White House Tribal Youth Gathering

Last Summer I had the incredible honor of attending the first ever Tribal Youth Gathering in Washington, DC hosted by the White House and the United National Indian Tribal Youth (UNITY) Organization. As part of the Generation Indigenous (Gen I) initiative, created by the Obama administration as well as the Center for Native American Youth, we came from all across the nation to discuss some of the issues facing Native American communities. To name a few:

  1. High levels of poverty on reservations
  2. Alarming rates of suicide (2.5x higher than the national rate)
  3. Substance abuse
  4. Land and water rights
  5. Housing
  6. Inadequate health services
  7. Legal jurisdiction on reservations
  8. Sovereignty vs. autonomy
  9. Education

Michelle Obama delivered the keynote speech, you can check it out here.  I really appreciated all of the indigenous style, it even made me feel a little out of place in my cute white patterned blouse and tan midi skirt. Who am I kidding? I looked totally boring! I’d love to attend the next conference, and hopefully the UNITY National Conference in Oklahoma, as well.

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