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ERIC Number: ED094916
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1974-Aug-26
Pages: 10
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
Meeting the Social and Legal Needs of Urban Indians: An Experimental Program.
Halverson, Lowell K.; Garrow, Tom
Approximately 40 percent of America's Indians live in urban environments; of these, about 12,000 live in Seattle, Washington. With no representation in local government, and lacking the power and cultural sophistication to make the political process work for them, many Indian emigres have developed an almost institutionalized distrust of and concommitant failure to utilize the political process, which compounded their alienation from urban society. The Indian Paraprofessional Services Program (IPS) was initiated in 1972 to interrupt this cycle. The first of its kind in the nation, the program trained Indian "ombudsmen" to act as buffers between urban Indians and the alien city environment. The role of the 5 paraprofessionals, mostly from Washington tribes, was to assist Indians caught in criminal and civil legal processes and bureaucratic complications. The 3 month training program emphasized bodies of law and sociology pertinent to Indian clients, covering such things as consumer law, welfare rights, criminal law, housing rights, and counselling skills. Because of increasing case loads and fee generating cases, lawyers who had indicated interest in Indian causes were invited to join the panel. A successful program, the most profound effect of IPS was upon the attitude of urban natives toward the legal process itself, showing that a dispossessed minority can, from among its own leadership, ease its people into their new urban life style while working within the established order. (KM)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: N/A
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Washington; Washington (Seattle)