The final day of the United Tribes Technical College 22nd Annual Tribal Leaders Summit ended today with a youth driven summit and a pair of special guests.

The day kicked off with a Youth Summit that focused on discussing a wide range of mental health topics including addiction and suicide. Students were paired up into groups and were asked to interact with one another, often with new people they had just met.

"I'm usually not one to talk about any of this," one student said on stage during the summit luncheon. "But it kind of led us to open up about it."

Governor Doug Burgum and his wife Kathryn also addressed the room. The First Lady of North Dakota was the primary speaker for the luncheon, and she shared her own experience with alcohol addiction while discussing her goal of destigmatizing the way we talk about addiction.

"This is the time to put aside stereotypes, to put aside intolerance," Burgum said. "Now is the time to go together to help those suffering with the disease of addiction. Now is the time every one of us to take action in our own lives and work in our communities. There is no shame in addiction, and there is so much hope and possibility in recovery."

The UTTC 49th Annual Powwow begins tomorrow, with the Grand Entry slated for 1 p.m.


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