Albequerque, N.M.: UNITY, a
nonprofit organization, stands for United
National Indian Tribal Youth. It held it's
2009 annual conference last July. The
five-day youth-led conference encouraged the
mostly teenage crowd to help make positive
changes in their communities. Among the
wisdoms shared with youth by Native elders
"There is no right way to do the
wrong thing. Do what is right,"
said Joe Garcia. Garcia is
president of the National
Congress of American Indians.
LaDonna Harris challenged youth
to get ready for globalization.
Harris, a Comanche, is founder
of Americans for Indian
Opportunity. She recently
received an honorary doctorate
from The California University
of Pennsylvania for her 50 years
of activism and advocacy for
American Indians and others. She
has devoted her life to building
coalitions that create change.
“I went to one of the best
universities in the country, but
my best teachers were those back
home who didn’t speak a word of
English,” said Regis Pecos.
“What will your grandchildren
say about you? Will they say you
made sure our language and
culture were a part of their
lives? Will they say you
wanted to make sure it
survived?" Pecos is
Cochiti Pueblo and chief of
staff to Ben Lujan, New Mexico’s
Speaker of the House of
also served as governor of his
tribe, graduated from Princeton
University, and is a UNITY
Alvin Warren spoke to UNITY'S
2009 youth-developed theme,
“Diverse We Are, United We
Stand, Together We Rise.” He
encouraged youth to prepare for
leadership roles within their
tribes and said every
contribution they make counts.
Warren is Santa Clara Pueblo and
served two terms as
lieutenant governor for his
tribe. He is cabinet secretary
for Indian Affairs to New Mexico
Gov. Bill Richardson,
Videos, information, and more
from UNITY'S 2009 Annual Conference:
Native Village News
September 2009Native Village Home Page
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