Native youth will engage with national leaders to help strengthen partnerships with Tribal Nations and Native communities
Mesa, Ariz. – United National Indian Tribal Youth (UNITY) — in conjunction with the Center for Native American Youth at the Aspen Institute — is proud to participate in the 2023 White House Tribal Youth Forum during the week of November 5, 2023, at the Department of Health and Human Services in Washington, D.C. The event will begin with a reception, round dance, and culture jam at the National Museum of the American Indian. UNITY will be represented by 11 Native youth leaders from across the country with speaking roles.
“The forum provides a unique opportunity for the Administration to hear directly from Native youth about their priorities and the incredible contributions they are making in their communities,” said Mary Kim Titla, UNITY executive director. Topics to be discussed include climate resiliency, mental health, cultural preservation, Indian Child Welfare Act, and Boarding Schools.
UNITY youth who will take active roles in the forum as emcees or moderators include:
• Jonathan Arakawa (Lower Elwha Klallam, Washington) – UNITY Male Co-President
• Bronson Azama (Kānaka Maoli, Hawaiʻi) – UNITY Earth Ambassador
• Mazie Countryman (Northern Arapaho/Navajo/Eastern Shoshone, Idaho) – UNITY Northwest Area Representative
• Anagali (Shace) Duncan (Cherokee Nation, Oklahoma) – UNITY Earth Ambassador
• Evelyn Enos (Akimel O'odham/Tohono O’odham, Gila River Indian Community, Arizona) – UNITY Earth Ambassador
• Jalen Harvey (Acoma Pueblo/Hopi/Navajo, Arizona) – UNITY Western Area Representative and Secretary
• Kiyasha Harvey (San Carlos Apache) - San Carlos Apache Youth Council
• Sineca Jackson (Akimel O’odham, Gila River Indian Community, Arizona) – UNITY Pacific Area Representative
• Kaytlynn Johnston (Bishop Paiute, California) – UNITY Female Co President
• Marla Mesarina (Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe/Sisseton Wahpeton Oyate Sioux, Minnesota) – UNITY Midwest Area Representative
• Keeleigh Sanders (Cherokee Nation, Oklahoma) – Miss Cherokee Nation
• Watson Whitford (Chippewa Cree/Navajo, Montana) – UNITY Rocky Mountain Area Representative and Vice President
The youth leaders will attend this important forum thanks, in part, to support from UNITY sponsors: Walmart, Chance and Tyler Rush, National Center for American Indian Enterprise Development, Vadon Foundation, Bank of America, and San Manuel Band of Mission Indians.
Founded in 1976, United National Indian Tribal Youth, Inc. (UNITY) is a national network organization promoting personal development, citizenship, and leadership among Native Youth. UNITY's mission is to foster the spiritual, mental, physical, and social development of American Indian and Alaska Native youth ages 14 -24 and to help build a strong, unified, and self-reliant Native America through greater youth involvement. UNITY's network currently includes 320 affiliated youth councils in 36 states. Youth Councils are sponsored by Tribes, Alaska Native villages, high schools, colleges, urban centers, and others.