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Youth Council heads to D.C.

The 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 Credit: Trennie Collins | The Southern Ute Drum



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.

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 banquet.

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.

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