Source: Red Lake Nation News
Chandler, Arizona–United National Indian Tribal Youth, Inc. (UNITY) has entered into a four-year cooperative agreement with the US Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs, Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP) to plan and implement the National Intertribal Youth Leadership Development Initiative. The Initiative’s goal is to offer opportunities for Native American youth to, “Reduce risk factors and enhance protective factors in youth, schools, communities, and families.” To accomplish this goal, the Initiative will conduct a series of national and regional Intertribal Youth Leadership Development gatherings and a range of related youth leadership development opportunities for Native American and Alaska Native youth.
UNITY, Inc. is a national network organization promoting personal development, citizenship, and leadership among Native youth between the ages of 14 – 24. UNITY affiliated youth councils that make up the National UNITY Council will have an opportunity to put the training their youth members receive through the Initiative to good use within their communities as the youth themselves learn by doing. The training will enable the youth to plan, organize, and carry out service projects within their respective communities. These youth led projects will benefit tribal communities while providing valuable real world leadership experiences that will better prepare the involved youth to assume and succeed in their future leadership roles. UNITY and a team of technical assistance providers will offer guidance and support to engaged youth and their adult advisors throughout the project to help ensure the successful completion of the service projects.
“The Initiative provides welcome resources that will help make it possible for UNITY to continue the important work that it has performed for the past 37 years. The UNITY staff, members of the Council of Trustees, and the youth leaders of the National UNITY Council are looking forward to working with the OJJDP staff and its team of consultants and trainers to provide our Native American youth with the added opportunities for personal development the Initiative makes possible. I personally encourage Native youth and youth-serving programs throughout Native America to take part in this important Initiative,” said Mary Kim Titla, UNITY Executive Director.
UNITY staff, OJJDP staff, trainers and technical assistance providers will collaboratively develop and adopt specific project objectives along with a plan for accomplishing the Initiative’s overall goals. The schedule for all project activities and events is expected to be completed and announced on the UNITY website (www.unityinc.org) as well as through other media outlets shortly after the start of the New Year.
UNITY’s mission is to foster the spiritual, mental, physical and social development of American Indian and Alaska Native Youth and to help build a strong, unified, and self-reliant Native America through greater youth involvement. UNITY’s network currently includes 132 affiliated youth councils in 35 states. Youth Councils are sponsored by Tribes, Alaska Native villages, high schools, colleges, urban centers, and others. To learn more about UNITY, visit the website at http://www.unityinc.org.