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Southwest Region

UNITY Regional Profile

The Southwest Region consists of geographical areas and the states of New Mexico and Colorado. The Western region has 24 affiliated youth councils in 2 states within the UNITY Network.

2021 Fall Southwest Virtual Meet-Up

UNITY News: Western Updates

Southwest Regional Representative: Derek Capitan

Derek Capitan is an enrolled member of the Laguna Pueblo and is also affiliated with the Navajo Nation . Mr. Capitan is the Southwest Regional Representative to the National UNITY Executive Committee.

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Derek Capitan, Southwest Regional Representative

National UNITY Council Executive Committee


Welcome to the Southwest Regional UNITY Page: UNITY’s Southwest Region consists of New Mexico and Colorado. The Southwest is rich in culture, languages, and history, as well as natural and historic sites, parks, and forests. Sites of interest in our beautiful region include Dinosaur National Monument, Sand Creek Massacre National Historic Site, Yucca House National Monument, Arapaho National Forest, Gila, Puye, and Mesa Verde Cliff Dwellings, Cibola National Forest, Kasha-Katuwe Tent Rocks National Monument, White Sands National Monument, El Morro National Monument, and Pecos National Historic Park, among so many other breathtaking locations. Colorado is home to two federally recognized tribes, Southern Ute and Ute Mountain Ute, although our Apache, Comanche, and Shoshone relatives have historically belonged to Colorado lands. 23 Indigenous nations call New Mexico home including nineteen Pueblos: Acoma, Cochiti, Isleta, Jemez, Laguna, Nambe, Ohkay Owingeh, Picuris, Pojoaque, Sandia, San Felipe, San Ildefonso, Santa Ana, Santa Clara, Santo Domingo, Taos, Tesuque, Zuni and Zia; two Apache Nations: Mescalero and Jicarilla; the Navajo Nation with bands in Alamo, Rahma, and To’hajiilee; and one sister Pueblo in Texas, Ysleta del Sur. Languages in our region include Ute, Keres, Tiwa, Tigua, Tewa, Towa, Navajo, Zuni, and Apache. Our Indigenous communities value education and place high importance on learning our languages. There is at least one pre-school or day care program in each community that is taught in that respective language. In our region, you can find language immersion schools and tribal colleges and universities. Scholarships make higher education possible, and we are proud to be the home region of the Cobell Scholarship and the American Indian Graduate Center, both of which provide hundreds of thousands of dollars to Indigenous college students every year.


Biography of Southwest Regional Representative, Derek Capitan

Derek Capitan (Laguna/ Navajo) is from the Laguna Pueblo of New Mexico. He is attending the University of New Mexico (UNM) pursuing a degree in environmental engineering. His interest lies within assisting communities on identifying healthy solutions to agricultural and water treatment practices. Derekis involved with UNM’s Center for Water and the Environment,    conducting research on Indigenous Lands that have been impacted by mining legacy. He is proud to be helping his people and he hopes to deliver results that will guide them to a promising future. Derek also involves himself in other school clubs dedicated to academic excellence and volunteerism. Derek, who is now a part of the United National Indian Tribal Youth Council (UNITY), serving as representative of the Southwest region, is looking for yet another challenge as he looks to lead Indigenous youth to promising opportunities. His passion is his youth as he believes that they are future leaders of tomorrow. He believes they hold a special gift in which his goal is to help them find that. He is looking forward to the exciting journey that lies ahead.


Derek Capitan, Southwest Regional Representative

National UNITY Council Executive Committee

Southwest Region Youth Councils

  1. Four Corners UNITY Youth Council
  2. Mile High Youth Council
  3. Pike’s Peak Intertribal Youth
  4. Northern Colorado UNITY Council
  5. San Ildefonso Youth Council
  6. Youth Ambassadors Program, Americans for Indian Opportunity
  7. Albuquerque UNITY Youth Council
  8. Zuni Honoring Nativel Life Leaders
  9. Navajo Prep Naataanii Youth Council
  10. Crownpoint Dine Youth Council
  11. Kirtland Central Dine’ Youth Council
  12. Unity Advisor Page
  13. Tamaya Youth Group
  14. Ohkay Owingeh Boys & Girls Club
  15. Crownpoint Navajo Dept. of WF Dev.
  16. Kewa TRUTH Youth Council
  17. Native American Youth Empowerment
  18. Jicarilla Apache Youth Council
  19. Dine’/Navajo Heights Dine’ Yazhi’ Youth Council
  20. Mescalero System of Cave
  21. Naat’aanii Yazhi Youth Council
  22. Northern Navajo Agency Doolii Youth Group
  23. Pueblo of Tesuque Youth Coalition
  24. Pueblo of Zia
  25. Wingate High School

“Being here with UNITY is such a great experience. You get to meet so many new people and learn more about different tribes and their cultures.””


“The gathering, the sharing of cultures, the UNITY of our people!”


“Our YOUTH is the future!”


“It’s the best place to be open about what you think and what you want to do for your school or community. They make you feel like family and welcome you openly.”


“Great organization that allows empowerment for the Native youth to excel in leadership skills, networking opportunity, and early professional growth.”


“Awesome for youth group & leadership.”