ERIC Number: EJ863705
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009
American Indian Organizational Education in Chicago: The Community Board Training Project, 1979-1989
Laukaitis, John J.
American Educational History Journal, v36 n2 p445-464 2009
American Indian organizations in Chicago grew both in size and number during the 1970s. The lasting impact of War on Poverty programs and the passing of the Indian Education Act of 1972 and the Comprehensive Employment and Training Act of 1973 served as significant factors for the development of these organizations. Alternative American Indian schools such as Little Big Horn High School and O-Wai-Ya-Wa Elementary School, social service agencies such as the Native American Committee and St. Augustine's Center for American Indian, and employment agencies such as the American Indian Business Association became recipients of sizable federal grants. With the federal government investing substantial sums of money in anti-poverty initiatives primarily focused on urban centers, American Indian organizations began expanding efforts to meet the growing needs of Chicago's American Indian community. These educational, social service, and employment organizations served an increasing number of American Indians who concentrated in or near Uptown, one of the city's most notorious neighborhoods characterized by poor housing conditions, high crime, and high unemployment. With a dozen American Indian organizations offering services in Uptown in the 1970s, a number of board members, executive directors, and employees often lacked the necessary knowledge for the organizations to function with a high degree of efficacy. In 1979, Native American Educational Services (NAES) College responded to this perceived need through a one-day seminar titled "Dynamics of Community Board Membership" that eventually grew into the Community Board Training Project (CBTP) in 1980. Through the CBTP, NAES College offered educational programming focusing on organizational development, effective management, and technical skills. Furthermore, this effort established a community-wide dialogue through the Chicago American Indian Community Organizations Conference (CAICOC) in 1981 that led to a "Statement of Purpose," a detailed needs assessment of Chicago's American Indian community, and a series of action plans vis-a-vis a unified effort among CAICOC participants. In this way, NAES College expanded its community-based mission to meet the needs of the organizations that provided essential services to the American Indian community in Chicago through its CBTP. Thus, the history of the CBTP directs attention to the importance of understanding the formation of urban Indian educational programs as distinct systems dependent on community dynamics and a given community's needs--a process of self-definition unique to the particular circumstances of an urban Indian community.
Descriptors: Neighborhoods, Employment, Poverty, Needs Assessment, Poverty Programs, American Indians, Housing, Federal Government, Community Organizations, Organizational Development, Urban American Indians, American Indian History, United States History, Federal Legislation, Nontraditional Education, Social Services, Employment Programs, Grants, Federal Aid, Government Role, Urban Areas, Disadvantaged, Cultural Influences
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Illinois
Identifiers - Laws, Policies, & Programs: Comprehensive Employment and Training Act; Indian Education Act 1972