The Rocky Mountain Wellness Warrior: Jacob Hugs
Wellness Warrior Jacob Hugs of the Salish and Crow Nations is the 2017-2018 Rocky Mountain Representative on the National UNITY Council and a Junior at St Ignatius High School. Jacob embodies the impact that the UNITY experience can have on native youth. “I have been coming to UNITY now for 3 years and it has been life-changing for me personally. Not only me but my friends also. With all the trainers, guest speakers and amazing youth and staff who run the conferences and gatherings, it truly has inspired me!” says Hugs, “I want to be a leader for the native youth on my reservation and even the adults. I am committed to being drug and alcohol-free for my people.”
“Ta či qs čmšqnmist! (Never give up) The UNITY Wellness Warriors Program empowers native youth to take an active role in building holistically healthier communities for our future generations. Hugs explains, “Modeling a healthy lifestyle with diet and exercise is a passion of mine! My culture and elders have always been at the center of my life and that has always been my strength. My family has always been there to support me. I see the problems my fellow youth are going through, and it would be a dream of mine to be a voice and help them solve their problems. The language, stories, and history of my people must be passed down and having a voice to echo that vision will only help preserve who we are. I am very excited to see UNITY grow and I hope I can be a part of the process.”
A Wellness Warrior helps teaches other native youth how to live in balance for a healthy future. Hugs explains “Picking and eating any kind of berries brings balance, because not only do we people eat and rely on them, the animals around us do.” United National Indian Tribal Youth, Inc. offers a free smartphone mobile app to encourage Youth Councils to seek out traditional teachings on food sovereignty, language revitalization, personal wellness, and planning health-centered community service projects. We NEED YOU to download the UNITY App and Add YOUR tribal wellness teachings for other native youth to learn from! Take Action today!