Photo by Nathan Balk King,UNITY (United National Indian Tribal Youth) Conference, July, 2018
The 2019 MUN:Indigenous Delegation at the NHSMUN Closing Ceremony
UN Headquarters General Assembly Hall, NYC
March 10, 2019
L to R: Veronica Toledo (Navajo),
Yehli Rodriguez (Oneida),
Kianna Joe (Navajo),
Nalzheii Lonetree (Ho Chunk/Navajo),
Lacey Cachucha (Jicarilla Apache),
Karen Guise (Red Lake Band of Chippewa),
Chris Talamo (Executive Director of the International Model UN Association),
Emily Staley (Navajo),
Nathan Balk King (Rosebud Sioux,
Founder/Director of MUN:I),
Chase Baird (Rosebud Sioux/Navajo),
Alyssa Noriega-House (Muscogee Creek/Seminole),
Aryiana Yellowbank (Cheyenne Arapaho/Ho Chunk Winnebago of Nebraska),
Garen Growing Thunder (Nez Perce/Nakota/Dakota),
Zaden Salabye (Navajo).
My name is Nathan Balk King, I am an enrolled member of the Rosebud Sioux Tribe and a freshman at the University of Massachusetts - Amherst.
In March of 2018, I attended the National High School Model United Nations (NHSMUN) conference in New York City, and noted that among the thousands of international students, there were no other Native American faces in the crowd. In response to this inequity, I created this start-up, MUN:Indigenous. It's purpose is to facilitate Native youth training in international diplomacy and human rights though participation at the NHSMUN Conference and the creation of Native American MUN clubs at high schools across the country.
Our 13 Native American students were the first-ever indigenous delegation to the 2019 NHSMUN Conference March 6-9 in New York City (for delegates list, see below). We were honored to represent our communities and our tribes at this largest Model United Nations gathering in the world, with over 5000 students attending from 74 countries.
The International Model United Nations Association (IMUNA) has endorsed MUN: Indigenous, included the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues at NHSMUN for the first time ever in their 45-year history. We not had the opportunity to learn about human rights diplomacy, but also got to represent indigenous peoples to the global community. We were the first-ever group to represent voices of Indian Country at NHSMUN.
Chris Talamo, Executive Director of IMUNA, stated:
“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.”
For the full letter of endorsement by IMUNA:
Thank you for considering a donation to MUN:I, all funds are received and managed by our fiscal sponsor, the Provincetown Community Compact (thecompact.org) and are tax deductible. We successfully raised the funds needed for our Native youth delegation to attend the National High School Model United Nations Conference March 6-9 in NYC (NHSMUN.nyc), and are now raising the next phase to build the non-profit.
Your support is greatly appreciated, thank you so much for your consideration.
Hinhan hota he miyelo,
Founder and Director, MUN: Indigenous
The goal of MUNI is to introduce Native American youth to the
Model United Nations (MUN) program and
National High School MUN Conference in New York City, and to help facilitate the creation of Native American Model UN Clubs at high schools across the country. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
We will walk you through preparations, including everything you need to start an MUN club at your school.
OUR GOAL: To facilitate the development of Model UN clubs throughout Native America, and indigenous communities worldwide, and to host an annual Indigenous Delegation at the National High School Model UN Conference in New York City! With your help, we can achieve this goal of providing human rights education and training to our youth, our future leadership.
MUN and NHSMUN provides invaluable experiences to youth all over the world in the application of research, essay writing, public speaking, problem solving, and diplomacy in a near self paced environment. As part of the simulations on the United Nation's proceedings, there is also a need for Native youth to practice and take interest in advocating for the human rights of our communities and indigenous people around the globe.
We hope to encourage and support Tribal youth participation. We can develop skills and gain experience in this exciting and enriching program, as we work toward the goal of representing indigenous interests in the United States and internationally.
The International Model United Nations Association
MUN:Indigenous has received the official endorsement of the
International Model United Nations Association, and they have been assisting
MUN:I to bring Native American delegates to the NHSMUN Conference in NYC.
"Nathan has experienced the transformational effect that NHSMUN has on students first-hand, serving as a delegate at the 2018 NHSMUN conference. He has taken initiative that far exceeds his peers by seeking to include underrepresented communities in future conferences. Nathan recognizes the importance of spreading global issues education, and IMUNA has offered Nathan and MUN: Indigenous its full support to bring MUN education to Native American communities. This year, we are proud to be simulating the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues for the first time, and we are working closely with Nathan to ensure that Native American voices are included in this new space. We look forward to our continued work with MUN: Indigenous and supporting its important mission." – Chris Talamo, Executive Director of the International Model United Nations Association.
Click here for the letter of endorsement:
Nathan Balk King Op-Ed published in
INDIAN COUNTRY TODAY