Each year the National UNITY Conference brings together more than 2,000 attendees representing hundreds of Native American youth councils from tribal and urban communities nationwide.
At the Indian Gaming Association’s annual trade show, Gaming Laboratories International presented a $50,000 cheque to UNITY to support its National UNITY Conference and registration scholarships over the next three years, allowing an opportunity for more young people to attend and participate.
“Native youth are often left out of the discussion when organisations plan training and create programmes to meet the needs of young people,” said Mary Kim Titla, UNITY executive director.
“Our conference is youth-led, meaning they serve as emcees, moderators and presenters – providing a hands-on experience in leadership development.
“With the support of GLI, we will be able to broaden our impact to reach even more native youth leaders who may not necessarily have access to funds to attend.”
Each year, Native American and Alaska Native youth and advisors from rural and urban tribal communities across the US come together for learning, cultural sharing and collaboration.
They receive training, gain knowledge, participate in quality personal growth experiences and receive encouragement to apply their gifts and talents to self and community betterment within a supportive environment.
“Youth who attend UNITY’s programming discuss critical issues and hold important conversations that align with GLI’s initiatives to protect the environment, promote diversity, support education and give back to the community,” said James Maida, president and CEO of GLI.
“GLI is thrilled to offer the native youth the opportunity to experience, network and learn at a UNITY national conference. These are the youth who one day will lead their tribes and represent Indian country.
“In fact, in honour of the late Norm DesRosiers, his dedication to native gaming and love of UNITY, we’d like to challenge the entire gaming industry to match our donation and create an even larger impact on the lives of our native youth and the future ahead.”
GLI’s support will allow the awarding of scholarships to candidates with a demonstrated and sincere interest in developing their capacity and ability to perform leadership roles.