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Resources for Indigenous People's Day 2021

by Emily Ramstetter

In honor of Indigenous People’s Day on Monday, October 11th, we took a look at the organizations and foundations led by and supporting Indigenous people in the Chicagoland area. We encourage you to engage with the resources below to learn how we as individuals and as a collective, particularly in the nonprofit sector, can better uplift Indigenous communities.

October 11th also marks International Day of the Girl this year. Did you know over4 in 5 Native women have experienced violence in their lifetime and Native American women have the highest poverty rate at 28.1%? Learn more in this report from Native Americans in Philanthropy on centering Indigenous women and girls in movement making:

American Indian Health Service of Chicago

The American Indian Health Service of Chicago, Inc. (AIHSC) was incorporated in the State of Illinois, City of Chicago on December 23, 1974. The mission of the American Indian Health Service of Chicago, Inc. is dedicated to providing quality healthcare to the American Indian community and other under-served populations.

Caroline and Ora Smith Foundation

Based in Chicago, the Caroline and Ora Smith Foundation is a 501(C)(3) organization that promotes, sponsors, supports, and trains Native American girls and women around the country in the STEM fields.Programs are evidence-based, culturally appropriate and supported by the community and tailored to what works best in each specific community.

Chicago American Indian Community Collaborative (CAICC)

The members of the Chicago American Indian Community Collaborative are dedicated to furthering diverse causes and the greater well-being of American Indians, Alaska Natives, Native Hawaiians, and First Nations people in the Chicago area. We seek to maximize effectiveness by creating a forum for fostering mutual aid, political support, positive public recognition, strategic alliances, collaborations, and partnerships.

Chi-Nations Youth Council

CNYC was created in 2012 and comprised a diverse group of youth and adults, with a mission to create a supportive, open environment for Native Youth, raise awareness of cultural identity, and promote a healthy lifestyle through arts, activism, and education. We work towards this goal by strengthening the community through avid volunteerism, fundraising, and traditional values.

Midwest SOARRING Foundation

Midwest Save Our Ancestor's Remains & Resources Indigeneous Network Group Foundation is a Native American 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization whose mission is to work toward repatriation, protect sacred sites, educate the public and promote community building among all people regarding indigenous lifeways.

The Mitchell Museum of the American Indian

Founded in 1977, The Mitchell Museum of the American Indian is one of only a handful of museums across the country that focuses exclusively on the art, history, and culture of Native American and First Nation peoples from throughout the United States and Canada. It promotes public understanding of cultural diversity through first voice perspectives.

Join their virtual events for Indigenous People’s Day:

Resources to listen and learn:

From Nonprofit AF: 21 things you can do to be more respectful of Native American cultures

From Nonprofit Quarterly: Learning to Support Indigenous Communities: One Foundation’s Experience

First Nations Development Institute: Philanthropy in Indian Country

This Land podcast

How a string of custody battles over Native children became a federal lawsuit that threatens everything from tribal sovereignty to civil rights. By Cherokee writer, advocate & language learner, Rebecca Nagle.

All My Relations podcast

All My Relations is a podcast hosted by Matika Wilbur (Swinomish and Tulalip) and Adrienne Keene (Cherokee Nation) to explore our relationships— relationships to land, to our creatural relatives, and to one another.

Find what land you are on:

A guide to Indigenous land acknowledgment:

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