Native American Voluntary Organizations

Native American Voluntary Organizations

Native American Voluntary Organizations

Native American Voluntary Organizations

Excerpt

Native American voluntary organizations are at least as numerous as the tribes seeking federal recognition in the fifty states of the Union, and their number increases at a constant rate in the last quarter of the twentieth century. Although several useful sources provide descriptive material on certain kinds of American Indian associations, none offers a comprehensive survey of both extinct and current groups. And the information provided by those that do is often brief and superficial. This current volume on Native American non-tribal groups, one in the Greenwood Press Ethnic American Voluntary Organizations series, addresses this void. Its objective is two-fold: to assist scholars and students of Native American studies in understanding the development of non-tribal organizations, including the important role that they played in the history of Anglo-American Indian relations; and to provide the general reader with information on current groups that serve the needs of Native Americans.

Although these organizations are presented alphabetically in the text, they are also classified under several general categories in Appendix A. It is hoped that some readers may find it useful to compare a number of organizations whose objectives have been similar. Obviously, the formation of these groups came about in response to many different forces in Native American history, and each tried, however successfully, to meet different needs. Some were Political-Reformist in that their goal was to modify the traditional Indian-white relationship through the elevation of the native's status. Their methods included, but were certainly not limited to, pressure on Congress, the executive branch, and even state governments, to promote change. Some of them, at least in an immediate sense, were inspired to alleviate open conflict between the races or to improve the economic base of Indians. Some were organized by Anglos, with little or no encouragement given to the actual participation of native peoples. Organi-

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