Through intersectional Indigenous cultural, social, arts, educational, environmental, economic, health, and wellness programming, the North American Indigenous Center of New York (NAIC-NY) honors the past living legacy of our peoples, and meets the present multiple needs of our communities, so we can build together vibrant, self-determining, sovereign futures.
Continual Native migration between urban centers and reservations demonstrates the deep interrelatedness of all Native peoples wherever we live our contemporary lives. From this reality emerges the sovereign recognition that all our issues and concerns as Native peoples are truly shared, and our survivals interwoven.
Native New York and the Northeast
New York City, New York State, and the Northeast are a community hub for Native peoples based in and traveling through the region. Diverse, multifaceted, and deeply intertribal, our activities build upon the land-and-waterways crossroads of multiple tribal territories.
Urban Native populations within NYC are intrinsically linked to tribal reservation communities in NYS, the larger Northeast, and the 574 federally-recognized tribes, 63 state-recognized tribes, and additional Native tribal communities existing within the boundaries of the U.S., interlinked Indigenous communities north and south of U.S. borders, throughout the Américas and Pacific, and global Indigenous communities around the world.
Deeply multitribal, multilingual, and multicultural, spread throughout the five boroughs of NYC, existing within the greater Tri-State area, migrant throughout the Northeast, and continually in flux due to intranational and international im/migration, both documented and undocumented, our Native communities have multiple, varied, intersectional needs.
NAIC-NY programming occurs at multiple sites throughout the boroughs of New York City, cities and counties of New York State, interstate and transborder regions of the larger Northeast, and the sovereign Native tribal communities that precede and exceed these colonial boundaries placed upon Turtle Island.
Collaborative gatherings across regions forge and strengthen life-long bonds, and serve to break through the systemic colonialism of racist segregation present in the ongoing histories of genocide, enslavement, land and body theft, and reservation and relocation systems.
The North American Indigenous Center of New York (NAIC-NY) approaches its community-organizing efforts in concentric tribal-nation-specific, intertribal, and pan-Indigenous ways, building synergistically across intersections of health (physical, mental, emotional, spiritual), environment (land, water, access, justice), culture (traditional knowledge, contemporary contexts), arts (visual, acoustic, performative, written, culinary), and community and technology (in person and online, indoors wherever we build community, and outdoors on our lands and waters).
Our programming occurs in person, offline, whenever possible, and also digitally during this time of global coronavirus pandemic. Our community building can be experienced both live in the moment, and is also recorded and archived online so Native communities can experience connection at any time of day or night, remaining socially, culturally, and communally connected even when socially distanced.
Our multigenerational understandings of Native communities are historically and culturally informed. Because our understanding and implementation of our work is always intersectional (honoring multiple simultaneous intersecting identities) our work across Native programming areas and across our multiple Native communities reflects this commitment.
We work to center through social-justice frameworks our plural experiences as Native peoples and Indigenous communities: urban, suburban, rural, and reservation-based; Native women, nonbinary and gender-nonconforming peoples, and peoples of all genders; Native Two-Spirit, lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) communities; Native elders, children, youth, and all generations; Native artists, activists, and organizers; Native entrepreneurs and economic development leaders; Native educators and tradition keepers; Native food sovereignty, ancestral agriculture, and environmental justice leaders; Natives with disabilities and ongoing health issues, Native athletes, and all Natives seeking greater health and wellness.
By intentionally creating synergistic structures of support, and interwoven webs of well-being that are multigenerational, pan-programmatic, and culturally rich, we work daily to make community spaces that truly welcome and celebrate all of who we are and hope to be.
By creating mechanisms that center and support intersectional, intergenerational, pan-Indigenous, and pan–people of color cross-cultural dialogues, social-justice alliances, and committed coalition building, we foster lifelong pathways for continued Native learning, health, well-being, and honor. Joyous and just ways of being.
Our work building, reclaiming, reframing, and centering spaces for Native peoples includes working closely with Restore Forward and diverse community partners to envision solidarity and sovereignty initiatives that build, nurture, and support our interwoven pasts, presents/presences, and futures.
Through shared analysis, organizing, and action, creative solutions are discovered, and we learn together about the many different ways we can contribute toward movement-building and change-making. A space of solidarity, we commit to accessible, respectful, and unifying community-building models that move our peoples forward in strength, resiliency, and grounded pride. Sovereign futures for all the generations to come.