UNITY celebrates Earth Day by announcing its 2021 Native American youth Earth Ambassadors cohort
UNITY has announced the 2021-2022 class of UNITY Earth Ambassadors. The environmental stewardship and leadership program, which began in the 1990s, provides Native American youth with training sessions and informational workshops to increase their knowledge of environmental issues affecting Indian country. Through the program, the ambassadors will learn effective methods to raise awareness and youth engagement of the issues affecting the environmental quality on Native lands and promote the efforts to address environmental concerns within the nation’s Native communities. Topics covered by previous cohorts have included recycling, conservation, regeneration, and restoration.
UNITY Earth Ambassadors will also have unique opportunities, coordinated through UNITY, to take their message to tribal and governmental agency representatives and lawmakers, and others committed to environmental stewardship.
The 2021-2022 class of UNITY Earth Ambassadors are:
- LeAndria Gene, 17, Navajo
- Steve Harvey, 19, San Carlos Apache
- Binaahozhoonii Daisey Howard, 15, Navajo (Dine) / Zuni
- Tobi Candice Joe, 18, Navajo
- Maiya Martinez, 20, Spokane Tribe
- Gabriella Nakai, 15, Navajo / Choctaw
- Lauren Shelly Pina, 20, San Carlos Apache
- Tylee Tom, 20, Navajo
- Karlin Tsotigh, 16, Kiowa
- Watson Whitford, 15, Chippewa Cree
“We are elated to celebrate Earth Day today by announcing our newest class of UNITY Earth Ambassadors,” said Mary Kim Titla, UNITY’s executive director. “This impressive group of Native youth shares a strong commitment to preserving our Mother Earth and identifying and developing action plans that will protect, inform, and sustain their communities for generations to come,” added Titla.
The newly selected ambassadors were nominated by a community member, meeting criteria that included demonstrating leadership potential, showing an interest in protecting the environment, and experience and participation in community service projects. They will receive leadership training and recognition during the National UNITY Conference in Dallas, Texas, from July 2-6, 2021.
The announcement of UNITY’s new class of Earth Ambassadors was officially made today as part of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indians Living Earth Festival – Youth in Action: Sustainable Future panel, featuring UNITY representative Marco Ovando (Shoshone-Paiute Tribe), a 2019-2020 UNITY Earth Ambassador.