MESA, AZ – United National Indian Tribal Youth (UNITY), in conjunction with the Center for Native American Youth at the Aspen Institute, will participate in the 2023 White House Tribal Youth Forum during the week of Nov. 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 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 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 the 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.