Challenge Accepted: Youth Council of the Year SRPMIC Wellness Warriors – UNITY, Inc.

Challenge Accepted: Youth Council of the Year SRPMIC Wellness Warriors

UNITY’s 2018 Youth Council of the Year leads by example hosting a variety of wellness events within their community. Young River Peoples Council of the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community, Arizona, was recognized as Youth Council of the Year last month at the National UNITY Conference in San Diego. The UNITY Wellness Warriors Program challenges affiliated youth councils to implement a Wellness Warrior event this year. By utilizing the project planning tools offered through the free mobile phone app and on the UNITY website, youth councils can join the national movement and share traditional wellness teachings with their home community. The Wellness Warriors program promotes Physical, Mental, Spiritual and Social Wellness. Congrats to the SRPMIC’s youth for promoting wellness in each of these areas!

An example of the Youth Council’s efforts to pursue Physical Wellness was their event held on Dec. 3rd:  The YRPC  hosted a Toka tournament along with the  Salt River Toka team. The Youth Council reflected that “Our tournament had a great turnout. I was happy to see many teams from the 4 sister Tribes. My favorite part was gifting the  winners and teams with gourd dolls and gift baskets. During the game, I had broke my stick and my sister, Sommer gave me hers so I could continue to play. I’m glad we have that kind of special bond! We had a good turn out and I hope we can host another tournament in the future.” 

The YRPC addressed Mental Wellness when they hosted the first Native Youth Legislative Day which took place at the State Capitol. The Youth Council explained how “I thought the day was pretty fun considering the topics we were learning about, such as how to pass a bill, how to become more involved in protecting the environment, how to tell your story and what is leadership. Some of the workshops were inspiring and very helpful. The food trucks were very delicious. We have many ideas to make next year more successful! Thank you Children’s Foundation for helping us make this a successful event!” 

An example of Spiritual Wellness was when YRPC along with the Morning Star Youth Council had the opportunity to hike Red Mountain with Royce Manuel and Jacob Butler from Salt River Fire Dept. YRPC recalled “Although it was quite tiring, learning more about the land and our people made it worth it. Royce and Jacob told us stories and we even learned a few O’odham words. The day was full of stories, culture, a few cactus pricks and a lot of fun!  During this event we had members and friends of the community share poems relating to the topic of missing and murdered indigenous women. Between poems we also had speakers that shared information on how combat this issue and where to get help. We served lunch to everyone that attended and had a shawl ceremony with prayer circle. We put this on the help bring awareness to this epidemic.”

When it comes to Social Wellness event planning, the YRPC stated that “We are STRONG in this area” while hosting more than 6 activities in the past 12 months. They shared how “Departments are seeing youth council as inspiration and a way to create positive change for the community.”   In all these ways the Young River Peoples Council of the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community truly exemplify what it means to be a WELLNESS WARRIOR. Congratulations again on being UNITY’s Youth Council of the Year!

Download the FREE UNITY Wellness Warriors App today! Use the mobile app to create a Action Plan for your next wellness event to complete the Wellness Warriors Challenge!
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A Special Thank you to the W. K. Kellogg Foundation (WKKF) for their ongoing support of the UNITY Wellness Warriors Program. WKKF supports children, families and communities as they strengthen and create conditions that propel vulnerable children to achieve success as individuals and as contributors to the larger community and society.