PHOENIX - During the summit, coalition member Katherine Gottlieb, Alaska
Native and president of the Southcentral Foundation in Anchorage, was
congratulated for winning the Genius Grant from the MacArthur Fellowship.
Gottlieb was honored by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation
for helping transform a cumbersome medical bureaucracy into a
patient-centered system of health care for Alaska Natives.
At the summit, Gottlieb brought participants gifts of salmonberry jam and
herb tea from Alaska Natives.
During the awards recognition, the video "Looking Toward Home" was shown,
which told the story of the move to cities in the 1950s as a result of
relocation termination policies of the United States. The producers are
Conroy Chino, Acoma Pueblo, and Beverly Morris, Aleut.
While summit participants struggled with issues facing urban Indians,
including homelessness and Indian children in foster care, there was also
news of progress in urban Indian areas. Amy Beesaw, executive director of
the Harvard Project on American Indian Development, was among those sharing
news of excellence.
From Americans for Indian Opportunity, Ron Martinez Look Elk, Isleta Pueblo
and Taos Pueblo, shared news of the global perspective from the
organization's cultural project uniting Pueblo from New Mexico with Maori
in New Zealand.
In Nashville, Tenn., the Native American Community Partnership, an
affiliate of the Seventh Generation Fund, struggles to protect Indian
sacred sites. The organization also provides Kids Time to share indigenous
heritage and Coffee Hour for adults to gather.
Health care was among the challenging issues discussed at the summit. The
Native American Health Centers in San Francisco and Oakland are among the
national centers offering women's health care, teen health care, a 12-step
recovery group and other services. Located in Oakland at 3124 International
Blvd. and in San Francisco at 160 Capp St., the centers' mission is to
advocate for "the most vulnerable members of our community."
Nationwide, among the upcoming conferences is "Embracing our Traditions,
Values and Teachings: Native Peoples of North America HIV/AIDS Conference,"
to be held in Anchorage May 3 - 6, 2006.
The National Urban Indian Family Coalition was created to give the nation's
2 million urban Indians a voice. Many American Indians residing off tribal
lands and in urban areas of the nation are a result of the 1952 Relocation
Act, later called the Employment Assistance Act.
With the American Indian population shift to cities, the Coalition's goal
is to build bridges between urban Indians, Indian tribes and national
organizations. While reinforcing cultural values, the Coalition is
beginning discussions for a national urban Indian agenda.
For more information on the Coalition, contact Janeen Comenote in Seattle
at (206) 325-0070 or firstname.lastname@example.org.