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we've been a large cities for thousands of years and we've always said listen we've always been totally get that we've always taken from cultures that we've what we've needed in terms of helping us survive so we have the skills to survive an hour never been said so i don't think we're going to just be lost i think for just recreating ourselves next day they press in renaissance is this program was made possible by the corporation for public broadcasting additional funding was provided by the john d and catherine t macarthur foundation in an arrow the guy this is thursday may thirtieth edition of native america calling our household costs are in every urban area where there is a native population which would include virtually every city in the country the issues of health care education
employment and housing living off the reservation is your sense of security it presents an entirely different set of responsibilities and they're used to that native person who now calls concrete jungle there's been this association what's your story everybody out assistant city attorneys it's a place where most of america calls america's first people had been migrating here in large numbers recent figures
show approximately sixty five percent of american indians now reside in cities throughout the us some came here prompted by federal government relocation program started back the nineteen fifties and they continue to come in pursuit of better jobs better schools better homes a better way of life that you're part of a new try a collection of many tracks they are called urban indians there was a very conscious effort on the part of arab and innovators people to go out into the reservations to recruit and in people to go to urban centers in our senses to los angeles chicago a minute minneapolis is on the native people were recruited into lower level to train for situations like hairdressing
mechanics are welding to set and these of course are very tenuous kinds of occupations as a cast were part of a large relocation of opinions to urban areas not arises not just mean cities it names what they call or accounts on reservations like help his clients rapid city set thousands and thousands of indians were brought in to chicago from reservations in trouble communities from alaska to california to oklahoma and new mexico minister and brought into chicago in a very impersonal inhospitable and crowded and so a lot of people who were placed in apartments in uptown on the north side of chicago and that became one of the major population centers and use
its new york city is a city of immense no sign on the statue of liberty both symbols of freedom and opportunity to drop people from the war but before that the waters surrounding manhattan right treatment for these two tribes long before european contact since then the native people of come to new york city to find opportunity during the nineteen twenties now we don't construct at the time the largest steel construction jobs in the country but also many of the buildings and bridges are now showed the city's skyline after the second world war there was a lot of building going on a lot of the indian dr there was so much work
that instead of going home every weekend with families came down here in the wintertime and lived in apartments around the union hall the kids went to school and then as the data mine even the white house is that there was a church where the minister is in the service and you know every sunday la was being a very large city in the southwest your crew came the magnet was especially since some folks had endured in the service of summit we're in the war industry those hopefully you know the big post war boom that there was jobs and things like that and so many people were brought in sort of introduce korean economy here and set up by the urban affairs through the relocation program there was a large indian population and again what they're wanting you know show mash and loathing of people who were here before though that the started to come to life but in the nineteen twenty thing is
the playing area to work and then only a western movie indian people that are are culturally connected here in los angeles there is that hardly anybody that hasn't worked and that the largest number of people relocated to other that any urban area but scenes of that first trip to the relocation period to come you know the one with a one way ticket on on a bus or a train to the city with such incredible momentous occasion in their wife and other some room which are very rich voice you listen forty two are self santa fe railroad was hiring man from atlanta to work on a different train lines for the bill wrote a letter at that time richmond california was the end of the line for the santa fe railroad so they
decided to settle there and there was work there and richmond is is located in this happens as the bay area and so that's where my grandfather eventually settled and that railroad had set aside a portion of land where they built out of boxcars homes for their families and the families of the men that there was just called the sun again we had the busk are here and one here and then there was a kitchen area i painted the outside and then they plant it flowers and i know my father had peach trees in the back when players flowers that that my mother elaine enjoy us ally eleven about carbon budget impasse the boxcar in iowa's harmony had your family there and you went to school been playing together challah brandon i would say that we all
grew up with getting our ace and living there i think if it were me i would be very scared to just pack up and go to a place that you had never been before and take your family but to my grandfather did and he always working always had a job and i think coming out of the depression where there was no work for four men to support their families he he just did what he had to do and he he just moved his whole family out there i came on relocation i ride out a boarding schools nine there was a void is called after i think eight years when asked they can for my family their member owned get another train from the school that i left with one small suitcase theres about foreigners they came together we're headed tell for now while we have never been that we're going to expect the reason why we were strong was because it was for it was the senate just one person so we all came out here and came to senator cisco and we didn't
realize how big of a town and how many different kinds of people living here we went to town the iaea office the first time and they told us that they're going to give us on some money and put us in this hotel which is just a block away from there even though getting into the elevator was was the biggest thing you're scared to get out because we had no idea what that was or where it was going to take us on in is allowed here avis at the time seventy to fifty every two weeks into law has also received works part time and so it's a lot easier that yes they had it all figured out as to how we can survive they've had fifty cents to say but you know rand three ways things that will always always
can buy a new dress at a new shows we did we really you away from out the door on that on the streetcars down to school on streaker history that first walk we took was downhill more and not just people just it will walk around down there your audience here and go what is stirred a little fun at it we've averaged romney got backed up but it was an experience postwar to baby boom all that stuff you know they are they're all into debt have slipped back and you know mom had the oscar and the species you see those pictures you know they're like a total produced them but at the same time i think you know they were they were going to do to the palms that that you have with identity you know who are we really an unfortunate that that they were both able to reconnect and then
