The National UNITY Council’s Northeastern Representative Nathan Solorio, also recently awarded the prestigious 25 Under 25 award, has been traveling his region this winter networking and reaching out to Native youth in various ways.
Two amazing events that took place in the Northeast this winter included the White House Tribal Youth Forum, hosted by UNITY, and our Northeast Healing Circle, in partnership with the Mashantucket Pequot Tribe of Connecticut. I would have never thought I would be able to be inside the White House. It was beyond anything I could have dreamed that my leadership would bring me here. It felt unreal to be able to be invited. I reflected on how many Native youths would ever get this opportunity, and how many Ojibway or Anishinaabe leaders had walked these halls before me. It shows me that there are no limits to the opportunities that your community work can bring your way. I am forever grateful for UNITY offering me this experience.
The Northeast Healing Circle is exactly what our region needed to help our tribal youth come together and network. Many of our youth councils are rebuilding after the pandemic and needed this additional support. Looking over the youth feedback it gives me hope for the future. I learned so much from the former Northeast Peer Guide Rory and my fellow EC Peer Leaders. I am grateful for the facilitation skills they have shared. It was great to have the East Coast represented with support from our Southeaster Representative Evynn. I especially appreciated the host tribe taking the time to have their actual Tribal Council attend and open up to youth. They were moved to tears and shared how their cultural teaching carried him through the roughest times. I know every person in our circle walked away changed for the better. Thank you again to the Mashantucket Pequot Tribe for hosting such an impactful event for our Northeast Native youth to learn and grow together.