By SKY KANOTT
MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. – The Cherokee Youth Council represented the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians in Minneapolis, Minnesota last week, taking 16 young adults ranging from ages 11 to 19, the largest group across the states so far. This year’s Unity Conference hosted over 1,000 Native Americans from all over the United States.
The conference hosted a number of workshops covering community concerns and solutions, so that each child could share with their communities some of the things that other tribes may have already overcome such as HIV and suicide.
As teen pregnancy has become an issue in communities, the Cherokee Youth Council hosted their very own workshop at the conference. With an audience of over 100 youth, they shared their teen pregnancy video with more than 10 different tribes and spread the word about the online version at vimeo.com in hopes to decrease pregnancy in native teens across the U.S.
The new UNITY executive council was elected at this years conference, along with regional representatives and whom better to represent than one of our own. Ms. Shakyra Bottchenbaugh was elected as this years Southeast Region Alternate Representative. Her duties include a clear communication with all youth councils in our region including Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, and West Virginia, Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, and Kentucky.
Bottchenbaugh has already begun her works assuring that all youth are represented at next year’s UNITY in Arizona.
As each child was required to complete at least 15 hours of community service before leaving on July 7, the youth went well over the required service hours and completed almost 50 hours each, topping an outstanding 500 hours in two months.
Sky Kanott, Cherokee Youth Council Program Manager said, “I am blown away each day I spend with them, and I am so proud to know that our youth keep coming back for more.”
If you would like more information about Cherokee Youth Council, visit www.Facebook.com or call Sky Kanott (828)-554-6938.
Sky is the Cherokee Youth Council program manager.