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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Arts & Culture, Civil Rights, Cultural & Ethnic Awareness, Education, Ethnic & Immigrant Centers, Human Services, Immigration, Scholarships, Scholarships & Student Financial Aid

Mission: Founded in 1922, the organization assists american indian and alaska native communities in their efforts to achieve full economic, social and civic equality, and to defend their rights. Aaia is governed by a board of directors consisting of prominent indian people from such fields of law, education. Health and public services and is funded by its members and contributors.

Programs: Scholarships, education and youth - aaia provides scholarships to native american graduate and undergraduate students and seed grants to summer camps which focus upon native culture, language and diabetes prevention. We work to promote proper interpretation and implementation of the indian child welfare act and provide information and training for tribes seeking to operate title iv-e child welfare programs. We advocate for reforms to the juvenile justice system that will reduce the incarceration of native american youth and increase tribal involvement.

legal affairs - in addition to some of the legal activities described under scholarships, education and youth, we advocate for changes in federal policies to protect cultural practices, including protection of sacred places. We also work to promote international repatriation of human remains and cultural items. We file amicus briefs in cases that are related to our priorities, such as implementation of the indian child welfare act. We provide training to federal officials and others on the laws pertaining to native american cultural issues and laws such as the native american graves protection and repatriation act, and prepare materials about these topics. We work to reform the federal recognition process.

public education - we prepare and circulate two print newsletters each year and e-newsletters monthly. We also sponsor an annual forum in new york city in connection with our annual meeting which includes the showing of native films. We take part in radio and print interviews in regard to topics about which we have expertise and we also have active facebook and twitter sites where we provide information about issues and activities relevant to native americans and those interested in native peoples.

promote programs to improve thehealth of native americans

Community Stories

3 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Dakota iapi nina teunhidapi. We all cherish our Dakota language. As a former grantmaker in Native Language Revitalization, there are efforts underway among Indigenous people throughout the world to renew, restore and revitalize language. Language is the root of a people's identity, culture, knowledge systems and lifeways. I support wholeheartedly the efforts of AAIA to revitalize the Dakota language for a new generation. The academic benefits of language and culture based education for Native students is well-documented.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

The Association On American Indian Affairs, Inc. has worked extensively to create much-needed materials, including storybooks, posters, audio CDs, teacher phrase books, and CD-Roms, for children and adults learning Dakota, an endangered indigenous language of the Northern Plains and adjacent woodlands. Resources for Dakota, especially children's resources, are extremely hard to come by. Most Dakota language teachers spend what limited planning time they have creating their own materials. For myself and other Dakota language teachers, the professional-quality materials from AAIA have been indispensable. Not only are their resources centered in the Dakota way of life, they also can be easily integrated with topics (fall harvest, health, life cycle, important political figures, etc) already covered in a standard classroom. Furthermore, all of the materials are developed under the guidance of elders or fluent Dakota speakers, and often, young language learners take part in creating them as well! Most of those who are fluent Dakota speakers are 50 years of age or older, so in the effort to revitalize the language, our most important task is to retain the wisdom of the elders by passing their knowledge on to the younger generations. Through their work in language preservation, AAIA is doing just that!

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Associaion on American Indian Affairs work is integral to the Dakota community and especially the Minnesota Dakota. AAIA has been able to produce a number of Dakota language resources that are helpful in the revitalization and preservation of the Dakota langauge. With approximately 8 fluent Dakota speakers in Minnesota, accessing resources for language learning is crucial to the survival of our language. With few D-dialect Dakota language materials, we continue to rely on AAIA. Without financial resources, AAIA would not be able to provide this role in our Dakota communities.