[American Indian economic development]

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Southern New Hampshire University
As stated in the thesis project, "The American Indian Community House (AICH) is a multi-purpose service organization which was established in 1969. Since that time, it has been the primary human service agency in New York City with Native Americans. It is the only agency in the City which is staffed and controlled entirely by Native Americans. Although New York City is not known for having a large Native American Indian population, according to the 1980 census, there are 11,500 Indian residents. While it is generally agreed that Indians are drastically undercounted in any urban census, it is useful to compare this figure to other cities in states which have a substantial Native American population. For instance, according to the same census, there are approximately 9,000 Indians and Eskimos in Anchorage, Alaska; 7,300 Native Americans in Albuquerque, New Mexico: 10,400 in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma and nearly 11,000 in Phoenix, Arizona. In this context, the American Indian residents in New York represent a relatively large urban Indian population. Since its inception the Community House has developed a wide range of services to meet the needs of its constituency. It was formerly the prime sponsor for Indian CETA (Comprehensive Employment and Training Act) and is now the prime sponsor for the Jobs Training and Partnership Act for Native Americans in the New York City metropolitan area. It also operates a federally funded Indian Health Program which provides limited primary medical care and referral services for medical and dental services; health education; limited treatment; and community outreach services to Indian clients. Four years ago, the Substance Abuse Program was established through funding by the New York State Division of Substance Abuse. The Program provides both information and referral services for individuals and their families and training resources for agencies which provide treatment for Indians. More recently, the Community House has established a Social Services Program to provide emergency food and shelter on an emergency basis. Moreover, the Community House also operates two major cultural programs. Native Americans in the Arts (NAIA), was started in 1979 as a theatre group that would present American Indian artists and their works to the general public. It is currently funded by the National Endowment for the Arts, The Community House also operates a Gallery and Gift Shop in the Soho section of Manhattan. It generally mounts two major exhibits of traditional arts and crafts a year. Last year, it generated $37,500 in income for the organization. Today, the American Indian Community House is a $1.3 million dollar agency. However, with the exception of its cultural programs, it is totally dependent on federal and state funding for its operation. Further, many of its programs are limited to information and referral rather than more comprehensive services. Perhaps more importantly, the agency's priorities are determined by what is fundable for Indian programs and not what Indians in New York City consider to be most important. In this regard, the American Indian Community House proposes to establish a Community Economic Development Program. This program would seek to develop several projects which would respond to some of their immediate survival needs -- i.e., employment, cultural identity, temporary shelter -- and expand the organization's capability to generate income for its own use. This program would eventually become a separately incorporated American Indian Development Corporation that would remain affiliated with the Community House." (Library-derived description)