By SCOTT MCKIE B.P.
ONE FEATHER STAFF
The co-chairs of the USET Youth Council addressed the Board of Directors on Thursday, Oct. 31 at Harrah’s Cherokee Resort Event Center. EBCI tribal member Nicodemus Bushyhead and Taloa Berg, Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians, told the Board of some of their ideas to advance the newly formed Youth Council.
Bushyhead spoke of an idea for a youth exchange. “We could take some youth from Cherokee and take them to Choctaw or Mohegan and they could have a five-day internship. They would be able to gain knowledge of other tribes.”
Berg said once the idea got off the ground that they could expand to visiting tribes outside of the USET region. She also is encouraging youth to become more involved, “We want the youth to speak up at USET meetings to give their input.”
Bushyhead added, “We want to give the youth a voice so they can learn to speak up and not be ignored.”
They also brought up an idea for a USET Youth Olympics which would include both traditional and contemporary sports and games. “It would be tribe against tribe so they could relate through competition,” said Bushyhead.
Another idea brought forth is to hold a USET Youth Summit which would include youth-oriented seminars, workshops and provide opportunities for Native youth development.
“It would help encourage other youth and share the power of positive thinking,” Bushyhead related.
Kitcki Carroll, USET executive director, commented, “A lot of our youth don’t have an awareness of what this organization does.” He said the Youth Council can aid in those awareness efforts by reaching out to fellow youth.
He praised the two co-chairs, “These two are full of ideas. They are full of energy. They just need you (tribal leaders) to take their message back to your tribes.”
USET president Brian Patterson also praised them, “I think you’ve done an excellent job to date. I applaud your courage and strength and willingness to take on the issues that your generation is facing.”
Chairperson Terri Henry noted, “I want to comment these two young people for stepping up at this time in their lives and showing their leadership. It is just great to see you young people stepping up. It’s also very encouraging to see the positive energy.”