"Before I moved to the Bay Area, almost a year ago now, I knew the Intertribal Friendship House only through the books I had read. I had a sense of IFH's importance to Native community building and activism after the Indian Relocation Act of 1956, which (these books taught me) encouraged young people to leave their families and reservations to seek employment opportunities in large urban centers like Oakland. Again and again I read of the singular importance of IFH in establishing resources, community, and healing for individuals who found themselves suddenly in an unfamiliar place, without much of the support or opportunity that the state had promised. When I began volunteering at IFH, I quickly saw how tirelessly the staff and volunteers here continue to work to keep their community vibrant and healthy. I was amazed at the depth of programming offered at a single space-- including social services, speakers and cultural events, youth leadership mentoring, elders appreciation, gardening and cooking lessons, family nights, and ceremony. I was equally amazed by the generosity of spirit I was continually met with each time I stepped through the door.
Andy and I are running for IFH because we are committed to its vision of a healthy tribal community in the Bay Area and because we support the right of Native peoples here and everywhere to self-determination. It is increasingly important that non-Native peoples like me be absolutely sure that we create social relations that "serve rather than threaten our collective life on this planet," as Harsha Walia reminds us. Please help us see that our Native neighbors have the financial resources they need to invest in the health of their community. We are incredibly appreciative of any amount, which goes directly to IFH programs and services.
With many thanks,
Alanna & Andy