AMERICAN INDIAN ASSOCIATION OF ILLINOIS

Native Dreams Live

Mission

The American Indian Association of Illinois provides a model for Indian community development.It is governed by people rooted in their tribal cultures, living in off-reservation communities, working to improve the lives of all Indian people. It provides the opportunity for every Native person to pursue education in a way that respects tribal culture and individual interests and needs. AIAI’s participants help build the Indian communities of the future. The mission of the American Indian Association of Illinois is to develop and implement educational opportunities for American Indian people and others who may benefit from such programs to help them build strong Native families and communities, which respect and acknowledge all tribal histories and cultures.

Ruling year info

2008

President

Dr. Dorene Wiese

Main address

1650 W. Foster American Indian Association of Illinois

Chicago, IL 60640 USA

Show more contact info

EIN

26-1972785

NTEE code info

Arts, Cultural Organizations - Multipurpose (A20)

Undergraduate College (4-year) (B42)

Urban, Community (S31)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Communication

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

While most American Indians live in urban areas today, not on reservations,most funding does not follow them there. Very few American Indians have a bachelor's degree (13%,) less than half the national average, and in many schools the high school drop out rate is 50%. All future employment will require advanced schooling. The suicide rate for Native youth is the highest in the the country. American Indian women have the lowest income of any group and one of the highest rates of death due to diabetes. It will take educated, emotionally,physically and culturally strong families to build thriving Native communities, both urban and tribal.

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Medicine Shield Indian School and College Program

MEDICINE SHIELD INDIAN SCHOOL AND COLLEGE SCHOLARSHIP PROGRAM
To inspire American Indian students and families to prepare for college,
other non-profits,colleges and universities partner with AIAI to offer an educational program to support American Indian and other students interested in tribal cultures and languages.
The Medicine Shield College Program is offered through the American Indian Association of Illinois. It is the only upward bound type student and family support program not housed in a Chicago non-profit organization . Through unique partnerships, Medicine Shield offers advising, financial aid assistance, college planning, tutoring and other services for students to succeed in college. This innovative program is offered in collaboration. Scholarships are available for those eligible. Medicine Shield helped graduate over 40 BA degree earning students in the past six years.

Population(s) Served
Economically disadvantaged people
Ethnic and racial groups
Victims and oppressed people

Where we work

Our results

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

How does this organization measure their results? It's a hard question but an important one.

Hours of volunteer service

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Age groups, Ethnic and racial groups, Social and economic status

Related Program

Medicine Shield Indian School and College Program

Type of Metric

Context - describing the issue we work on

Direction of Success

Increasing

Number of lessons taught

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Age groups

Related Program

Medicine Shield Indian School and College Program

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Number of children who have an innate motivation to master and control their environment

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Related Program

Medicine Shield Indian School and College Program

Type of Metric

Outcome - describing the effects on people or issues

Direction of Success

Increasing

Number of youth who have a positive adult role model

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Age groups

Related Program

Medicine Shield Indian School and College Program

Type of Metric

Outcome - describing the effects on people or issues

Direction of Success

Increasing

Number of children who have emerging literacy skills such as beginning letter recognition and phonological awareness, story comprehension, and use of writing materials.

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Age groups, Social and economic status

Related Program

Medicine Shield Indian School and College Program

Type of Metric

Outcome - describing the effects on people or issues

Direction of Success

Increasing

Number of youth who demonstrate that they have developed positive relationships

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Age groups, Ethnic and racial groups, Social and economic status

Related Program

Medicine Shield Indian School and College Program

Type of Metric

Outcome - describing the effects on people or issues

Direction of Success

Increasing

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

The American Indian Association of Illinois works with over 15 other nonprofits to bring education, culture, and economic development to our communities in Chicago. AIAI has served as the leader in all levels of education for the past 15 years, in graduating American Indian college students, tutoring public school students, and in graduating youth who have dropped out of school. AIAI seeks to couple American Indian history and cultures into this instruction, to build strong, resilient, American Indian members of society who live in urban and reservation areas. AIAI seeks to draw attention to the needs of American Indian people living in urban areas, because that is where most live.

We believe in utilizing the people in our community to help build our community from within.
AIAI utilizes community volunteers who work with youth, the elderly and families to promote education at
all levels, promote healthy living,and and advocate for strong belief in Native values.
This is accomplished through youth and family activities centered on learning Native history, music and dance,
as well as learning about healthy living, while providing family support in such areas as tutoring, assistance in seeking public and health services, and any other support families may need.
Community youth, adults and senior citizens are actively involved in decision making regarding all necessary support needed and provided.
Strategies
1. AIAI provides weekly workshops and focus groups around current Native issues and needs.
2. AIAI surveys all participants regarding their educational gaps and support services required.
3. AIAI promotes service learning in all components to meet the needs of community elderly.
4. AIAI actively directs Native families to local health services to assure their needs are met.

AIAI Extraordinary Capabilities

1. AIAI is the only American Indian educational organization focusing on regular educational services to youth and families and has been doing this important work for the past 12 years.

2. The AIAI CEO has been serving the Chicago American Indian community for the past 50 years and is the only American Indian member with that length of service.

3. AIAI supports the Black Hawk Performance Music and Dance Company, which is the oldest American Indian dance company in Illinois and features many youth and elders.

4. AIAI is housed in a centralized space on the north side of Chicago where many American Indian families live.

5. AIAI is dedicated to utilizing as much funding as possible for direct service to its participants and utilizes a majority of volunteers over salaried staff.

6. AIAI was a founding member of the Chicago American Indian Community Collaborative, the organizing consortium of Chicago involving all organizations and programs and AIAI continues as part of that collaborative, heading the Education Committee in years past and currently co-chairing the Arts and Culture committee and Social Media Group.



