UNITY Youth Councils Described
Download the Guide, “How to Establish a UNITY Youth Council.”
The most recent version of the “How to Establish a UNITY Youth Council” guide is available for download. The Guide is a convenient source of information for use in organizing a youth council in your community. If you have questions or need assistance, please contact a staff member at the UNITY Headquarters: 480-718-9793.
WHAT IS A YOUTH COUNCIL?
Native American youth can make a difference, but first they must be organized and prepared for action. An effective way to accomplish this is through a youth council. A youth council represents a practical way of enabling youth to have a meaningful role in helping solve community problems. Types of youth councils include:
- Tribal Youth Councils
- Alaska Native Village Youth Councils
- Urban Youth Councils
- High School Indian Clubs
- College or University Native American Associations
- A Church-sponsored Youth Group
- An Independent Youth Group
Keep in mind that youth councils are just as diverse as Native America itself. Each youth council maintains its own identity and is built upon the needs and values of that particular community.
By being involved with a youth council, young Native Americans can use their combined talents and energy to address major concerns facing them today. Youth design and promote their own programs to fit their needs.
Young people who are involved with youth councils learn to accept responsibility. They grow through achievement and in the knowledge that they are making a real contribution to their community and to Native America.
What does a Youth Council do?
Each youth council determines its activities based on its own needs. Needs can be identified through discussions with members, interviews, surveys, and other types of research. Once needs are determined, youth councils develop their own action plan to implement their activities.
As affiliates of the UNITY Network, youth councils are expected to conduct activities in community service, cultural heritage, environment, and healthy lifestyles.
For example, UNITY Network affiliated youth councils have:
- volunteered to help the elderly or handicapped
- presented workshops on leadership, peer pressure and school participation
- established a college scholarship
- sponsored youth camps and conferences
- started own business
- sponsored food and clothing drives
- conducted bone marrow tissue typing drive
- sponsored health forums and health career day
- raised money for an infant heart transplant
- purchased Christmas toys for less fortunate children
- sponsored trash clean up days
- participated in beading and craft classes
- sponsored alcohol and drug free dances or skate-a-thons
- raised money for a recreation center
- participated in a governor’s page program