UNITY Remembers Ashley Chinana
Ashley Chinana, 23, a beautiful member of the Santee Sioux Tribe, served on the National UNITY Council Executive Committee (NUC EC) from 2012 through 2014 as the first Great Plains Region Representative. On behalf of UNITY, the NUC EC, Trustees, youth, and advisors, we were very saddened to hear of Ashley’s passing and offer sincerest condolences to her family, relatives, Santee Sioux community and her friends.
Ashley accomplished a great deal in her young life. While at Niobrara High School, Ashley was actively involved in in basketball, cross country, cheerleading, and the National Honor Society. She was also an active member of the Santee Sioux Youth Council. Her involvement with the youth council led to her involvement with UNITY and eventually the National UNITY Council and executive committee. The youth council and UNITY experiences helped Ashley hone her leadership skills and to be community service minded.
Thanks to a supportive family, Ashley developed a zest for life and was highly ambitious. She continued her education and graduated from Southeast Community College with an A.A. Degree in general liberal arts. She enlisted in the Army National Guard in 2014 and was still active. She enjoyed jingle dress dancing, running, and playing basketball.
Evident in Ashley’s life was her deep commitment to family, community, culture and overall wellness. Ashley was proud of who she is was a young Santee Sioux and Sisseton Wahpeton Sioux. With a big heart, she exemplified the values instilled by her family and community. Ashley learned the value of hard work. Her young life experiences prepared her to tackle any challenge she was faced with. She was truly a role model.
Of course, Ashley’s greatest accomplishment and joy were being a mother to her young son Gregory Neff, III. We offer special prayers for him, her companion Gregory “Sonny” Neff, II, her parents, and siblings. Thank you, Ashley, for being a blessing to so many.