UNITY is a nonprofit, national network organization that promotes personal development, citizenship, and leadership among American Indian/Alaska Native youth. An outgrowth of an American Indian education project in southwestern Oklahoma, UNITY began as a small group in 1976 and has expanded to a nationwide organization that currently reaches more than 5,000 American Indian/Alaska Native youth. Underpinning the UNITY philosophy is the belief that the most effective way to achieve positive and lasting change among American Indian/Alaska Native youth is to prepare them to become informed and contributing members of their tribes, villages, communities, States, and Nation. UNITY reaches these youth through a variety of programs and activities, including national and regional leadership conferences, training seminars, awareness campaigns, multi-media publications, and sports clinics. UNITY has promoted the creation of youth councils, which are local groups of youth ages 15 to 24 who come together for a common purpose. The youth councils, which are sponsored by tribes, Alaska Native villages, high schools, colleges, and urban organizations, can vary in size from a few members to hundreds of members. Through the councils, youth learn leadership skills while helping others in their communities, tribes, or villages. Youth councils are involved in a wide range of activities, such as cultural preservation, environmental awareness, community service, and the promotion of healthy lifestyles. The UNITY Network includes all youth councils and provides a forum for communication and the sharing of information.