Native Village Youth and Education News
September 2009


Adapted from:

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 and leaders:
"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 Representatives.  Pecos also served as governor of his tribe, graduated from Princeton University, and is a UNITY alumni.
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:

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