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Student Spotlight: Lacey Kie '20

By Allison Johnson 05/07/2020
Every year the National High School Model United Nations Conference brings high school students from around the globe to New York City to try to solve some of the world’s largest challenges using the same format as the United Nations itself. Over 5,000 students from 74 countries around the globe hone their debate, diplomacy, critical thinking, and writing skills on this world stage. In 2019 for the first time ever the program included and endorsed a new branch: the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues. Among the first-ever delegation of ten indigenous students from all over the United States was CRMS senior Lacey Kie, a member of the Jicarilla Apache and Laguna Pueblo peoples.

Kie found out about the program through teen founder Nathan Balk King’s efforts to recruit native youth to attend. To be accepted, Kie had to write a paper on indigenous issues and how she could help raise awareness if she was chosen. Kie, whose grandfather is a vice president of their nation, has worked with her sister Ida, also a CRMS student, to encourage the tribe to put aside funding for youth opportunities such as college and recreational activities. Attending the Model UN event was a powerful learning experience and next step to refine her advocacy skills.

“I didn’t even know that the UN conference existed,” said Kie. “I’d never been exposed to it. Kids came with big binders and folders and I had only learned of it 6 months earlier, so having to learn how to write a specific way or how you document information was new. I was excited too because it’s so professional level. It’s a model, yes, but we do everything how the real UN one is run. That was really exciting.”

The experience was as eye-opening for its model debate and issues research format as it was to see how others view indigenous peoples.
“It was nice to see how kids our age around the world view indigenous people,” said Kie. “But some talked about indigenous people as if they were objects. Some had no clue about indigenous people or how to talk about them. That really shocked me.”

While there, Kie represented Haiti and worked on issues such as how to help raise awareness for indigenous women in their home countries and how to help women and young women receive an education. “We took those issues and applied them to our own situations and reservations at home to see how we might come up with solutions for our own tribe,” she said.

Haiti’s proposal was chosen as one of the top four submitted, and they were able to include two of their own issues regarding access to water and women’s education into the final presentation delivered by students representing Pakistan to the actual UN body.

“It was so neat to be in there in those chairs where all those people from different countries sit,” said Kie. “It also opened my eyes to see that there’s so much that goes on behind the scenes.”

One of the most memorable moments for Kie came at the end when the indigenous delegation introduced themselves to the forum.

“There was one girl in the back crying. She hugged us and thanked us for representing our indigenous people,” said Kie. “She was Samoan from Hawaii and she was crying because she was so proud to see other indigenous kids there too. The experience was just bringing awareness to Indigenous youth that they do have a voice, they do have an option to go out and put themselves in these big situations where all these different countries come together to talk about huge important things. It’s important to see indigenous people involved in that too.”

As Kie heads off to Arizona State University next year to study criminology and sociology, she will take those lessons learned from the Model UN experience with her. In addition to being more active on behalf of the youth in her tribe, Kie also has recently shared her experience and resources with CRMS students. At a recent All School Meeting, for instance, she showed a video about missing and murdered indigenous women to help raise awareness among her peers.

“It’s something not everyone knows about that there are so many open cases of missing women,” said Kie, whose friend’s cousin is among the missing. “I shared the video to be informative. In a way that’s what I went to New York for, just to bring awareness and show how we are here.”
Topics: student

Blog

Student Spotlight: Lacey Kie '20

By Allison Johnson 05/07/2020
Every year the National High School Model United Nations Conference brings high school students from around the globe to New York City to try to solve some of the world’s largest challenges using the same format as the United Nations itself. Over 5,000 students from 74 countries around the globe hone their debate, diplomacy, critical thinking, and writing skills on this world stage. In 2019 for the first time ever the program included and endorsed a new branch: the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues. Among the first-ever delegation of ten indigenous students from all over the United States was CRMS senior Lacey Kie, a member of the Jicarilla Apache and Laguna Pueblo peoples.

Kie found out about the program through teen founder Nathan Balk King’s efforts to recruit native youth to attend. To be accepted, Kie had to write a paper on indigenous issues and how she could help raise awareness if she was chosen. Kie, whose grandfather is a vice president of their nation, has worked with her sister Ida, also a CRMS student, to encourage the tribe to put aside funding for youth opportunities such as college and recreational activities. Attending the Model UN event was a powerful learning experience and next step to refine her advocacy skills.

“I didn’t even know that the UN conference existed,” said Kie. “I’d never been exposed to it. Kids came with big binders and folders and I had only learned of it 6 months earlier, so having to learn how to write a specific way or how you document information was new. I was excited too because it’s so professional level. It’s a model, yes, but we do everything how the real UN one is run. That was really exciting.”

The experience was as eye-opening for its model debate and issues research format as it was to see how others view indigenous peoples.
“It was nice to see how kids our age around the world view indigenous people,” said Kie. “But some talked about indigenous people as if they were objects. Some had no clue about indigenous people or how to talk about them. That really shocked me.”

While there, Kie represented Haiti and worked on issues such as how to help raise awareness for indigenous women in their home countries and how to help women and young women receive an education. “We took those issues and applied them to our own situations and reservations at home to see how we might come up with solutions for our own tribe,” she said.

Haiti’s proposal was chosen as one of the top four submitted, and they were able to include two of their own issues regarding access to water and women’s education into the final presentation delivered by students representing Pakistan to the actual UN body.

“It was so neat to be in there in those chairs where all those people from different countries sit,” said Kie. “It also opened my eyes to see that there’s so much that goes on behind the scenes.”

One of the most memorable moments for Kie came at the end when the indigenous delegation introduced themselves to the forum.

“There was one girl in the back crying. She hugged us and thanked us for representing our indigenous people,” said Kie. “She was Samoan from Hawaii and she was crying because she was so proud to see other indigenous kids there too. The experience was just bringing awareness to Indigenous youth that they do have a voice, they do have an option to go out and put themselves in these big situations where all these different countries come together to talk about huge important things. It’s important to see indigenous people involved in that too.”

As Kie heads off to Arizona State University next year to study criminology and sociology, she will take those lessons learned from the Model UN experience with her. In addition to being more active on behalf of the youth in her tribe, Kie also has recently shared her experience and resources with CRMS students. At a recent All School Meeting, for instance, she showed a video about missing and murdered indigenous women to help raise awareness among her peers.

“It’s something not everyone knows about that there are so many open cases of missing women,” said Kie, whose friend’s cousin is among the missing. “I shared the video to be informative. In a way that’s what I went to New York for, just to bring awareness and show how we are here.”
Topics: student
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