National Congress of Urban Indians
Representation,Education and Development for the Urban Native Majority
“We must not and cannot leave the poor and the homeless urban American Indian people behind.They deserve a voice” —Dr. Dorene Wiese, at the University of Chicago, Urban American Indian Families Conference 2011
The National Congress of Urban Indians was established in 2016 to encourage advocacy,research and communication about the many issues facing urban American Indian people across the country today. While thousands of American Indian people have called Chicago and other cities home and a place to work, raise children, worship, and attend school, life for those families from all of the tribes throughout America has not been easy. Little is known about the struggles they face, the hardships they endure, and the survival and triumphs they have secured.
Public education, higher education, early childhood education, public health, American Indian health services, employment and employment assistance, housing, discrimination, civil rights, economic development, media relations, leadership, mental health, social services, elder services, transportation, dental care, legal services, police brutality, juvenile justice, child abuse, substance abuse, family violence — these are some of the areas that need advocacy, research and development within urban native communities.
American Indian people continue to be the poorest in America and the challenges of urban life continue to contribute to that poverty. Most American Indian tribal members (70%) live in urban communities and yet less than 1% of all American Indian targeted funding finds its way to those communities.
In 2010, the University of Chicago's Urban American Indian Families Conference was shaped by Dr. Dorene Wiese, Francie Corry, and Andrew Begay, with the assistance of Dr. Penny Johnson and Julie Jung to address some of these concerns. It was repeated in 2011.
In 2016, Northwestern University will host the first Urban American Indian Education conference in the country.
Research and Volunteer Opportunities
Graduate students and others are encouraged to contact the American Indian Urban Institute to inquire about volunteering, internships, and on-going research projects on a variety of topics.
The American Indian Association of Illinois is a 501 (C)(3) community based and controlled non-profit, tax exempt organization. Donations in the form of checks or money orders can be sent to 5157 N. Richmond, Suite 2, Chicago, IL 60659. No donation is too small.