“Restoring the Spirit of Native Youth”

About The UNITY Midyear Conference

The UNITY Midyear Conference is a three-day youth-led annual event held every February in Phoenix-metro, Arizona designed to empower Native youth and adults. About 500 youth and advisors safely attended the last in-person conference in 2020. The UNITY Midyear Conference is training focused and provides an opportunity for male and female reps of the National UNITY Council to meet to discuss its annual initiative.UNITY Trainers and peer leaders have utilized a proven UNITY YOUth Can! curriculum to challenge youth and advisors to come up with youth-led community service projects as a way to address social issues in their communities. Action plans can help guide people and groups, including youth councils, on what it takes to complete a project, task, initiative or strategy. The YOUth Can! curriculum involves 10 steps, allowing participants to determine objectives, goals, review milestones, measure progress, as well as responsibilities, specific assignments, and a timeline. Action plans are an important part of strategic planning. In this period of social distancing, youth can still develop Action Plans through video conferencing or conference calls.

Affiliated Youth Councils and individual members are eligible for registration discounts. Become a member today!

Midyear Conference Agenda

12 pm – 5 pm            Load-in/Storage

9am- 1 pm            HILI Peer Guides/Training (Urias Boardroom)

2 – 8 pm            Communications camp (Room TBA)

4 pm – 6 pm            Pre-Conference Session with Peer leaders

5 pm – 7 pm            Registration

7 am – 5 pm            Registration

9 am                Opening General Assembly

                Welcome – NUCEC Co-Presidents

                -Audri Mitchell, Navajo/Cheyenne

                -Izaiah Fisher, Confederated Tribes of Siltez Indians

                Blessing/Cultural Presentation – O’odham Tribes

  • Indigenous Land Acknowledgement by Alyse Marrietta, Miss Indian Arizona 2021-22
  • Lourdes Pereira, Miss Indigenous Arizona State University

                Welcome – Council of Trustees

                -Lori Wifree, Lumbee

                Moment of Silence

                UNITY News

                Roll Call – Jonathan Arakawa, Lower Elwha Klallam Tribe

                Earth Ambassadors Presentation

9:45 am            Special Guest – Brooke Simpson, Haliwa-Saponi

                    Season 16 America’s Got Talent finalist

10:30 am – 10:45 am        Circle of Earth Ambassadors Presentation

10:45 am – 11:00 am        Meet your Trainers/Announcements/Break

11:00 am – 12:15 pm        Curriculum Session 1 (4 breakouts)


Social Justice: Marcus Emcee One Guinn, Osage/Potawatomi/Delaware (Room TBA)

                Wellness: Chance Rush, Hidatsa (Room TBA)

                Environmental: Juanita Toledo, Jemez Pueblo (Room TBA)

Culture: HILI Peer Guides (Room TBA)

11:00 am – 12:15 pm        Advisor/Chaperone Session 1 with Pearl Yellowman, Navajo

                (Room TBA)

12:15 pm – 1:45 pm        Lunch (on your own)

1:45 pm – 3:00 pm        Curriculum Session 2 (4 breakouts)

1:45 pm – 3:00 pm        Advisor/Chaperone Session 2

3:00 – 4:00 pm            Break

3:00 pm – 4:00 pm        NUC EC Business Meeting – Session 1 (Youth Council reports)

4:00 pm – 6:30 pm        Fun in the Sun – Waterpark and Mini Golf Time!
                Aqua Zumba and Music

                Reception by the Pool

7:00 pm – 9:00 pm        General Assembly

  • Special Guests – Lil Mike & Funny Bone
  • Mr. & Mrs. UNITY Mock Pageant

7:00 am             Zumba with Eileen Crocker

8:30 am            Morning General Assembly


                Blessing/Cultural Presentation – Apache Tribe

                UNITY NEWS

9:00 am            Special Guest – D’Pharaoh Woon-A-Tai, Oji-Cree Anishinaabe

                Actor, “Bear Smallhill” Reservation Dogs

9:45 am – 10:00 am        Announcements/Break

10:00 am – 10:25 am        Speed Workshops 1

10:30 am – 10:55 am        Speed Workshops 2

11:00 am – 11:25 am        Speed Workshops 3

11:30 am – 11:55 am        Speed Workshops 4

12:00 pm – 1:30 pm        Luncheon & Program

                Special Activity: Circle of Earth Ambassadors

1:30 pm – 1:45 pm        Break

1:45 pm – 3:15 pm        Curriculum Session 3 (4 breakouts)

