United National Indian Tribal Youth (UNITY) joins the country in sorrow as we mourn the passing of civil rights leader and U.S. Representative John Lewis. He was a pioneer in leading the charge against injustice and inequality, and never stopped fighting for social justice and equal rights. He was often called “the conscience of the Congress,” and will be sorely missed.

“As UNITY pursues its mission to build a strong, unified, and self-reliant Native America, through youth involvement, we can hold John Lewis up as someone to emulate,” said MaryKimTitla (San Carlos Apache), UNITY executive director. “His story is a great example for young people today, proving that it’s never too early or too late to make a difference.”

Joint statement from National UNITY Council Co-Presidents Brittany McKane (Muscogee Creek) and Robert Scottie Miller (Swinomish):

“Representative John Lewis’s life is one we are all fortunate to have witnessed in our shared time on earth. Even before the age of 25, John Lewis fought for civil rights alongside several of history’s greatest leaders. As a youth, he created an everlasting impact with his actions, sacrificing his own safety to fight for what was right. He caused good trouble to create necessary change. He dedicated his life to the pursuit of liberty for his people, both present and unborn. As we celebrate his life and legacy, we must now, more than ever, embody the spirit of his fight and carry on the torch to light the way for future generations. Thank you, Representative Lewis.“