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About The UNITY National Conference

The National UNITY Conference is an impactful five-day youth-led annual event held every July in a pre-selected region of the U.S. About 2,500 Native youth and advisors are expected to attend the 2022 in Minneapolis, Minnesota (July 8 – 12). The National UNITY Conference complete with general sessions, regional caucuses, workshops, career/education fair, and fun evening activities provides hands-on leadership development activities and where the National UNITY Council conducts elections and its annual business meeting. The national conference is a place where Native youth voice is encouraged and valued. All activities are planned with safety in mind.In addition, UNITY offers unique youth programming through its UNITY Fire and UNITY Drum. The UNITY Fire, which burns 24-7 during the annual conference and led by alumni fire keepers, is used for social and prayer purposes and has provided conference attendees an opportunity for support, healing and spiritual nourishment. The fire is meant for all beliefs and religions to share their “Good Medicine” with other participants. The UNITY Drum, also led by alumni, is an open drum with roots in the southern style of powwow singing. All youth singers are encouraged to bring their drumsticks to join in. While youth leaders meet, advisors and adults who work with youth are also involved in intense training and networking activities. Adult training may include building rapport, peer-to-peer sharing, conflict resolution, approaches to youth work, and more.
Affiliated Youth Councils and individual members are eligible for registration discounts. Become a member today!

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Advanced (Dec 1 – May 31): $350
Full Rate (Jun 1 – Onsite): $450

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Featured Speakers

Chef Stephanie "PYET" DeSpain

Stephanie goes by Pyet, short for her inherited native american name Pyetwetmokwe.
Pyet is an award winning traveling private chef. She is the first winner of Gordon Ramsay’s new groundbreaking TV show, Next Level Chef, on Fox. In 2021, Pyet was named the seventh best private chef in Los Angeles by Entrepreneur Magazine. Her life’s work is dedicated to Indigenous Fusion Cuisine, where she combines the food of her heritage – both Native American and Mexican. Pyet’s passion is to uplift indigenous culture and traditions via storytelling, traveling, and cooking.
Excerpt taken from


2022 UNITY J.R. Cook Advisor of the Year Award
Effective and successful youth councils consistently have one key ingredient in common; an advisor who is involved, provides wise counsel and guidance, and is willing to work closely with youth council members as they make and carry out their decisions and related activities.
UNITY values the dedication of these many individuals who provide adult leadership and nurture and support the development of Native youth. In appreciation, UNITY will honor one such advisor this year during the 2021 National UNITY Virtual Conference. The honoree will be recognized during the 2022 National UNITY Conference GALA on Sunday July 10, 2022 in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
Please note, only online submissions are accepted at this time.  Application deadline is on June 11, 2022.
Before completing this form, a Letter of Support from a community member or leader is required.

Please nominate a deserving advisor
Deadline: June 1, 2022

2022 UNITY Eddie Wadda Alumni of the Year Award
Do you know a UNITY alumnus who should be recognized for their outstanding achievement and contributions to the Native American community? UNITY is accepting nominations for its prestigious Eddie Wadda Alumni of the Year Award.
The purpose of the “Eddie Wadda Alumni of the Year Award” is to recognize outstanding achievement by an individual among the UNITY alumni.  An Alumni of UNITY is any individual who was actively a part of UNITY as a youth, advisor, trustee or staff that is over the age of 24. UNITY values the dedication of these individuals who embody the spirit of UNITY by giving back to the Native American community. In appreciation, UNITY will honor one such Alumnus or Alumna this year during the 2022 National UNITY Conference GALA on Sunday, July 10, 2022 in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
Please note, only online submissions are accepted at this time.  Letters of Recommendation must be uploaded here to this form, and not sent in separately. Only online materials submitted by this date will be reviewed and considered.  Application deadline is on June 1, 2022.
Please nominate a deserving advisor
Deadline: June 1, 2022

Conference Deadlines

Hilton Minneapolis

1001 Marquette Avenue South
Minneapolis, MN 55403, US

We are now accepting hotel reservations for our upcoming event. Through this website you can book, modify or cancel your hotel reservations and receive updated information about the event. We look forward to seeing you!