1:45 am – 3:15 pm        Advisor/Chaperone Session 3

3:15 pm – 3:30 pm        Break

3:30 pm – 5:00 pm        NUC EC Business Meeting – Session 2

3:30 pm – 5:00 pm        Curriculum Session 4 (4 breakouts)

                Wrap Up/Final Reporting/Voting

5:00 pm – 7:00 pm        Dinner (on your own)

7:00 pm – 9:30 pm        UNITY Round Dance

7:00 am             Zumba with Eileen Crocker

9:00 am             Closing General Assembly


Blessing/Cultural Presentation – Cesar Chavez High School Youth Council & Betty Fairfax High School Youth Council


9:30 am            Special Guest – Quannah Chasing Horse, 

Hän Gwich’in Athabascan /SicanguOglala Lakota

10:00 am            Reports on Top Action Plans

10:30 am            Introducing the UNITY Healing Circles – HILI Peer Guides

11:30 am            Wrap Up/Closing   

12:00 pm            Lunch (on your own) / Departure

3:00 pm – 4:00 pm        Virtual Post-Conference Session (Optional) 

            LIVE on UNITY Facebook & Youtube 

Learn more about how to conduct a Healing Circle in your 


Registration dates and prices for the Midyear Conference are as follows: October 1 through November 30: $250 early bird registration

December 1 through January 31, 2022: $300 advance registration

February 1 through onsite registration: $350 full rate

UNITY Announces Speakers for the Annual Midyear Leadership Conference

Brooke Simpson


Quannah ChasingHorse

to headline

From recording her first song at the age of two years old to charting top 10 in the iTunes and Billboard charts, Brooke Simpson is no stranger to music. She is a powerhouse vocalist who is passionate about music, people and her culture. Brooke is full-blooded Native American and is a member of the Haliwa-Saponi Tribe of North Carolina.

Brooke has had the opportunity to work with artists such as Miley Cyrus, Sia, Taboo (of The Black Eyed Peas), Bishop Briggs, Allen Stone and more. She also was a top 3 finalist on season 13 of NBC’s The Voice.

In the midst of touring, writing, and recording upcoming music, Brooke has released multiple singles including Little Bit Crazy, Stick Like Honey,  So Tired- a mini EP, You Only Had One Job and her newest release, Haliwa.

Brooke will be making her Broadway debut in the Diane Paulus revival of the Tony Award winning musical 1776. Even more recently she became a top 4 finalist for Season 16 of America’s Got Talent, where Simon Cowell compared her vocals to legendary singers Kelly Clarkson and Fantasia!


Quannah ChasingHorse, age 19 is from the Han Gwich’in from Eagle Village, Alaska and Sicangu/Oglala

Lakota tribes from the Rosebud Reservation, South Dakota but currently lives in Fairbanks, Alaska. She

grew up learning her ways of life and values and continues to uphold them as they are sacred and keeps

her grounded. She is an Indigenous land protector for the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, protecting

those sacred lands from oil development and fighting for climate justice. Quannah’s deep connection to

the lands and her people’s way of life guides and informs everything she does and stands for. She is

passionate about Indigenous sovereignty/rights, MMIWG and representation. She is an avid

snowboarder, guitar and ukulele player, and is apprenticing as a traditional Indigenous tattoo artist.

Quannah was honored to make the 2020 list of Teen Vogue’s “Top 21 under 21”. She is an IMG Fashion

Model and Actress.

United National Indian Tribal Youth (UNITY) is proud to announce that America’s Got Talent finalist Brooke Simpson (Haliwa-Saponi) will be the in-person keynote speaker and will perform at its annual Midyear Leadership Conference. In addition, Indigenous land protector and IMG model and actress, Quannah ChasingHorse (Han Gwich’in and Sicangu/Ogala Lakota), will join the conference virtually, which will be held February 25-27, 2022, at the Hilton Phoenix Resort at the Peak. Discounted early-bird registration for the conference is available through November 30, 2021.

“We are excited to have these influential young women as speakers at the midyear conference,” said Mary Kim Titla, Executive Director of UNITY. “They serve as an inspiration to all of our youth, who are looking forward to connecting in person this year for learning, community, and sharing.

UNITY’s Midyear Conference to Feature Appearances by Top Native Entertainers

Participants include actors from the hit show

Reservation Dogs

D’Pharoah Woon-A-Tai (Oji-Cree)


Lil Mike and Funny Bone (Pawnee)

D’Pharaoh Woon-A-Tai is a 20-year-old Oji-Cree First Nations actor.

