The Warm Springs Youth Council has been working on the development of their Constitution and Bylaws since early May and adopted these documents this past week in a formal meeting at the Tribal Courthouse.
The youth council was started as part of a project for Generation Indigenous (Gen-I) Youth Challenge. The White House kicked off this national initiative in April with a “challenge to youth, organizations, businesses, school and Tribal leaders to engage with youth and so something positive for their communities.”
The development of the Constitution and Bylaws included a working session with Jeri Brunoe, Warm Springs Tribal Member and national youth trainer, to develop the vision and mission of the Youth Council. The vision of the council is to “establish and maintain a positive voice for the community by keeping the youth involved in our culture, spirituality and heritage through the generations.”
The next steps for the development of the youth council includes becoming an affiliate with the United National Indian Tribal Youth (UNITY) organization and seeking support by resolution from the Warm Springs Tribal Council.
The youth council revives a previous effort that was active in the early 1990’s. Atwai Marie Calica was the advisor for that group and this youth council was the second council in the country to become affiliated with UNITY.
The adoption of the Constitution triggers the election process for several positions including Co-Presidents (1 female, 1 male), Vice-President, Secretary, Treasurer and Communications Officer. Elections will be held at the end of August.
Youth ages 14-24 who are interested in running need to complete a membership application, attend 1 meeting prior to the election, and submit a leadership application. All candidates are expected to do a short speech as to why they are running.
The Warm Springs Youth Council is also hosting a leadership training August 26-27 that is open to Native youth ages 14-24. The two-day training will focus on developing teamwork and leadership skills for young people in the community.
For more information, connect with the youth council on Facebook at: http://bit.ly/CTWSOYouthCouncil.