UNITY Peer Guide Cheyenne Kippenberger and UNITY National UNITY Council (NUC) Female Co-President Brittany McKane attended a Native Youth Design Lab in Pawhuska, OK, for a campaign involving narrative change surrounding Native peoples. The Design Lab was hosted by Center for Native American Youth (CNAY) and IllumiNative, as well as Ryan Redcorn with Buffalo Nickel Creative Studios. The UNITY youth leaders spent two days collaborating and exchanging ideas to spark change for positive representation for Indigenous people. Read More
“Being able to come full circle in an event like this is so exciting, as a younger youth I participated in the annual Ingenious Games and now I got to help make this day possible for the youth of my community” said UNITY Peer Guide Leticia Lucille Gonzales, “It makes me proud that they are still as excited about the event as I used to be.” As a Peer Guide ambassador Gonzales often assists with local drug and alcohol free activities for youth. The annual “Jr. Indigenous Games” in the Community of Bishop, CA, was their creative take on Alaskan Games engaging Native youth in wellness as cultural prevention. Read More
UNITY Peer Guide Santana Bartholomew shares upon her experiences working with her Native youth as a Pueblo of Pojoaque Youth Path to Wellness Coordinator: “Spending time with the youth in my community and witnessing the internal growth that takes place is the most rewarding part of my job. To see young tribal members develop leadership skills and a love of helping others in their community is not only a result of my dedication, but it is also a glimpse of who these youth truly are, the things they value, cherish, wish to protect, and most importantly, who they will become in the future. Read More
The Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention provides support for UNITY’s Peer Guide Program through a cooperative agreement. This article was written by our partners at Tribal Youth Resource Center.
The Tribal Youth Resource Center (TYRC) team took a few minutes to ask OJJDP Program Specialist Kara McDonagh a few “get to know you” questions. We learned more about her work as an OJJDP program specialist and about her passion and dedication to Tribal youth programs.
Native American youth from urban and rural communities across the nation gathered in July for the annual National UNITY Conference, held at the Gaylord Resort & Conference Center in Orlando, Florida. The 5-day conference, hosted by United National Indian Tribal Youth (UNITY), provided participants with culturally relevant leadership and skill-building training through workshops and keynote presentations. For 43 years, UNITY has offered essential support to Native American and Alaska Native youth, ages 14-24, through various programming opportunities, instilling a foundation for youth leaders and advocates to activate and build upon being positive change agents in their communities.
UNITY, Inc. has named two individuals with extensive experience in Indian country to spearhead the national Healing Indigenous Lives Initiative in partnership with the Department of Justice, Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP). The cooperative agreement provides funding to engage Native American youth and youth serving programs in a national initiative that builds on the successes of the past efforts and the Today’s Native Leaders program. Over the next two years, the initiative will hold six regional trainings to gather Native youth feedback on how best to support and enhance Native youth engagement, coordination, and action related to cultural prevention, with a focus on juvenile justice and delinquency prevention in Indian country.
Congratulations to a new class of UNITY youth leaders! Twelve young people have been named to UNITY’s OJJDP Peer Guide program, which builds on the successes of the past Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP) National Intertribal Youth Leadership efforts and the Today’s Native Leaders program. The three-year initiative will support and enhance Native youth engagement, coordination, and action related to community support systems, cultural approaches to restorative justice, with a focus on juvenile justice and delinquency prevention in Indian country. UNITY looks forward to working with this diverse group of youth leaders and mentors, who will design and facilitate intensive trainings aimed to reach at risk Native youth throughout the country.
National UNITY Council’s Executive Committee Southeastern Representative Halona Benjamin, Lumbee, wants to share this toolkit with you! Among the diverse populations affected by human trafficking, indigenous peoples worldwide are at particular risk for both sex trafficking and labor trafficking. The HHS Administration for Native Americans (ANA) notes that American Indian, Alaska Native, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander women and girls are at higher risk for experiencing sex trafficking.
Access the fact sheet to learn more about OTIP’s efforts to combat human trafficking in Native communities. The Native Youth Toolkit aims to raise awareness and prevent trafficking of Native youth by educating them on what human trafficking is, available resources, safety tips, and ways to get involved in their communities.