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

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Exhibitors - UNITY Is all about providing resources and opportunities to Native Youth!

July 8-12 Minneapolis, Minnesota

Package Rates

Native Artist Vendors (4-days) – $650.00
Tribal/Tribal Enterprise, Non-Profit (4-days) – $750.00
Government, Corporation, Education (4-days) – $1,250.00
Education and Career Fair Expo Exhibitor (1-day) – $300.00
Bag stuffing – $500

Bag Stuffing Includes:
⟐ Limited to 10 per conference
⟐ Informational Items (brochures, flyers, booklets, etc.)
⟐ Promotional Items   (pens, hand sanitizer, note pads, etc.)
For more information please contact Michele Crank

Each Exhibitor/Vendor Booth Will Include

⟐ 10’x10’ booth space with Pipe and Drape: 8’ high back wall drape, 3’ high side drape

One (1) 8’ draped table

Two (2) side chairs

One (1) 7” x 44” booth identification sign

Outreach Opportunity

⟐ Meet up to 1,800 Native Youth, ages 14-24 and their adult advisors
⟐ Education and Career Expo
⟐ Workshop presentation opportunity 
⟐ Day and evening activities 
⟐ Cultural Sharing Night open to the community and public 

Set up information and schedule coming soon.

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Thank you for your interest in conducting a speed workshop at the 2021 National UNITY Conference in Minneapolis, MN.

Submissions are now open for workshops for United National Indian Tribal Youth’s (UNITY) National Leadership Conference, July 8-12, 2022, in Minneapolis. In addition, early bird conference registration offered at a discounted rate is available through May 31.
Presenters will have 45 minutes to present on a specific topic with a 15-minute break in between sessions. There will be seven rounds of the presentations between two days, giving attendees the opportunity to explore their preferred workshops. Past topics have included higher education, politics, and leadership, using the arts as a means of retaining culture, environmental issues confronting tribal communities, wellness programs, and others.
This format of workshops is meant to engage Native youth participants and to learn in a safe and positive environment. UNITY encourages potential presenters to be fun and creative with their submissions and topics.

Registration dates and prices to attend the National Conference are as follows:
Through May 31, 2022: $350 advance registration
June 1 through onsite registration: $450 full rate

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Sponsorship Opportunties

Conference program advertisements are due no later than Friday, June 10, 2022.
Video/commercial submissions are due no later than Wednesday, June 15, 2022

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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.  Masks are encouraged. 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.

Rooms at the Hilton can accommodate up to 4 people (two double beds).

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 is approximately 9 miles from the Minneapolis St. Paul International 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 warm and humid with lows in the 60s and highs in the 80s.

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 available at the host hotel but it is a public parking garage. The daily parking rate is $15. You will be expected to pay when leaving and re-entering the parking garage. For more information about hotel parking, you may contact the hotel at (612) 376-1000. The Minneapolis Convention Center is within walking distance. For those not staying at the host hotel, public parking is also available at the convention center at the following rates:
Early Bird (In before 8 am, out by 5 pm)     $9
1 hour                         $5
3 – 6 hours                     $10
6 – 12 hours                     $15
12 – 24 hours                     $20
Lost Ticket                     $25

Attractions include:
Walker Art Center
Mall of America
Guthrie Theater
The Lynhall

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, Nicollet Mall is 0.3 miles away, which offers fast food options.

The Indian Health Board Medical & Dental Center is an Indian Health Service facility. It is located 1.7 miles away from the hotel. The number to the facility is (612) 721-9800. The nearest medical facility (non-IHS) to the hotel is the Hennepin Healthcare Center, which is 1 mile away.


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

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Past UNITY Conference Videos

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