Woon-A-Tai currently stars in the award-winning FX comedy series Reservation Dogs, “a slice-of-life triumph from Sterling Harjo and Taika Waititi (Variety, 7.29.21).  Entertainment Weekly rated Reservation Dogs the #1 show of 2021 and made every top 10 list of Best TV shows of 2021.   Amongst the show’s top accolades include an AFI Award for Best TV Series; an Independent Spirit Award for Best Ensemble in a new TV Scripted Series; a 2021 Gotham Award for Breakthrough Series.  The first season of the show has also been nominated for 2022 Critics’ Choice Award for Best Comedy Series; a Golden Globe award for Best TV series for a Musical or Comedy; two Writers Guild Award nominations for Best New Series and Best Episodic Comedy; an Independent Spirit Award nomination for Best New Scripted Series.

Reservation Dogs, set and filmed in rural Oklahoma, is a rough-and-tumble coming-of-age story about a young gang of rebellious teenagers on a minor crime spree across tribal land.  It is the first time that a show is almost entirely made up of Indigenous people, from the cast, directors, and writers, that allows viewers into a world television too rarely goes. The Denver Gazette says of D’Pharoah’s portrayal of his character Bear, “played spectacularly by D’Pharaoh, this series’ breakout star.”  Reservation Dogs was picked up for a second Season 2.

Woon-A-Tai also stars in the feature film Beans, an official TIFF 2020 selection and winner for Best Motion Picture from the Canadian Screen Awards, Beans tells the story of a young girl coming of age during the Oka crisis in Canada – a land dispute between the Mohawk people and the town of Oka, Quebec which lasted 78 days in 1990. D’Pharaoh was able to show a darker side in the film, as the object of the lead character’s affection, who ends up being much more than she bargained for.

D’Pharaoh currently resides in his hometown of Toronto, Canada.

Lil’Mike & FunnyBone began rapping at the age of 12 “Mike in 1992, Bone in 1997” Both born & raised in Oklahoma City, they have an age difference of 5 years, So it’s unusual that they both are almost the same size. However, size is not a factor when these two hit their mark. At a height of 4 feet and 7 inches this duo always leaves a lasting impression. Besides their size another thing that most remember how hard they work and all that they have overcome. Victims of an abusive father, homelessness, poverty, & the welfare system they were driven to overcome their circumstances. God has given them a special gift to connect to youth of today especially those who are going thru what they went thru. They have done local radio shows and have been seen on national television. Mike & Bone have done shows in All over United States and Canada.

They even have an award-winning short film documentary
Entitled “Looked Over But Never Overlooked”. PBS Gallery documentary Dream Big NBC America’s Got Talent 8 , Host of International Indigenus Hip Hop Awards amoungst several more endevours. They have went on to fulfill there acting talents with their debut on Reservation Dogs.

Although their schedule is tight they still have time to move their audience with some motivational speaking over some traditional hip hop beats.

Hilton Phoenix Resort at the Peak

7677 N 16th St, Phoenix, AZ 85020 | Phone: (602) 997-2626

⟐ An additional resort fee of $20 per room per day will include:

⟐ Unlimited high-speed Internet for up to two devices ($29.90 value)

⟐ Unlimited local and 1-800 phone calls ($1/call value)

⟐ Use of Fitness Centre for up to four people ($48 value)

⟐ One round of 18-hole miniature golf for up to four people ($20 value)

⟐ Admittance into the River Ranch for up to four people (maximum four people per suite, ($140 value )

Remember to mention "UNITY" when booking your hotel to take advantage of discounted rates

Exhibitors - Your involvement will enhance the experience for attendees!

February 25-27 Phoenix, Arizona | Friday, Saturday and/or Sunday ½ Day

Package Rates

Exhibitor $400.00
Conference Bag Stuffing $250

Bag Stuffing Includes:
⟐ Limited to 10 per conference
⟐ Informational Items (brochures, flyers, booklets, etc.)
⟐ Promotional Items (pens, hand sanitizer, note pads, etc.)

Each Exhibitor/Vendor Booth Will Include

⟐ One (1) 6-ft table
⟐ Two (2) Chairs-ft table
⟐ Two (2) non-transferable registrations

Outreach Opportunity

⟐ Meet up to 500 Native Youth, ages 14-24 and their adult advisor
⟐ College & Career Day – Saturday
⟐ Speed workshop presentations
⟐ All day and evening activities
⟐ Cultural Sharing Night open to the community and public

Set up information and schedule coming soon.