MAJOR ACCOMPLISHMENTS OF THE AMERICAN INDIAN ASSOCIATION OF ILLINOIS

1. AIAI is the leader in creating educational leadership opportunities for Native students in Illinois. AIAI assisted over 140 American Indian college students, in the past 10 years, with over 40 students obtaining bachelors degrees through direct coursework, scholarships, tutoring, mentoring, leadership skills and assisted another 100 college students were assisted with financial aid, scholarships, college applications, internships and references, as well.

2. AIAI has championed the teaching of American Indian history and culture in public and private schools, libraries, museums, colleges and universities, throughout Chicago and Illinois, through speaking tours and Black Hawk Performance Music and Dance performances to over 1,000 people each year.

3. AIAI has been the only tutoring program in Illinois for American Indian youth, for the past 10 years, tutoring Chicago Public School children on a regular basis, to ensure they do well in school, graduate and succeed.

4. Elderly American Indians have been an important population for AIAI, as very few social services exist for this low income group. AIAI helped over 40 senior citizens with transportation, food, PPE, and vaccine referrals during COVID and continues to assist these elders. Elders are the knowledge keepers in American Indian tribal cultures.

5. AIAI has been the leading voice for American Indian people living in urban areas, promoting the understanding that the majority of Native people now live in those areas, many times without any federal or tribal support. AIAI speaks to hundreds of groups every year regarding this important issue. AIAI also advocates on social media to bring services to Native people in the Chicago area and the state.







How we listen

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Seeking feedback from people served makes programs more responsive and effective. Here’s how this organization is listening.

done We shared information about our current feedback practices.
  • How is your organization using feedback from the people you serve?

    To identify and remedy poor client service experiences, To identify bright spots and enhance positive service experiences, To make fundamental changes to our programs and/or operations, To inform the development of new programs/projects, To identify where we are less inclusive or equitable across demographic groups, To strengthen relationships with the people we serve, To understand people's needs and how we can help them achieve their goals

  • Which of the following feedback practices does your organization routinely carry out?

    We collect feedback from the people we serve at least annually, We take steps to get feedback from marginalized or under-represented people, We aim to collect feedback from as many people we serve as possible, We take steps to ensure people feel comfortable being honest with us, We look for patterns in feedback based on demographics (e.g., race, age, gender, etc.), We look for patterns in feedback based on people’s interactions with us (e.g., site, frequency of service, etc.), We engage the people who provide feedback in looking for ways we can improve in response, We act on the feedback we receive, We tell the people who gave us feedback how we acted on their feedback, We ask the people who gave us feedback how well they think we responded

  • What challenges does the organization face when collecting feedback?

    It is difficult to get the people we serve to respond to requests for feedback, We don’t have the right technology to collect and aggregate feedback efficiently, The people we serve tell us they find data collection burdensome, It is difficult to find the ongoing funding to support feedback collection, Staff find it hard to prioritize feedback collection and review due to lack of time

Financials

AMERICAN INDIAN ASSOCIATION OF ILLINOIS
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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

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Connect with nonprofit leaders

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  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

Want to see how you can enhance your nonprofit research and unlock more insights? Learn More about GuideStar Pro.

AMERICAN INDIAN ASSOCIATION OF ILLINOIS

Board of directors
as of 10/19/2021
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Joanne Maney

President, American Indian Elders Circle

Term: 2021 - 2024

Joanne Maney

American Indians Elder Circle

Melanie Cloud

Consultant, Northwestern University,NAES Library Project

Amelia Ortiz

Ho-Chunk Tribal Elder

Kelly Summers

Director, American Indian Arts and Culture Alliance

William Buchholtz

Award winning Native flute player

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? Yes
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? Yes
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? Yes
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Yes
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? Yes

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 10/10/2021

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? Candid partnered with CHANGE Philanthropy on this demographic section.

Leadership

The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
Native American/American Indian/Alaska Native/Indigenous
Gender identity
Female, Not transgender
Sexual orientation
Heterosexual or Straight
Disability status
Person without a disability

Race & ethnicity

Gender identity

Transgender Identity

Sexual orientation

Disability

We do not display disability information for organizations with fewer than 15 staff.

Equity strategies

Last updated: 10/08/2021

GuideStar partnered with Equity in the Center - an organization that works to shift mindsets, practices, and systems to increase racial equity - to create this section. Learn more

Data
  • We review compensation data across the organization (and by staff levels) to identify disparities by race.
  • We ask team members to identify racial disparities in their programs and / or portfolios.
  • We analyze disaggregated data and root causes of race disparities that impact the organization's programs, portfolios, and the populations served.
  • We disaggregate data to adjust programming goals to keep pace with changing needs of the communities we support.
  • We employ non-traditional ways of gathering feedback on programs and trainings, which may include interviews, roundtables, and external reviews with/by community stakeholders.
  • We disaggregate data by demographics, including race, in every policy and program measured.
  • We have long-term strategic plans and measurable goals for creating a culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.
Policies and processes
  • We use a vetting process to identify vendors and partners that share our commitment to race equity.
  • We have a promotion process that anticipates and mitigates implicit and explicit biases about people of color serving in leadership positions.
  • We seek individuals from various race backgrounds for board and executive director/CEO positions within our organization.
  • We have community representation at the board level, either on the board itself or through a community advisory board.
  • We help senior leadership understand how to be inclusive leaders with learning approaches that emphasize reflection, iteration, and adaptability.
  • We measure and then disaggregate job satisfaction and retention data by race, function, level, and/or team.
  • We engage everyone, from the board to staff levels of the organization, in race equity work and ensure that individuals understand their roles in creating culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.