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 student at the University of Massachusetts – Amherst, Commonwealth Honors College.
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 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 NHSMUN Conference March 6-9, 2019 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, and included a simulation of the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues at NHSMUN for the first time ever in their 45-year history. We not only 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, we 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 through online learning, participation in the National High School MUN Conference in New York City, and facilitation of Native American Model UN Clubs at high schools across the country. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
MUN and NHSMUN provide invaluable experiences to youth all over the world to learn research, essay writing, public speaking, problem solving, and diplomacy. In addition to practicing simulations on the United Nation's proceedings, there is also an opportunity for Native youth to learn leadership skills for indigenous peoples' human rights advocacy around the globe.
The International Model United Nations Association
MUN:Indigenous has been officially endorsed by the International Model United Nations Association. They have been assisting with our efforts to bring Native American delegates to the NHSMUN Conference in NYC and are currently providing support to the development of our online programming.
"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: