Native Organizations

Here is a list of local and national Native organizations compiled by the AIRC team. Please feel free to utilize each organization’s contact information to reach out and ask them questions. Also, use their social media pages to interact with them.

If you have any suggestions for Native organizations that should be added to our list, please e-mail us at airc@ucsc.edu. Thank you!


    American Indian Child Resource Center

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    The American Indian Child Resource Center (AICRC) was founded in 1974 and has been serving Native Americans in the Oakland/San Francisco Bay Area and surrounding communities ever since. They are a non-profit social services and educational community-based organization. Their mission is “to preserve and promote the integrity and culture of American Indian youth and their families”. 

    The AICRC offers a variety of youth and family support services including: 

    • Indian Education Center (IEC)
    • Preparing Oakland Native Youth (PONY) program
    • Sovereign Seeds & Starts 

    The AICRC is a state-licensed foster family agency that works to recruit and train foster parents to care for Native children, provide care and services to the children in the system as well as providing advocacy and support to biological parents. Other services offered by the AICRC include ICWA advocacy, adolescent pregnancy prevention, child neglect treatment, and tobacco use education prevention.

    The AICRC also hosts its own annual, weekend-long powwow at the beginning of December. The powwow is held in Oakland, CA. It is free and open to the public. 


    AICRC Contact Information 

    Address: 522 Grand Ave, Oakland, CA 94610

    Phone #: (510) 208-1870 

    Website: www.aicrc.org 

    E-mail: Click here to access the AICRC staff e-mail list  

    Instagram: @aicrc510

    Facebook: www.facebook.com/AICRC 


  • First People's Fund

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    First People’s Fund was founded in 1995 as a means to support Indigenous artists and culture bearers and honor their “Collective Spirit.” It is a Native-run national organization to preserve and uplift Native visual culture and history through work at the community level. First People’s Fund describes the “Collective Spirit” as “that which manifests a self-awareness and sense of responsibility to sustain the cultural fabric of a community...it moves each of us to stand up and make a difference, to pass on ancestral knowledge and simply extend a hand of generosity.” 

    This organization aims to provide support, voice, and resources to Indigenous artists who share their creativity with the public, as they see the value in investing in the power of art. They believe it brings positive change to Indigenous communities and starts at the smaller community level. First People’s fund invests in Native artists through providing grants, research, and other types of funding to Native artists. Some of their grantmaking initiatives include the annual Jennifer Easton Community Spirit Awards, Artists in Business Leadership, Cultural Capital Fellowship, Our Nations’ Spaces, and Indigenous Arts Ecology Grants.

    Above all, First People’s Fund stresses their roots in traditional values, which they state sustains Native culture and allows for the cultivation of jobs, community growth programs, and the overall celebration of Native life through the arts.

    First People’s Fund Contact Information 

    Address: 706 West Blvd, Rapid City, SD 57701 

    Phone #: (605) 348-0324

    Website: www.firstpeoplesfund.org 

    E-mail: info@firstpeoplesfund.org  

    Instagram: @1stpeoplesfund 

    Facebook: www.facebook.com/1stpeoplesfund 

    Twitter: @1stPeoplesFund

    YouTube: First People’s Fund


  • National Indian Child Welfare Association

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    The National Indian Child Welfare Association was created as a result of the Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA) which was enacted in 1978 in response to the issues that affect American Indian and Alaskan Native children, families, as well as tribes. When looking into studies about these children it was revealed that Native children were being separated from their parents, tribal communities, and extended family by state child welfare and private adoption agencies. It was found that 25%-35% of the Native children that had been removed 85% of them were not placed with their fit and willing relatives but rather placed in areas outside their families and communities. 

    NICWA works to ensure the health, safety, and spiritual strength of Alaskan Native and American Indian children throughout their lives. NICWA also supports tribes in making preventative systems that work against child abuse and neglect throughout the state, federal and tribal levels. NICWA’s vision is to ensure that every Native child has access to culturally appropriate services that allow for them to grow up in a safe, healthy spiritually strong environment. 

    NICWA is a membership organization whose primary members are tribal governments, urban and reservation-based social service programs, and the frontline staff who work with Native children and families (my mom who works at California Department of Social Services). Today, NICWA is a national Native organization focused specifically on the tribal capacity to prevent child abuse and neglect. 


    NICWA Contact Information 

    Address: 5100 S Macadam Ave #300, Portland, OR 97239 

    Phone #: (503) 222-4044

    Website: www.nicwa.org 

    E-mail: info@nicwa.org 

    Instagram: @nicwa1983 

    Facebook: www.facebook.com/NativeChildren

    Twitter: @NativeChildren 

    YouTube: National Indian Child Welfare Association


  • Friendship House Association of American Indians, of San Francisco

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    The Friendship House was founded in 1963 and is run by CEO Helen Devore Waukazoo and CFO Anthony Tam. Helen is a talented Navajo who does a great job of directing the Friendship House. Like most Native Americans during the 20th century, Helen was sent to a boarding school far from her home, family, and culture as a child. She then moved to San Fransisco where she experienced discrimination and lack of support in her community. Seeing all of the challenges that she and fellow Natives faced, she decided to make a difference by running the Friendship House.

    The Friendship House is a program in San Francisco that guides American Indians in the process of healing from substance abuse. Because of the long history of systematic and structural oppression and racism, Native Americans experience some of the highest rates of socio-economic issues. Now, challenges like substance abuse, homelessness, domestic violence, health problems, incarceration, and many more exist in our communities. 

    These complications often overlap and tie into one another, so Friendship House has developed a different approach to recovery. They integrate traditional American Indian and Alaskan Native cultural and healing models into the standard 12-step and peer-to-peer approaches. As a result, 92% of Friendship House graduates were clean and sober 6 months later, 30% experienced a reduction in depression, and 82% felt an increase in social connection.

    They are a great resource for not just Bay Area American Indian communities, but for Natives all across the country. They have improved the quality of life for thousands of individuals and their families. On their website, there are also opportunities to volunteer and donate, along with support through their social media. 


    SF Friendship House Contact Information 

    Address: 56 Julian Ave, San Francisco, CA 94103

    Phone #: (415) 865-0964

    Website: www.friendshiphousesf.org 

    E-mail: info@friendshiphousesf.org 

    Facebook: www.facebook.com/friendshiphousesf

    Twitter: @FHAAI_sf


*This list will be constantly updated as we learn about more Native organizations and their resources.