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Urban Native Americans – A Growing Population with Unique Needs
According to the United States Census, Phoenix has the highest proportion of Native American residents per capital of all other metro cities. In fact, nearly 100,000 Native Americans call Maricopa County home, the most of any Arizona county. Also reported by the United Stated Census Bureau, 64.1% of the American Indian/Alaska Native population lives outside tribal areas (off-reservation). Many leave family and the familiarity of reservation life to pursue professional and educational opportunities in the Valley. Unfortunately, this transition isn’t always easy. Many face cultural hurdles. Some struggle with health issues. Others cope with unemployment.
According to a report by National Urban Indian Family Coalition, in times when they need services, Native Americans are more likely to seek help from Native American service providers rather than other non-profits or government agencies.
Despite Greater Phoenix’s growing Native American population, until now, there was no central location for this community to share cultural traditions or to access services unique to their culture and circumstance or integrated approach to dramatically improve someone’s ability to be self-sufficient.