The Workshops are now closed.

Thank you for your interest in conducting a speed workshop at the 2021 Midyear UNITY Conference in Phoenix, Arizona.

Workshop subject matters may include (but are not limited to):

⟐ CAREER: Higher Education, Fellowship Programs, STEM-related Education, Politics and Leadership, and Financial Planning

⟐ CULTURE: Language and Culture Retention Programs/Models, Using the Arts as a Means of Retaining Culture, Music, dancing or singing, Cultural Preservation, and Using  Culture as a Means to Live a Healthy Life;

⟐ ENVIRONMENT: Global Warming, Environmental Issues Confronting Tribal Communities, Careers, and Opportunities in Environmental Sciences, Political Issues Involving Our Planet;

⟐ HEALTH: Physical, Mental Health, Substance Abuse, Violence, Wellness Programs, Fitness, and Active Lifestyles.

UNITY serves Native American and Alaska Native youth ages 14-24 years old. Your content should be appealing and directed to youth in this age range. There is high interest in Peer-to-Peer workshops. Youth and youth councils are encouraged to submit proposals.

What is a Speed Workshop?

Similar to speed dating, presenters will have 25 minutes with each group of 10-12 Native youth participants. You will be required to present 3 times. The youth will rotate between tables of topics that interest them. The participants come to the table. You present your topic for about 15 minutes, then, for the remaining 10 minutes, you engage the participants in discussion questions about your topic. Your job is to carry the discussion and to make sure everyone has a better understanding of the topic at the end of the 25 minute period.

Please remember – this format of “workshopping” is meant to keep your audience engaged and feeling comfortable enough to contribute to the discussion. It’s also meant to share and to learn in a safe and positive atmosphere. Have fun with this new way of presenting your information.

Please note: Honorariums are not provided for workshop presenters. A One-Day Conference Pass is provided on Day-Of workshop presentation only (for presenters). To experience the Midyear Conference in its entirety, we ask that you please register and pay for full registration.

Sponsorship Opportunties

• 60-second video to be played during morning general sessions
• In-person or pre-taped welcome message
• Logo on event promotions (digital and printed) with “Presenting Sponsor” designation
• Logo on program cover (digital and printed)
• Verbal thank you and mention during the event
• One exhibitor booth/table
• Item in conference bag (provided by sponsor)
• Welcome letter in printed and digital event program
• Back Page Full-page Ad in printed and digital event program
• Mention in pre- and post-conference Press Release
• “Thank you to our presenting sponsor” message with a digital ad posted on social media channels
(Facebook and Instagram)
• Digital Ad to be included in one upcoming UNITY Newsletter)
• Ticker Ad (name on scroll across the screen during live streamed general sessions)
• Web Banner Ad on the UNITY Website (for a two-month period)
• 30 National UNITY Conference VIP registrations (Includes reserved seating in general session and UNITY Banquet)
• Full-size Tribal Leader cutout
• 30-second video to be played during morning general sessions
• Logo on event promotions and program (digital and printed)
• Verbal thank you and mention during the event
• One exhibitor booth/table
• Full-page Ad in printed and digtial event program
• Mention in post-conference Press Release
• Mention in “thank you sponsors” message on social media channels (Facebook and Instagram
• Digital Ad to be included in one upcoming UNITY Newsletter)
• Ticker Ad (name on scroll across the screen during live streamed general sessions)
• 10 National UNITY Conference VIP registrations (Includes reserved seating in general session and
UNITY Banquet)
• Half-size Tribal Leader cutout
FIRE SPONSOR | $15,000
• Logo on event promotions and program (digital and printed)
• Verbal thank you and mention during the event
• One exhibitor booth/table
• Half-page Ad in printed and digital event program
• Mention in post-conference Press Release
• Mention in “thank you sponsors” message on social media channels (Facebook and Instagram
• Ticker Ad (name on scroll across the screen during live streamed general sessions)
• 6 National UNITY Conference VIP registrations (Includes reserved seating in general session and UNITY Banquet)
• Logo on event promotions and program (digital and printed)
• Verbal thank you and mention during the event
• One exhibitor booth/table
• Ticker Ad (name on scroll across the screen during live streamed general sessions)
• Mention in post-conference Press Release
• Mention in “thank you sponsors” message on social media channels (Facebook and Instagram
• 2 National UNITY Conference VIP registrations (Includes reserved seating in general session and
UNITY Banquet)
• Logo on event promotions and program
(digital and printed)
• Verbal thank you and mention during the event
• Mention in post-conference Press Release
• Mention in “thank you sponsors” message on social media channels (Facebook and Instagram)
• Logo on event promotions and program (digital and printed)
• Mention in post-conference Press Release
• Mention in “thank you sponsors” message on social media channels (Facebook and Instagram)
• Half-page
• Full-page
TICKER AD (Total of 8 general sessions)
• Name to scroll across the screen during
live streamed general sessions
• Exclusive sponsor name on event lanyard
• Exclusive name and logo on
conference totes
• Logo watermark on screen
during all general live stream general
session (for virutal audience)


