In 2018, the Penobscot Nation Youth Council passed a resolution with the Penobscot Nation to be named the Penobscot Nation Youth Council and to become a UNITY (United National Indian Tribal Youth) youth council. In July 2019, seven Penobscot youth attended the annual 5-day UNITY National Conference held in Florida. The experience was life-changing.
Since then, the Youth Council planned on going back, although the impact of Covid-19 prevented them from attending. However, the youth council continued to meet virtually and in person when safe. They continued to create positive change within their community by hosting an Earth Day clean up, participated in a social media campaign around how harmful Native costumes & mascots are, used their voices to testify and rally for clean water, supported the annual community Color Run to raise awareness for substance use prevention, and more!
The youth are committed to creating positive change within their community and beyond, strengthening their cultural identity, and building their leadership skills. This past August, UNITY recognized PNYC with the 2022 Youth Council of the Year Award!
On November 3rd, during the 2- day Maine Youth Action Network Youth Leadership Conference, Wabanaki Public Health and Wellness (WPHW) celebrated this incredible accomplishment with Chief Francis and members of the Micmac and Passamaquoddy youth councils over dinner. Chief Francis congratulated the youth for leaning into these opportunities, using their voice, and standing up for what they believe in as they are the future leaders of their Nations.
Due to UNITY’s recognition, Eben Francis a member of the PNYC was invited to the White House for a Tribal youth forum on Monday, November 14th. Over 100 Native Youth from across Indian country met to discuss key issues our communities are facing.
We would like to congratulate the impactful work the youth councils are engaging in, and congratulate PNYC for the youth council of the year award. WPHW looks forward to supporting Wabanaki youth council to attend the 2023 UNITY conference in DC, where UNITY will recognize PNYC for the 2022 Youth Council of the Year Award!
Click here to read more about our Youth Council.