You are here: HomeAbout Us

About Us

This area of the site provides a listing of the UNITY Council of Trustees, staff and associates, and a brief historical overview of UNITY and its activities over the past 37 years of operation.

UNITY Quick Facts

The UNITY 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.

DEFINITION OF UNITY: UNITY is a national network organization promoting personal development, citizenship, and leadership among Native American youth.

UNITY has an impressive track record of empowering and serving American Indian and Alaska Native youth. UNITY has earned the respect of national Native American organizations, tribal leaders, and government officials.

Read more: UNITY Quick Facts

UNITY History

 UNITY's mission it 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 involvement of its youth."  In keeping with its mission, UNITY has served the leadership needs of American Indian and Alaska Native youth for 37 years. UNITY is a national organization with over 140 youth councils operating in 35 states and Canada. These youth councils represent thousands of Native American youth.

UNITY began through the efforts of J.R. Cook, a Cherokee from Oklahoma, who has worked with Native youth in leadership development for more than three decades. The organization grew from a small group of interested Indian youth in southwestern Oklahoma in 1976 to a national organization today with affiliated youth councils operating in 35 states and Canada.

UNITY evolved from a series of Indian programs that Cook directed. After a successful basketball coaching stint, Cook devoted a decade of his life to the Upward Bound project at Southwestern Oklahoma State University in Weatherford, Oklahoma. At that time, it seemed to Cook there was more pressure for Indian youth to fail than to succeed.

Download this file (UNITY Constitution.pdf)UNITY Constitution[ ]355 kB

Read more: UNITY History


This four minute video describes some of UNITY's efforts to address important issues of concern to Native youth.

UNITY Council of Trustees

Members of the 2014 - 2015 UNITY Council of Trustees

Loretta Tuell, J.D.
Washington, DC
Nez Perce

Darrell Mease, M.D.
Jay, Oklahoma



Gov. Greg Mendoza
Sacaton, Arizona
Gila River Indian Community

Henry Lozano
Burlingame, California



Mary Kim Titla
Chandler, Arizona
San Carlos Apache

Tyler English-Rush
Tulsa, Oklahoma
Muscogee (Creek) Nation



Brian Weeden
Mashpee, Massachusetts
Mashpee Wampanoag

Sarah Scott
Bellingham, Washington
Lummi Nation

UNITY Staff and Associates

Mary Kim Titla
Executive Director
San Carlos Apache

Wendy Weston
Project Manager

Lynnann Yazzie
Project Coordinator




Tami Patterson
Executive Assistant/Bookkeeper
Jeri Brunoe
Chance Rush
Three Affiliated Tribes (Hidatsa)
Robert Johnston
Salt River Indian Community