NUIFC eNewsletter // 10.19.2018
Update from the NUIFC Executive Director
In a time when voter and civic engagement is becoming interwoven in the fabric of our society, the National Urban Indian Family Coalition (NUIFC) advocates for American Indian families living in urban areas by creating partnerships with tribes, as well as other American Indian organizations, and by conducting research to better understand the barriers, issues, and opportunities facing urban American Indian Families.
The United States is an immigrant nation to all but one population, American Indians and Alaska Natives. Native people face some of the direst socio-economic conditions of any group in America. Within this population, urban Indians face unique challenges. Federal funding does not always directly address their needs and their location in America’s cities mean that part of the safety net available to Native families living on reservations or tribal territories are often unavailable to them. The magnitude of this problem is significant, as urban Indians make up over half of the Native population overall.
The issues described above are all related to and solvable through policy engagement and ensuring that Native voices are reflected in policy discussions. As simplistic as it is to state the obvious, policy is shaped by our politics and our body politic is shaped by voters. Our urban Indian organizations are the best vehicle to reach these voters and engage them in dialogue about electoral processes and policy engagement.
I would be remiss in not reminding you that this is a historic election year for Indian Country in positive ways – we have over 150 Native candidates running for office, many in cities funded by the NUIFC such as Albuquerque NM, Oklahoma City and Kansas City.
We look forward to continuing this work long into the future – as our future depends on it.
Klecko Klecko (Thank you),
2018 National Urban Indian Voter Engagement Initiative
It is with great excitement and pleasure to announce that this fall the NUIFC was able to procure a grant from the Wallace H. Coulter Foundation to ensure that urban Native voters have a voice in our electoral process this election season. One of the core values held dear by the NUIFC is the core cultural concept of Redistribution. This grant gave us an unprecedented opportunity to redistribute resources in 16 cities nationally to engage Native voters.
This investment in our communities to engage in the electoral process comes at a pivotal time in the nation’s political history. While all vulnerable communities are facing dire threats, Native people are facing unprecedented issues – all of them with their base in politics. From Native voter suppression in North Dakota to the judicial dismantling of the Indian Child Welfare Act in Texas. We know that policy and politics share a symbiotic relationship and that at the local level political races can be won by a few thousand or even a few hundred votes. In both federal and local elections, the Native Vote could swing an election in cities as large and Phoenix and as small as Bismarck.
The coalition is currently working with partner organization in 16 states throughout the nation with goals to register and encourage Native Americans to vote in the November 2018 election. Each organization in the 16 states are hosting a wide-array of events and voter engagement programs leading up to the November 6thelection. Our partnering organizations are doing incredible work throughout Indian Country to move, change, and implement voter registration and voter turnout. After all, change does not occur unless we put in commitment to ensure our communities are better off than before.
These events are geared to engage Native American voters to register to vote and turn out to vote. For a full list of events in your area, please visit our events calendar on our website by clicking here.
If you would like more information on our voter engagement efforts and the organizations involved, visit our website for more information: www.nuifc.org.
Our indigenous voice is powerful, let it be heard this election season! Turn out to vote by November 6th.
For more information, please contact:
Executive Director, National Urban Indian Family Coalition
firstname.lastname@example.org, | 206-551-9933
William Miller, Communications Coordinator, National Urban Indian Family Coalition
WilliamM@nayapdx.org | 971-288-7783