not have it just totally leave our lives but this article for ceremonies the feast just had just about is i think that that that exists within that within that within the tribal community and tribal tradition or religion or a mom mom life in the city can be bleak for an impartial statistics bear out the impact on the lives of summer and injects a suicide rate is four times that for other races poverty unemployment three times that of any other ethnic group but tribal officials back on reservations or traditional homeland security once a tribal member off the reservation around the roe tribes are under no obligation to provide services to urban indians much less years of the federally funded programs made available to tribal members because of these conditions the community these
two senators began to emerge it was very well is because they were going to go for hillary and the center didn't have much in terms of resources and money and so on so we struggle to do whatever we could but it was a large population of native people on skid row and some who have a lot of income but how do you maintain a connection so that we're living in the city may be tough because you don't have a job in the way you need to come together or doesn't provide for all the need to say you have to rent and food in education and so on he made a connection to feel whole about yourself in the indian center really providing so that young people that it was really the place for young people to have that sense
of family and a sense of community of find that all over chicago in the suburbs around here and then they're being able to go up on stage and dance explain what they're doing and talk you know and represent with pride and and and dignity their native culture in order to represent themselves maybe for the first time the lights it owes nearly two months of sitting on the sidewalk and then having a cigarette then also in a moment of promise the danger in their water of the word it is solace for the visitors because when i first came at hollywood's little convoy is that the
uk in milwaukee oregon is all right do you recognize that you have to sing at the hallway and to pay or to the house and my mother was a line from our own store in the community us as well as well as my grandmother says our native based organization out in manhattan mr pham you've been around for a long time there we do consider new yorker home we know we live their secret or this issue we get people jobs they get from clothing to get them health care of sorts here to austen's most was living in a committee or just to survive financially as a start i can't tell you the importance of community
my husband became very thick and i had four small children and your cantor withdrew its sixth month but with this southern indian community in los angeles that can move this to cure the kids filled my cabinets with groceries social services for recruiting and moving into the bay area churches report in over a ministry in social service then it emerged in our center wasn't the us up till nineteen seventy two and was established basically awful what happened in the alcatraz day forward sixty nine there was a byproduct her spun off of
that eu i think we're going into is often don't care if they are considered an invisible minority overshadowed by other ethnic groups with many of the seine is often the community has no knowledge that native people still exists or they don't recognize that native people live work and contribute to their communities taxpayers in nineteen sixty nine the occupation of alcatraz island the american indians who was one of the most important political events have staged in recent times here we were essentially doing great imperial might
whenever they said that that happened there was people coming from all over not just to california but all over the united states people coming in boyce in denver concerns not only just for california and the problems that the whole damn united states where there was a lot in the training people and people coming to express that because we are on television and it was exciting for me because our friendship us was quite knew that time and we were trying to get some funding and no one was paying attention my friend and i we had a sign that week we help confront and somebody took a picture of that it says this land is our land i think it taught us to be recognized
perhaps the biggest challenge facing urban indians access to health care to the indian health service or ihs provides health care to tribal members living both on and off the reservation however one of the most recent changes has been a shift from ihs to trouble management of health care as a result tribes no contract their own services and because of this change many ihs facilities in cities have less money to work with and are cutting back services to work in a situation where if you're in northern oklahoma tried when you go for services here i just didn't know what it is the mighty well we can't serve you here because you were you know from one of the stereotypes yet to go back to your tribe then you go back you're tribe and they say well we can serve it where you live you live in albuquerque well you don't live in the services
so yeah because they're too the number of indians living in urban areas these processes to five percent and we're talking about sixty five percent of india's were getting five or ten percent of the dollars for health care were not getting equal dollars for the care of people living off reservations we don't want them to take money from their reservations and get to the urban people will we try to do try to have always united arab emirates' version and have the government gives more money you want to come to the urban areas when we ask people for money only solicit for money only we write for proposals or even talk to the political people within the city mechanic they're saying well we have the myth winant the game in turns giving you money why are they supporting the interview you know this is really become is a positive one hand that
and for us in the urban areas kind of negative because we don't have the we don't get a lot of money from the gaming people and actually some of the tribe's elders smaller porsche it actually gets in the gaming money but it's it's always a struggle it's always trouble for us to get what we need much of the problem there's economic base because if we counted urban indians in our sensors are reservations and we might have to share with them although i know for a fact that many reservations count the urban groups as they're enrolled members and and yet that you do not get any financial or social aid to those people who live in urban areas there's there's a separation which i don't completely agree with but it's there is the reservation indians an urban indians there's always some controversy going on even terms of funding and let's just look at as i'm native american indian people and
mara put labels on this whole thing in the san francisco bay area the native american health center a non profit community based health care provider is considered a national model in providing a range of comprehensive services to its native community it also manages the friendship house wellness nights counseling services and the drug and alcohol recovery no more the morning lose your work that has to do
