The following story was posted on the Coeur d' Alene Press website on August 18, 2014.
WORLEY (Idaho) - The easier the questions were, the longer it took to answer.
But Louisville senior Jude Schimmel told her story and allowed for Q&A after speaking to a crowd of more than 200 at the United National Indian Tribal Youth conference here Thursday.
"Will you eat lunch with me?" one child asked.
"Will you sign my shirt?" another followed.
While the 20-year-old Native American icon was too busy for the lunch, she did sign dozens of items.
Read the rest of the story online on the Coeur d' Alene Press website.
The latest issue of the UNITY Newsletter is now available for online viewing and download. The newsletter has a number of stories that include the following:
- A recap of the 2014 National UNITY Conference,
- An update on the latest happening with the Today's Native Leaders project,
- A message from the newly elected National UNITY Council Co-Presidents,
- An article and photos of the inaugural class of the 25 Under 25 program, and
- Other news items of interest to the members of the UNITY Family.
UNITY youth featured as thousands attend the
Phoenix Mercury Native American Heritage Night
Mesa, AZ – Thousands of Native American basketball fans traveled from all parts of Arizona and around the country to Phoenix earlier this week (August 5) to see Atlanta Dream’s Shoni Schimmel in action as her team took on WNBA leader Phoenix Mercury. The Phoenix Mercury capitalized on an anticipated large audience by hosting Native American Heritage Night and featuring United National Indian Tribal Youth, Inc. (UNITY) as a benefiting charity. The near sell-out crowd roared and held up homemade signs as “Showtime Shoni” entered the game midway through the first quarter. “It was a great feeling. It felt like a home game for us, especially being in Indian Country,” said Schimmel, a member of the Confederated Tribes of Umatilla Indians.
“I was like I can’t believe this is happening. It was powerful seeing all the Natives. It was so loud, I didn’t even hear her name announced when she was introduced. It was awesome to be there representing my tribe,” said Carrie Hood, 20, Miss Ft. McDowell Yavapai Nation. “I never thought I would have met Shoni Schimmel but to have her autograph on my necklace and to be recognized at a game she played at was truly humbling,” said Layha Spoonhunter, 24, Eastern Shoshone and Northern Arapaho, who flew in from Wyoming for the game. Both Hood and Spoonhunter were recognized with other UNITY youth during halftime festivities.
Native youth in the Phoenix area received free tickets to attend the Arizona Diamondbacks' game against the Pittsburgh Pirates on Thursday, July 31 at Chase Field.
The Nick Lowery Youth Foundation partnered with UNITY and donated 100 tickets to UNITY for distribution to Native American youth. The complimentary tickets were a gift from the foundation for UNITY's use in "celebrating the wisdom, power, and purpose of today's Native youth".
The tickets were distributed to several youth organizations in the local area including UNITY youth councils, youth of the Phoenix Indian Center, and other groups that help the underserved and less remembered urban Native American youth demographic.
The following story is from a July 15 UNITY News Release.
More than 1,400 Native youth leaders converge
in Portland, Oregon for the National UNITY Conference
The National UNITY Council, made up of youth representatives from affiliated youth councils, hosted the proceedings, as they were responsible for developing the agenda, which tackles various youth issues in Indian country. Native youth face similar challenges as all American youth but statistics show the issues such as suicide, drug abuse, teen pregnancy, and high school drop out rate are dangerously amplified. Once the conference was called to order after the ceremonial lighting of the UNITY Fire, youth were immersed in leadership development through educational keynotes, activities, and workshops focusing on the areas of spiritual, physical, social, and mental development.