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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.

President Obama Proclaims October as National Youth Justice Awareness Month

On September 30, 2015, President Obama issued a proclamation recognizing October as National Youth Justice Awareness Month. Each year, there are more than 1 million arrests of youth younger than 18, and the vast majority are for nonviolent crimes. Nearly 55,000 individuals younger than 21 are being held in juvenile justice facilities nationwide—a disproportionate number of whom are young people of color, including tribal youth. The proportion of detained and incarcerated girls and young women, who are often victims of abuse, has also increased. This month-long observance is dedicated to preventing youth from entering the juvenile and criminal justice systems and encourages communities to participate in activities and programs that help youth fulfill their greatest potential. The proclamation supports OJJDP’s Smart on Juvenile Justice initiative to promote juvenile justice reform and address racial and ethnic disparities in the juvenile justice system.


Learn more about OJJDP’s Smart on Juvenile Justice initiative

Learn more about OJJDP funding

Learn more about President Obama’s My Brother’s Keeper initiative.

UNITY to Participate in Annual Parade on October 10

Youth GroupUNITY invites everyone to the annual Native American Connections Parade, an event held in conjunction with the Native American Recognition Days.

Bring your lawn chairs and blankets to line the streets at this annual community event. Cheer on the UNITY parade entry, along with dozens of others, representing community organizations and tribes. 

The parade will be held this coming Saturday, October 10, at 9:00 am. The Parade starts at 3rd St. & Oak, traveling north to Steele Indian School Park in Central Phoenix. 

Native American Teens Empowered through Cultural and Health Education

Betty Fairfax High School YouthThe United National Indian Tribal Youth, Inc. (UNITY) and Phoenix Union High School District’s Native American Education Program are working together to implement the “Students Together Against Negative Decision” campaign by teaching the NativeSTAND curriculum to empower Native American teens with positive self-identity by making healthy choices in their lives.

Phoenix Union Native American Education ProgramUNITY received an award from Inter Tribal Council of Arizona Inc. (ITCA) to implement the NativeSTAND curriculum centered on health and personal identity. The curriculum was developed by a multi-disciplinary workgroup that included Native youth, a Native elder, public health and youth development experts, and health curriculum developers. It is designed to meet the needs of today's Native youth. It honors tradition and culture, while at the same time it meets the needs of those who walk between two different, but interconnected, worlds. While NativeSTAND acknowledges that Native youth face many of the same challenges as mainstream youth, it embraces the power and significance of their traditional teachings and cultural strengths.

Read more: Native American Teens Empowered through Cultural and Health Education

UNITY Congratulates Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe

Tribe receives Federal approval of 323 acres for reservation

 Executive Committee Members

Left to right: Brian Weeden, Sassamin Weeden, and Keturah Peters of Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe. Brian and Sassamin are the first-ever brother and sister National UNITY Council Co-Presidents. Keturah Peters is the National UNITY Council Northeastern Representative and a UNITY 25 Under 25 award recipient.

September 23, 2015 – Mesa, Arizona — In a historic decision last week, the U.S. Department of Interior approved the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe's land into trust application, establishing its initial reservation. Mary Kim Titla, Executive Director of the United National Indian Tribal Youth, Inc. (UNITY) shares sentiments on behalf of the organization.

Read more: UNITY Congratulates Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe

UNITY Local Planning Committees Being Created

Planning Committees Being FormedUNITY is seeking Arizona locals to participate in planning committees that are now being formed for several events. 

The local planning committees are an integral part to UNITY's events. Please consider joining one or more committees, and encourage a friend to do the same! Events are one of UNITY's major outreach efforts to support and embrace  Native youth leadership.

Read more: UNITY Local Planning Committees Being Created