Citizen selected to represent in Model UN
OKMULGEE, Oklahoma — For the first time ever in the 45-year history of the Model United Nations Conference, an Indigenous delegation will be represented.
‘Model United Nations: Indigenous’ is a project created by Massachusetts high school senior Nathan Balk King.
King is a Rosebud Sioux tribal member who attended the National High School Model United Nations Conference last year with his high school and realized that among the over 5,000 students from 74 countries, he was the only indigenous students.
He founded ‘MUN: Indigenous’ to facilitate Native youth training in international diplomacy and humans rights through participation at the NHSMUN Conference and hopes to encourage and support the creation of Native American MUN clubs across the country.
Muscogee (Creek) citizen Alyssa Noriega-House was selected as one of 10 representatives for the delegation during the conference held March 6-9 in New York City.
Noriega-House is originally from Muskogee, Oklahoma but resides in the Oneida Nation of Wisconsin and attends Oneida Nation High School.
She and one other student, who happens to be her best friend, were selected to participate in the inaugural group.
Noriega-House said they were assigned committees from the UN to look at global issues, with her committee focusing on social humanitarianism in Haiti.
“Right now, they’re going through a drought so I did my paper on why we should help Haiti and how their economy is important to the rest of the world,” she said.
Noriega-House said because the group is indigenous they were given two topics to address, violence against women and land issues.
“Us as students are suppose to think about and evaluate how we can make things better and how they should be enforced,” she said.
To prepare, Noriega-House said they would have weekly Skype calls to put together their papers and establish why they should be able to go to NHSMUN every year.
“A lot of us put down how we want to show that Native youth can go ahead and make changes no matter where they come from,” she said.
When Noriega-House applied to be a part of the delegation, one thing she said impressed King was her grasp around the concept of MUN.
She said she looked forward to putting forth her knowledge and taking knowledge from others to figure out solutions for tribal people.
Noriega-House said wants to get a political degree and become a lawyer once she graduates high school next year.
“One thing I want to do is advocate for my people and be a voice for Indigenous people,” she said.
Noriega-House said she was thankful for the opportunity and the funding from the Muscogee (Creek) Nation that helped her with her trip.