Youth Unity Council
Youth UNITY Lock-In
Please click here to download the Packet and Forms needed for participation in the lock in. Contact Collin Church at Collin.Church@glt-nsn.gov or 269.397.1780 to RSVP!
What is UNITY Council?
Created on May 19, 2016, the Gun Lake Tribe UNITY Council is a council composed of Tribal Youth and an Executive Board structured to focus on promoting personal development, citizenship and leadership among Native American youth.
Definition of UNITY
UNITY is a national network organization promoting personal development, citizenship and leadership among Native American youth.
The Gun Lake Tribe UNITY Council shall be organized for the purpose of:
- Providing a representative voice for Native youth over whom the Gun Lake Tribe may exercise governmental responsibilities;
- Serving as a means of coordinating the actions of the Native youth, other Gun Lake Tribe community members and Gun Lake organizations and mobilizing them toward positive goals;
- Promoting the development of future Tribal leaders;
- Promoting and developing Pottawatomi culture, language, pride and identity;
- Coordinating community service projects;
- Providing opportunities for Native youth to interact for fun and fellowship; and
- Encouraging educational attainment.
The UNITY Mission is to foster the spiritual, mental, physical and social development of American Indian and Alaska Native youth and to help build a strong, unified and self-reliant Native America through greater youth involvement.
Five youth have been selected as executive board members to represent the Gun Lake Tribe's UNITY Council. Each one of the selected officers have their own responsibilities and are sworn in to carry out the duties of the UNITY Council.
Gracie Loonsfoot, UNITY Chair
Gracie Loonsfoot is from Hopkins, Michigan. She is part of the Pigeon family, known for their black ash baskets. She is a proud member of the Gun Lake Tribe. This is her second year on the Tribes UNITY council, her fi rst year on the Executive Board. Gracie is the newly-elected Chair of the UNITY Council. Gracie is going to be a senior this year at Wayland Union High school. She was a student council representative and currently on the yearbook committee. She enjoys going to the movies with her friends and spending time with her family. Her favorite thing to do is watch her adorable nephew, Levi.
Dakota McDaniel, UNITY Treasurer
Hi my name is Dakota McDaniel I am currently the proud Treasurer for the Gun Lake Tribe Unity Council’s Executive Board. I also got to go to the National UNITY Conference to learn more about our culture. I am an Assistant Patrol Leader for Boyscout’s and the Quartermaster for Boyscout’s, - if something is missing from the trailer I take full responsibility and nothing has been missing since I have been quartermaster!
Cameron Church, UNITY Secretary
Cameron Church is the son of Kathy and Conrad Church. Cameron is a proud Potawatomi and loves his culture. Cameron is actively involved in the Gun Lake Unity Council and serves as the Secretary on the Executive Board. He is also an Honor student and a junior that attends Allegan High School, Cameron is a three-sport athlete, playing soccer, basketball and baseball. Cameron is involved with the Michigan State Police Explorers Program at the Wayland Post. He also enjoys hunting, fishing and riding snowmobiles and ATVs. But most importantly likes spending time with his family.
Kayla Church, UNITY Vice-Chair
Kayla Church is the daughter of Kathy and Conrad Church. Kayla is a proud Potawatomi and loves her culture. Kayla is actively involved in the Gun Lake Unity Council and serves as the Vice-Chair on the Executive Board. She is also an Honor student and a sophomore that attends Allegan High School. Kayla is also on her high school’s soccer team. Kayla enjoys reading, cooking, riding horses and most importantly, she likes spending time with her family.
Mary-Shabanaa Bush, UNITY Member-at-Large
Mary-Shabanaa Bush, 15, Miss Pottowatomi Nation 2016-2017, Miss Allegan County’s Outstanding Teen 2016. Mary is a current sophomore at Wayland Union High School and feature twirler for the Wayland Union High School band. She has recently been awarded 7th overall at the world hoop dance championship of 2016. As of last month, she has been elected as Midwest Regional Representative to serve on the National UNITY Council Executive Committee for her second term. In the upcoming year she plans to devote her time to UNITY and her community. She is the current GLT UNITY Council Member-at-Large.
2017 UNITY Council Swear-In
Gun Lake Tribe's UNITY Council Executive Board was sworn in by Gun Lake Tribal Court Administrator, Amanda Sprague at a Tribal Council Meeting.
Statistics of Current UNITY Council
2016: So far there are 31 youth signed up for the UNITY Council. 29 of those youth are Gun Lake Tribal Citizens. There are a total of 113 Gun Lake Citizens within the age range of 12-21. The Gun Lake Tribe's UNITY Council has reached 25.7% of the entire youth population, 25.7% of the youth in the five-county service area and 22.0% of the youth living outside of the service area.
2017: So far there are 38 youth signed up for the UNITY Council. 31 of those youth are Gun Lake Tribal Citizens. There are a total of 118 Gun Lake Citizens within the age range of 12-21 and 78 within the five-county service area. The Gun Lake Tribe UNITY Council has reached 26.3% of the entire youth population, 28.2% of the youth living in the five-county service area and 22.5% of the youth living outside of the service area.