UNITY Announces New Class of Earth Ambassadors
UNITY has announced the recipients of the 2017 UNITY Earth Ambassadors Leadership Program. The new class is the second group to be honored through this Environmental Stewardship program, which was reinstated in 2015 thanks in part to a matching grant awarded to UNITY by the Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community (SMSC).
Another matching grant awarded this year by the SMSC will allow this year’s class to attend training sessions and informational workshops to increase their knowledge of environmental issues affecting Native America, learn to serve as an ambassador to increase awareness of the issues affecting the environmental quality on Native lands, and promote the efforts to address environmental concerns within the nation’s Native communities. Topics will focus on, but not be limited to, recycling, conservation, regeneration, and restoration.
The 2017 class of the UNITY Earth Ambassadors Leadership Program includes:
- Nicholas Call, 15, Yamasee Seminole – Orange Springs, FL
- Damien Carlos, 18, Tohono O’odham Nation – Sells, AZ
- Tristan Joe, 17, Navajo Nation – Kirtland, NM
- Raeanna Johnson, 15, Navajo Nation – Hardrock, AZ
- Tatiana Ticknor, 18, Dena’ina/Tlingit – Anchorage, AK
- Sonwai Wakayuta, 16, Hualapai – Kingman, AZ
- Attaquin Weeden, 20, Mashpee Wampanoag, Mashpee, MA
- Jazmine Wildcat, 14, Northern Arapaho, Riverton, WY
- Journey Zephier, 17, Yankton Sioux, Kapaa, HI
- Rainbow Star Zephier, 15, Yankton Sioux, Kapaa, HI
The newly selected ambassadors were nominated by a member of their community, meeting criteria that included demonstrating leadership potential, showing an interest in protecting the environment, and experience and participation in community service projects. They will receive leadership training and be officially recognized at the National UNITY Conference in Denver, Colorado, July 6-10, 2017.
“We are excited about this new class of Earth Ambassadors! They are committed young people who care deeply about Mother Earth. We look forward to what they will recommend to help preserve and protect our ecosystem. We are thankful to the Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community for its commitment to youth and protecting the environment,” said Mary Kim Titla, UNITY Executive Director.
In addition, the UNITY Earth Ambassadors will be provided special opportunities, coordinated through UNITY, to take their message to tribal and governmental agency representatives, as well as lawmakers and others committed to environmental stewardship. Tribes, businesses or organizations who wish to assist in all or partially matching the $25,000 grant are urged to contact the UNITY office at (480) 718 – 9793.