Organizing Youth Councils
Organize Youth and Adults
- Youth decide to organize. They sign a petition or letter indicating their interest in and support for a youth council. Petition or letter is presented to tribe or sponsoring organization such as a school.
- A steering committee is formed. Steering committee members include youth and adults.
- Sponsoring organization designates a youth coordinator or advisor. This may be a paid or volunteer position. This individual could be a tribal employee, teacher, parent, or community member.
Form Your Council
- A resolution is drafted and presented to the tribal government or supporting organization for consideration. The resolution is designed to ensure that the youth council is part of the supporting organization’s permanent structure. (A sample resolution is included.)
- The steering committee develops bylaws for the youth council. Keep in mind that the council is tailored to meet the needs of the youth and the values and traditions of the respective tribe or supporting organization. (A sample set of bylaws is included).
- Youth council bylaws are approved by members and then presented to tribal officials or sponsoring organization members for their approval.
- An advisory council is formed. Parents, elders, concerned adults, and representatives of youth-serving organizations may be invited to serve. One or two advisors are selected to serve as primary advisors.
- Elections are conducted for youth council officers.
- Youth conduct meetings and develop their course of direction.
Join the UNITY Network
After your youth council is organized, members vote and join the UNITY Network. Copies of youth council bylaws and resolution need to be on file with the UNITY office. Information on joining the Network and affiliation forms are available on the web site at www.unityinc.org.
A resolution should be submitted to and approved by the sponsoring tribe, village or organization. Adapt the following sample resolution to the particular needs of the organizing group and type on letterhead, fill in the blanks and choose appropriate terms such as reservation, village, or organization. Once the resolution is passed, send a copy to the UNITY office.
Organizing a Youth Council Packet
Download the pdf file linked below for a detailed explanation of how to establish a youth council.
Download the pdf: “How to Establish a UNITY Youth Council”.