Washington, D.C. here they come. Native youth from across the
country are on their way to D.C. to attend the first-ever White
House Tribal Youth Gathering and the annual United National Indian
Tribal Youth (UNITY). The Sunshine Cloud Smith Youth Advisory Council
will be representing the Southern Ute Indian Tribe at both events
Thursday, July 9 through Wednesday, July 15.
Sunshine Cloud Smith Youth Council Advisory departs to D.C.,
Wednesday, July 8 to attend the first-ever White House Tribal
Youth Gathering and the annual UNITY conference.(photo by
Trennie Collins - The Southern Ute Drum)
The tribal youth gathering is apart of President Obama's Generation
Indigenous (Gen-I) Challenge, asking native youth to improve the
lives of native youth and communities.
In order to be invited to the gathering the youth council had
to accept President Obama's Gen-I challenge, and they did just that.
They host bi-weekly meetings discussing ways to promote leadership,
health and overall well being of tribal youth in the community.
Most recently, SCSYAC hosted the Jimmy Newton Youth Leadership
Conference, which promoted teambuilding, leadership building skills,
and culture. The youth council also performs community service,
like helping the Southern Ute Cultural Center & Museum plant
and maintain their garden.
"These kids do a lot,"; SCSYAC Coordinator Mary Guenther said.
The gathering will give native youth from around the country
the chance to interact with White House administrators.
While in D.C., the youth council will also be spending time
at the UNITY Conference. The five-day conference features speakers,
cultural workshops, health and fitness workshops, and an awards
Guenther said the youth council is taking their bylaws out to
UNITY to gain knowledge from other native youth councils.
It will not be all work though. The kids will also be doing
major site seeing. Including visiting the Capitol Building, monuments
and several museums, Guenther said.
Another youth who represented the tribe at the White House Tribal
Youth Gathering was Anthony Suina. He attended separate from the
SCSYAC, and attended through the Native Studies NAYO group.