This section contains the latest UNITY news and references to stories and articles that may be of interest to an audience that includes and extends beyond Native American youth. This may include educators, potential employers, college recruiters, Native youth program managers, and others who share an interest in American Indian youth issues.
Watch UNITY's PSA that premiered during halftime of Native American Heritage Night at the Phoenix Mercury vs. Atlanta Dream WNBA game on August 5! Following the game, UNITY and Shoni Schimmel hosted a post game interview. Thank you to the WNBA and Misty for promoting our message!
The following story and video was submitted by LoVina Louie and the Coeur d' Alene Youth Council.
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 make up of the UNITY Council of Trustees (CoT) changed at its June 29, 2014 meeting in Portland, OR.
Jan English stepped down from the Council after having served as a dedicated leader and champion for Native youth for more than three decades. She’s the only Trustee who has been a part of UNITY since it was founded in 1976 by JR Cook. Mary Kim Titla, UNITY Executive Director, stated, "The UNITY family appreciates all of the time, energy and passion that Jan brought to her leadership role on the Council. We wish her the very best and every happiness as she continues her involvement in the Native community and enjoys her retirement with her husband and family."
Two new members, Henry Lozano and Tyler English-Rush, were added to the UNITY leadership team.