Red Lake Senior High School student to serve as inaugural Model United Nations: Indigenous Delegate at the National High School Model United Nations in New York City, March 6-9
February 28, 2019
Karen Guise (Red Lake Band of Chippewa Indians), a freshman at Red Lake Senior High School, has been selected to serve as a representative for the Model United Nations: Indigenous delegation at the 2019 National High School Model United Nations Conference (NHSMUN) in New York City, March 6-9.
She will be representing Indian Country at the largest Model United Nations Conference in the world, with over 5000 students attending from 74 countries, and will be part of the first-ever indigenous delegation in the Conference’s 45-year history. http://www.MUNIndigenous.com
Guise explained, “I want to participate (at NHSMUN) because I want to be an example that anything is possible, especially for indigenous youth. That you can come from a small town on a reservation and still have many opportunities to embrace and educate others about your culture and cultural struggles. I also want to learn about global issues and their similarities to indigenous issues.”
Model United Nations: Indigenous (MUN:I) is a startup non-profit project created by Nathan Balk King, a high school senior at Sturgis Charter Public School in Hyannis, Massachusetts. A Rosebud Sioux tribal member born in Rapid City, Nathan moved to the East Coast with his mother in 2009 and attended the NHSMUN Conference last year with his high school, where he noted that among the over 5000 students from 74 countries there were no other indigenous youth in attendance. In response to this, he founded MUN:Indigenous. It's purpose is to facilitate Native youth training in international diplomacy and human rights though participation at the NHSMUN Conference, and to encourage and support the creation of Native American MUN clubs at high schools across the country.
The other delegation members are: Nathan Balk King (Rosebud Sioux, Founder/Director), Leida (Yelih) Rodriguez (Oneida), Alyssa Noriega-House (Muscogee Creek/Seminole), Emily Staley (Navajo Nation), Zaden Salabye (Navajo Nation), Kianna Joe (Navajo Nation), and Lacey Cachucha (Jicarilla Apache), and sophomores Chase Baird (Navajo/Rosebud Sioux), Veronica Toledo (Navajo), and Alexis Jay (Poarch Band of Creek Indians).
MUN: Indigenous has been endorsed by the International Model United Nations Association (IMUNA), the organization that produces the Model UN gatherings around the world, including NHSMUN. They have also announced that they will be including the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues at NHSMUN for the first time ever in their 45-year history. The MUN: Indigenous delegation will not only be learning about diplomacy, advocacy, and human rights practices, but also representing indigenous peoples to the global youth community.
For each student, the costs to participate at NHSMUN are approximately $1000, including registration, travel, meals, and hotel, and they are working together to raise the funds necessary to attend. Please visit http://www.MUNIndigenous.com and click on the “Donate Now” button to contribute and help send the delegation to NYC.
To donate to a particular student’s expenses, please donate using PayPal to firstname.lastname@example.org, and indicate their name in the memo section of the Paypal form. All funds are being received and managed by MUN:I’s 501c3 fiscal sponsor, The Provincetown Community Compact are tax deductible (www.thecompact.org).
The International Model United Nations Association (IMUNA), a longstanding partner of the UN, provides students with a forum to hone skills in diplomacy, negotiation, critical thinking, compromise, public speaking, writing, and research. http://www.NHSMUN.nyc
Model UN provides invaluable experiences to youth all over the world in the application of research, essay writing, public speaking, problem solving and diplomacy. This opportunity allows Native youth to practice and take interest in human rights, including advocating for the rights of indigenous people around the globe.
Chris Talamo, Executive Director of IMUNA, statement of support for MUN:Indigenous:
“Because of the various costs involved, Model UN, the world's most popular debate activity, is largely dominated by students from wealthy, privileged schools. Many schools in lower-income communities may only be able to afford short conferences in their area, or they may not have a MUN program at all. This dramatically skews the voices that are heard at the world's leading MUN conferences. When only the world's most privileged kids are discussing the issues that affect some of the world's most marginalized, including indigenous peoples, those living in extreme poverty, international refugees, and labor rights, the simulation is inherently skewed. There are no authentic voices that can relate to the challenges experienced by the people they are trying to help.”