When registering, you may create an account that will allow you to make changes. Changes can be made up until the online registration deadline.  If participant names are unknown when first registering, simply put “TBD”. (TBD = To Be Determined)
Yes, as long as the cancellation occurs before July 1st. There will be a $25 cancellation fee per each individual registration.
There will be no on-site registration this year. Please register ahead of time.
No, registration will be forfeited with no future conference credit.
All youth participants ages 14-24 must be chaperoned.
Yes, all participants, including chaperones are required to have a name badge to access all sessions.
No, there will not be a one day conference fee available.
UNITY will follow CDC guidelines. Masks are recommended among those who are not vaccinated.
Social distancing will be encouraged during this event. There will be hand sanitizers widely available during this event.  Advisors! Please note, if someone begins to exhibit covid symptoms, they will be asked to self quarantine in their hotel rooms.

No, COVID-19 vaccines are not required for attendance. UNITY will abide by CDC guidelines for the duration of the conference. If you received a COVID-19 vaccine, you may consider keeping proof of your vaccination with you.

The banquet fee is included for each registration. If a registered attendee wishes to bring a guest, you can pay for an additional banquet ticket online.

Yes, when registering please note the Purchase Order or indicate a pending purchase order. A purchase order will hold the current rate until payment is received for a fee of $25 and must be paid within 60 days. 

Yes, casual to business casual.  The dress code is similar to a school dress code.

All rooms at the Hilton Resort are Suites that come with double beds and a sofa with a pull out bed, which can accommodate 4 – 6 people. However, there is only one bathroom. A King bed Suite includes a sofa sleeper (2 -4 people).

No other host hotel will be available with a conference rate.

There are limited hotel rooms available prior to and after the conference on a first come first served basis.

There is no free hotel shuttle service. You may try ride sharing apps like Uber or Lyft or Taxi service. Depending on the time of day, the cost one-way may be $20 – $30 depending on the type of vehicle you require.

The Hilton at the Peak is approximately almost 10 miles from Sky Harbor Airport.

No, you are welcome to attend as an individual.  We encourage all youth councils to find out how to become affiliated and take advantage of the benefits, otherwise you are welcome to attend as a group or individual, affiliated or not.

Yes, however, parents and advisors must consider whether topics and length of sessions are age appropriate.

Yes, you can participate in our conference, however, per the National UNITY Council Constitution and Bylaws, youth participants who wish to vote in the business meeting are required to be a U.S. citizen.  You may be an observer if you are not a U.S. citizen.

The weather will be very pleasant with lows in the 50s and highs in the 70s.

Exhibitors and workshop presenters must specify ahead of time if they have any audio or visual needs. A charge may apply.

Chairs and a podium will be provided.

Parking is free at the hotel site.  

Attractions include:

Phoenix Zoo https://www.phoenixzoo.org/

Biltmore Fashion Mall https://www.shopbiltmore.com/

Heard Museum https://heard.org/

Desert Botanical Garden https://dbg.org/

Pueblo Grande Museum https://www.phoenix.gov/parks/arts-culture-history/pueblo-grande

Butterfly Wonderland https://butterflywonderland.com/

Odysea Aquarium https://www.odyseaaquarium.com/

The Hotel will offer indoor dining and grab and go options. There are some fast food places within walking distance but some are limited to weekday and business hours. The nearest mall, Biltmore Fashion Mall is 2.6 miles away, which offers fast food options.

Phoenix Indian Medical Center https://www.ihs.gov/phoenix/healthcarefacilities/phoenix/ is an Indian Health Service facility. It is located 4.5 miles away from the hotel. The nearest medical facility to the hotel is the John C. Lincoln Medical Center, which is 2 miles away.


Important dates to remember and information is being gathered and will be placed here soon.

Past UNITY Midyear Conference Videos