Sep 5, 2022
Tribal Elections, Taking Healthy Risks, and the Importance of Indigenous Youth Engagement
Play • 1 hr 7 min

This episode was recorded in Spring 2022.

In this episode, Kamryn Yanchick talks to Indigenous student organizers about the process of participating in tribal elections, Indigenous social structures, and the importance of young people's participation in youth councils. They discuss the intimidation factor of speaking to elder councils, honoring tradition, and existing in a social paradigm that doesn't always feel responsive to young people and student voices. How can activity in tribal government differ from a sense of obligation towards non-tribal elections? What trends and forces can be leveraged to encourage greater participation in tribal elections? Students discuss motivations, celebrations, and struggles.

Trinity Guido belongs to the Delaware Nation of Oklahoma and also descends from the Caddo, Kiowa, Comanche, Apache, and Fort Sill Apache people. Trinity is from Anadarko, Oklahoma but currently resides in Norman, Oklahoma with her husband and their two children. Trinity recently graduated from the University of Oklahoma with a Bachelors in Public and Community Health with a minor in Native American Studies and Pre-Medicine. Trinity was involved in many on-campus organizations and leadership positions while in school. Trinity was affiliated with Gamma Delta Pi, Inc., GEN, AISA, AISES, SACNAS, and Student Congress. Trinity has also served on various tribal leadership boards and committees at her tribe including the Delaware Nation Gaming Commission, Election Committee, Cultural Preservation, and Language department. Her most recent position is serving as a Board Member of the Citizenship Committee. She is also involved as a member of the Lenape Matriarch group. Trinity puts forth her efforts with initiatives that serve tribal communities. She was very excited to be a guest on this podcast to discuss her journey in tribal government and elections.

Elwood McClellan, Jr. is a member of the Iowa Tribe of Oklahoma. Mr. McClellan is the Southern Plains Region Representative to the National UNITY Council Executive Committee. Mr. McClellan currently serves as the Chairman of the Iowa Tribe of Oklahoma's UNITY youth council and has served on the Iowa Tribe of Oklahoma's Election Board where his interest in program development derived. This all took place during Mr. McClellan's time at the University of Oklahoma where he recently graduated with his Bachelors in Human Relations. The experiences throughout his life and material that his degree path has provided, he plans to directly apply his studies to Indigenous communities.

Some resources to learn more about Indigenous voting and the communities and organizations which engender this activity:

University of Oklahoma's Native Nations Center:

Delaware Nation of Oklahoma: 

Iowa Tribe of Oklahoma: 

Researching Native Student Voting Habits

If you're a student and want to join the Student Voting Network, you can join us here: 

If you want to find more resources about student voting in your state, check out Campus Vote Project's nationwide database for voting information: 

Produced by Kamryn Yanchick and Benjamin Nixon.

Music and Editing by Benjamin Nixon.

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