on the 2023-2024 Minnesota Association of Student Councils (MASC) Northwest Division Board where she represents diversity and brings awareness to students’ mental health. Marla was a UNITY Newscaster at UNITY 2022 in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

Marla is the recipient of the 2022-2023 Minnesota Indian Education Association “High School Student of the Year,” which is an award given to a high school student in the state of Minnesota who brings inspiration to Indian country. She attends school at TrekNorth Jr. and Sr. High School in Bemidji, Minnesota, where she implements culture into her school life as Native Youth Council President, National Arts Honors Society President, National Honors Society Vice President, and Student Council Vice President. Through her work on the Native Youth Council, Marla implemented the Ojibwe  “Ojibwe word of the week” into her school’s morning announcements, and created an after-school beading club. She is an active member on her high school speech team, choosing material to bring awareness to the effects of historical & generational trauma on native youth. She was awarded the “Most Valuable Speaker” and the “Most Decorated Speaker.” Marla also runs track, and for the 2022 season was awarded “Most Valuable Girls Sprinter.”  Marla loves networking with Native youth in Indian Country. She thrives best when she is surrounded by native youth, and is actively working to advance the communities accessibility to bring awareness to numerous issues surrounding generational trauma, as well as the culture as a whole.


Marla Mesarina, UNITY Midwest Area Representative

National UNITY Council Executive Committee

Midwest Region Youth Councils

    1. Gun Lake Tribe Unity Council
    2. Nbiish Be Mwi Jwaang Youth Council
    3. Wabaan Ogimaawag Youth Council
    4. Pokagon Band Youth Council
    5. Anishinabe Nimmki Youth Council
    6. Native Nations Youth Jr. Council
    7. Native Nations Youth Sr. Council
    8. Malcolm Mavericks Tribal Youth Council
    9. Hannahville Youth Advisory Council
    10. Mnochege’ Huron Potawatomi UNITY Council
    11. Waaniniigaanzijig Youth Council
    12. Nswe Shkwade Youth Council
    13. Waganakising Eshkiniigijik UNITY Council
    14. Saginaw Chippewa Youth Council
    15. Anishinabe Youth Council
    16. Bahweting Anishinabek Youth Council
    17. Maawanji Idiwag Youth Council
    18. Anishinaabe Leaders of Tomorrow
    19. Upper Sioux YC-Pehijutazizi Youth Council
    20. Leech Lake Tribal Youth Council
    21. Mille Lacs Band Advisory Youth Council
    22. Red Lake Nation Youth Council
    23. Northland Community Schools
    24. Lower Sioux UNITY
    25. Ogitchidaa Oyate
    26. Bemidji High School
    27. Cedar Mountain UNITY
    28. Native Youth Coalition of Cass Lake
    29. Young Native Leaders
    30. Chicago Indian Tribal Youth
    31. Chi-Nations Youth Council
    32. Terra Rouge Unity Council (TRU)
    33. Lac Courte Oreilles Youth Council
    34. Nanda-Gikendan Youth Council
    35. Central WI Native American Youth Council
    36. Tomah Ho-Chunk Youth Council
    37. Forest County Potawatomie UNITY Youth Council
    38. Weshki Niigaanijig
    39. Bad River UNITY Youth Council
    40. On^yote?aka Youth Council


2021 Fall Western Virtual Meet-Up

“Being here with UNITY is such a great experience. You get to meet so many new people and learn more about different tribes and their cultures.””


“The gathering, the sharing of cultures, the UNITY of our people!”


“Our YOUTH is the future!”


“It’s the best place to be open about what you think and what you want to do for your school or community. They make you feel like family and welcome you openly.”


“Great organization that allows empowerment for the Native youth to excel in leadership skills, networking opportunity, and early professional growth.”


“Awesome for youth group & leadership.”