Native youth from south and eastern tribes represented their communities with pride while developing community action plans as part of a youth track at the USET Impact Week events in Washington, DC. USET stands for United South and Eastern Tribes inc. USET and the Close Up Foundation have partnered for the past 20 years to work with youth from USET tribal nations where students are involved in the democratic process through current issue debates, collaborative learning, and the development of citizenship skills while also engaging with the USET Board of Directors.
Close Up’s High School Programs give students and educators an inside look at democracy in action using the nation’s capital as a living classroom. The Close Up Foundation has customized its youth program for USET student groups so they may gain a perspective of how Washington, D.C. and Indian Country function with one another. Students work on leadership skills, identify issues and challenges in their community, and work on community action plans to help make improvements when they return to their respective tribal communities.
UNITY youth councils from the Poarch Creek Tribe in Alabama and the Alabama-Coushatta Tribe of Texas participated in the youth track. UNITY’s Executive Director Mary Kim Titla promoted the 2019 National UNITY Conference at the youth track and at the USET Impact meetings with tribal leaders.