|Denver, Colorado - July 5, 2017 - Imagine downloading an app designed to help you track wellness from a cultural perspective - fitness through cultural dance, healthy eating with traditional Native foods, and more. This week more than 1,800 Native American youth and advisors from throughout the U.S. will do just that at the National UNITY Conference taking place at the Colorado Convention Center from July 6 - 10. The UNITY Wellness Warrior app is made possible through a grant from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation. The app, developed with input from Native youth, is free and will be available via the App Store and Play Store beginning on July 6.
“We hope all of Indian country will join UNITY in its effort to transform livesthrough this wellness app. This app will encourage Native youth to interact with each other in a way we’ve never seen before. They will be able to share how they stay fit through traditional games and share recipes of healthy traditional foods, how they aspire to be wellness warriors,” said Mary Kim Titla, Executive Director for UNITY.
The National UNITY Conference’s five-day agenda focuses on a youth-developed theme “Finding wellness and healing within our cultures.” Native youth will discuss issues important to them including culture and language preservation, bullying, and suicide prevention. The youth are part of UNITY's National UNITY Council representing 165 youth councils in 36 states. UNITY is the only national organization with such a network.
In addition to the UNITY Wellness Warriors app launch, the national conference highlights will include the UNITY Fire, UNITY Gala and Awards dinner, health and fitness activities, peer-led workshops, a cultural exchange and talent show, an education and career expo, and team building and leadership training activities.
Featured keynote speakers include Standing Rock Sioux Tribal Chairman David Archambault, former Vice Chairwoman of the Tulalip Tribes Deborah Parker, Filmmaker and Artist Stephen Paul Judd (Kiowa/Choctaw), Actor and Comedian Tatanka Means (Navajo/Lakota), Wellness Advocates Thosh Collins (Onk-Akimel O'odham, Wa-Zha-Zhi/Haudenosaunee), Chelsea Luger (Lakota/Ojibwe) and Lovina Louie (Couer d’Alene/Oklanagan and Lakes Band of the Colville Confederated Tribes). In addition, special guests from a Taiwan Indigenous youth delegation, Vox Nativa Choir, representing the Amis, Bunun, and Paiwan people, will share a special cultural presentation.
The 2017 National UNITY Conference is presented by the San Manuel Band of Mission Indians, with major support from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community, Fort McDowell Yavapai Nation, Table Mountain Rancheria, Metropolitan State University Denver, Bank of America, San Carlos Apache Tribe, Muscogee (Creek) Nation, Comcast, 12News/TEGNA,Tulalip Tribes, Casey Family Foundation, Freeport-McMo-Ran Foundation, Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians, Tule River Tribe, Pechanga Band of Luiseño Indians, Cook Native Ameican Ministries Foundation, Saginaw Chippewa Indian Tribe of Michigan, Seneca Nation of Indians, Yavapai-Apache Nation, The Mohegan Tribe, Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community, National Education Association, and Office of Juvenile Justice and Prevention Delinquency Prevention.
For more information about the national conference, please visit the UNITY website atwww.unityinc.org. To view the2017 National UNITY Conference agenda, click here.
Established in 1976, UNITY—United National Indian Tribal Youth, Inc.—is the largest and oldest national network organization promoting personal development, citizenship, and leadership among Native Youth. UNITY's 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. Please visit www.unityinc.org to learn more about getting involved with UNITY as a youth, advisor, alum, partner, or sponsor.