Sineca Jackson to serve as UNITY Regional Rep.
Gila River Indian News
Former Jr. Miss Gila River 2020-22, Sineca Jackson, District 3, has been appointed the Pacific Regional Representative for the United National Indian Tribal Youth (UNITY), as she continues to represent youth and the Gila River Indian Community well beyond her reign.
Thousands of Native youth and advisors from around the country came together for the annual National UNITY Conference, held June 29 – July 3 in Washington, D.C. This year’s theme was “Healing the Spirit of Native Youth.”
UNITY is a renowned organization committed to advancing the voices and aspirations of Native and Indigenous youth. It hosts the National Youth Leadership Conference each year, and the UNITY Midyear Conference is typically held each Feb. in Phoenix.
With over 300 youth council affiliates, including the Akimel O’odham/Pee-Posh Youth Council, members of each youth council appoint two individuals to serve as their representatives on the National UNITY Council. In contrast, Indigenous youth throughout the country elect ten individuals to serve as Area Representatives on the National UNITY Council Executive Committee.
“I just decided to run for the UNITY Pacific Regional for this year, mainly because I’m going back to school at the University of Hawaii at Manoa,” said Jackson, where she began attending last Summer, shortly after graduating high school.
Since Jackson will return to school in the Fall and will primarily be in Hawaii for most of her term for UNITY, she decided to run.
As the Pacific Regional Representative, Jackson will represent and work closely with tribes in California and Hawaii, engage with tribal leaders, and collaborate with Indigenous youth organizations throughout the Pacific region.
Expressing her gratitude and excitement, Jackson shared, “I was so honored to have my name called on the night of the banquet. I got to speak to all the tribes that were present from California and Hawaii at the conference.”
Jackson’s new appointment is a testament to her dedication, leadership, and ability to influence positive change, all of which have earned her recognition and respect from peers and Community members.
Her involvement in this work includes her reign as Jr. Miss Gila River and as a member of the Akimel O’odham/Pee-Posh Youth Council, where she served as president in her last term.
Just days after the UNITY conference, Jackson had the opportunity to welcome United States Vice President Kamala Harris during her historic visit to the Gila River Indian Community on July 6, Harris’ first visit to Indian Country.
“Coming home to have her [Harris] present here in the Community, I thought was so awesome,” said Jackson, “It’s such a privilege to be able to speak, especially on behalf of our Community.”
Jackson thanks her parents for their strong support and encouragement, explaining that they often told her, “If you want to do it, you do it,” she said, “You know, you choose your own path and I just had a lot of role models that I would look up to that served on Youth Council or that were Jr. Miss Gila River, and I was like, I want to be like that one day.”
She added, “In a way, I just kind of followed in those footsteps and chose my own platforms and what to do. And I feel like it’s led me to some very awesome things to do, now representing the whole Pacific region with UNITY.”