Meet Umatilla Earth Advocate Nizhonia
Meet UNITY youth Nizhonia Toledo, of the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation in Oregon. “To me, being an environmental advocate is an opportunity to step up and influence other Native youth to take action in caring for our home. It means speaking for what can’t speak… our mother earth,” explained Nizhonia. “I want to protect the land our ancestors fought so hard for.”
In what ways are you addressing environmental concerns within your tribe or local community?
“I am passionate about speaking with our board of trustees members about these things and asking questions and learning from those who work in these fields of knowledge. As well as when I am out and about with my peers I talk with them about ways we as youth can save and preserve our land and first foods.”
What is a project promoting environmental stewardship that Native youth could do in your community?
“I would strive to clean up our recreational swimming areas along our Umatilla River. As well as our campgrounds in the Umatilla National Forest. It’s important to me to help protect and keep areas clean where our first foods can be found. I would also encourage other native youth to promote environmental wellness within my community and reservation.”
This is a call to action! The preservation of Mother Earth has been identified by Native youth as a top priority. Earth day is April 22nd, but you have all May to make a difference! How will you help preserve our environment and precious resources? All it takes is a little planning for your Earth Service project and you’re on your way to earning some spending money and cool UNITY swag!