I Will Live! – UNITY, Inc.

UNITY Co-Presidents Meet with the White House

On Monday, April 26, Special Assistant to the President for Native Affairs, Libby Washburn (Chickasaw Nation of Oklahoma), Senior Advisor for Intergovernmental Affairs and Director of Tribal Affairs at The White House, PaaWee Rivera (Pueblo of Pojoaque), Department of Interior’s Indian Water Rights Office Deputy Director Tracy Goodluck (Oneida, Mvskoke) and Associate Director at The White House Office of Public Engagement, Hannah Bristol joined a virtual listening session with Native American youth from across the country to discuss their priorities. This listening session was held in partnership with the  United National Indian Tribal Youth, Inc, the Center for Native American Youth (CNAY), and the National Congress of American Indians (NCAI). Read More

NUC EC Passes a Resolution to Reaffirm I Will Live Campaign for 2021

In efforts to bring further attention to suicide prevention in the midst of the global Pandemic, the National UNITY Council reaffirmed the “I Will Live” Initiative during the 2021 Business Meeting.  The NUC encourages all UNITY affiliated Youth Councils to share updated resources with their communities. The EC aims to inspire collective action, to bring about Native wellness and empower others to actively pursue a balanced lifestyle.
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StrongHearts Native Helpline Resource

DOMESTIC VIOLENCE IS NEVER OKAY.

StrongHearts Native Helpline 1-844-7NATIVE (762-8483) is a safe domestic violence and dating violence helpline for American Indians and Alaska Natives, offering culturally-appropriate support and advocacy daily from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. CT. Anonymous and confidential.

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My healing journey: UNITY Alaskan Native youth

Healing Indigenous Lives Youth Submission: Korbin Storms, Native Village of Unalakleet, Alaska

I would tell Native Youth that struggle to see themselves as leaders that they have resiliency in their DNA, that sometimes it takes someone who has been low and lost before to connect to others that are feeling that way, that they have a unique perspective and so much potential to enact change and that the best leaders are those that give hope to others. The challenge I am most proud of overcoming in my lifetime is learning that although I have a relationship with mental illness it is not define who I am. I am so much more than my depression. That, perhaps most importantly, I could be a good mother despite my illness.

If you are putting yourself into a leadership role that focuses on healing oneself, you must show character and be transparent.  #NativeYouthVoices

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Native youth testimonies help push Suicide Prevention Act 

The Native American Suicide Prevention Act, sponsored by Arizona Congressman Grijalva, was a key provision in the latest $900 Billion COVID-19 relief package passed by Congress last month. The Native American Suicide Prevention Act requires states to work with tribes and tribal entities when implementing suicide prevention programs. Last July, four UNITY youth leaders testified during a Mental Health and Healing Oversight Hearing hosted by the Subcommittee for Indigenous Peoples of the United States. According to Congressman Grijalva’s office, the hearing played a major role in the development of the Native American Suicide Prevention Act. Read More

Prayer Fire event held in response to suicide crisis

Shoshone Paiute tribal youth leaders in Nevada hosted and participated in a Prayer Fire to address a rash of recent suicides in their tribal community. Marco Ovando, a member of the UNITY 25 Under 25 Leaders and members of the Shoshone-Paiute Tribal Youth Council teamed up to address three suicides within a two-week period along with other health-related deaths. The Prayer Fire, to recognize victims and ask for healing and protection, was held at the community’s pow wow grounds.

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Generational Resilience 3 Part Webinar series

Watch and learn as the SAMHSA recorded webinars examine traditional practices for prevention, life skills development and models for positive youth development. Read More

Mental Health and Suicide Prevention Resources for Native Youth

In mid-September, the Center for Native American YouthNative Wellness InstituteWe R Native, and Tribal Health Reaching Out Involves Everyone (THRIVE) announced the “Native Youth Are Medicine Campaign.” This campaign aims to spark conversations around mental health, self-love, and to create youth-centered spaces to share practices that promote healing, wellness, and tools to live in balance. Check out their websites and social media/YouTube channels for a variety of virtual gatherings, including webinars, resource sharing, and discussions to promote wellness for Native American youth.

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UNITY We Have Hope Q & A: Native youth Artist Spotlight

The We Have Hope series highlights Native youth from across the nation doing great things during uncertain times. We’re excited for our first special guest, Evynn Richardson from the Haliwa Saponi Tribe of North Carolina! Evynn is a rising artist and designed the 2020 UNITY Virtual Conference. Join us at 3pm PST for our Native youth artist spotlight Q&A.  At 5pm PST we’ll have a second special guest, Jaron Yazzie from the Navajo Nation! Jaron is a rising artist and creates traditional Navajo jewelry.

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Holiday Support for Native Youth

Prevention experts know that the holidays can be a tough time for those who suffer from depression, grief, and loss, and it’s just as important to support our youth during this time. Learn more about the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline and related resources by clicking the link. The Lifeline is free, confidential, and available 24/7. 1-800-273-8255 Read More