i care law but early morning because of the way that we are some of us are forced to come into the city some of us came by choice but i think some of us have a real difficult time adjusting to it completely different lifestyle that we were not familiar with like paying rent and all those things worse so different first selected in the mail or something i never heard of that we had to learn to do that in the nie people struggle do and that is as the subtler ways to and so some of the difficulties that we go through even shop findings cause us to get a real difficult situation sometimes it doesn't work or a prison most major cities from the moment of american laws on here in the city i think that we haven't worked to write jokes in a comedy sick behavior so i want to
open up as cities grow because that's holding me back from growth i feel coming from families with his alcohol and drug issues with his domestic violence issues and all these pressures are being placed on them so they're more likely to be involved in their own alcohol and drug use their own violent behavior is a new management issues getting involved in gangs finding other ways that they can belong because they don't feel they belonged where they're going to school are in the families that or that they have so they have you know a multitude of problems that they have to deal with as though this song wild birds eye now by two and now wants the date of hobble a dietician i think a lot of it to rise from the problematic areas of conflict or child traumatic events possibly from relocation from the family being second generation so when you have youth
mentor outrun identify with their indian as her identity a lot of it still shame shame bouncing down to even acknowledge their indian was these are acknowledging it after battles once talked about the services of this organization in vermont medical dental clinic in replying steve i know how service would never use program we're about the fitness center were much more than just the clinic were any people coming in from outside syria worse when i visited fort myer relatives or fried friend from back home phil luna bars you play fast start no merit an important in the late forties even more that's remarkable says there's a real sense of ownership and collectively around these organizations and a real sense that these are our conversations these are our citizens because
people growing up being involved in a much broader society because of the numbers of the consumer and other groups on these other ethnic groups have created for themselves their own neighborhoods they run stores their own spaces but we don't have that very much so we're now doing that for now going out and buying on homes and building your own organizations and their organizations are building new buildings in and buying property and that's real i think we'll important that's a real strong sense of saying we're here we're here to stay and we're we're here because we've done it for ourselves i remember boarding the bus and an older white man from the cia who convinced me that issue i moved there when i graduated from high school i wanted to be an architect he thought i should learn drafting stafford that
lasted the bs relocation program about three months and returned home to pack and eventually went to college on my own and earned a degree the desire to seek higher education to earn a college degree continues to bring more and more young native people to the city set education exactly when we we don't have a lot of reservations are opportunities to go to college on on reservations we have to go elsewhere why did you come about through after we graduate college it seems like a lot of people want to come back to the reservation but if we don't have the jobs their world to again ago thanks
steve i have to say my friends were earning now law degrees and becoming doctors and i don't think he saw nearly as may just a generation ago really important after kenneth to brainwash three thousand two hundred pages of the nation's financial capital for the first time whether three timber sales or and eleven is an outsider candidate for people to build their own infrastructure and follows the gold class ticket for economic development purposes only and able to help this week
the american interest was breaking new ground the schools philosophy is based upon building a solid academic foundation to help prepare native american students to compete in a modern society he'd previously thought done very poorly in school so what we've decided is preschool the focus on academics and built a solid academic foundation around me riding math science and what we prepare our kids with academics to us just complete we had kids who come here when judy hall before and they spend a semester with us and you will recognize that the one semester we're the song now heading for an ad and influencers like a new
word for that but then says and then it has asked a balance and i said ok and then from there said don't do it absentees and says that people in the south for a nice respectful and sighs like a listen all right we've been testing we don't believe their test discriminated we believe that the reasons minorities have done poorly on testing as they have been called an untrained how to take tests we trained in how to read how to ride out of math i'm indian and all that is not my job to seize just to be indian are what my job just for the most solid academic foundation in the basics i think the parents and relatives can do a
better job of teaching to be indian and i can sum people was a woman assigned doing that well you know i hear people sing educators or don't a job teaching it forward when i just say that american interest really means something else because you know the history behind it another location kinds of people or one migrant trafficking but here he was a community are looking for a job and looking for ways to make money in a way on coming out of the same reason but under different circumstances he won that summer scholarship to stanford and he enjoyed being in the area and then on set we found out that he was accepted at berkeley la can believe that and berkeley and here were these code you know right there
near her re alvino grew louder to see my son going back into that same setting and then he will also grow up there and then become an adult they're in there in the bay area and we're going on the same path in a way there are going to be a lot of similarities in our lives and i guess just our own way of relating to to living in the city americans alone i can do it but it's going to be hard now having a routine that yearly routine of going home for this in the poll as being there for them cook out of that together say my family is often as i would so unaware that study hard and innocent but the same time it's that change that i want to
experience in my family because my mom did stressed education for me that oftentimes i'm kind of the advocate or the mediator of a spokesperson for the family will call me you know from back home and asked me to speak to so and so about perhaps you know something that's happening at the hospital or mama call me to do to serve as that role so i know that that education has been very important in that they're very proud of me and see me as fulfilling that role even though perhaps you know a lot of my cousins have dropped out her own you know are having to deal with unemployment problems on the reservation that's why i think it's very important that urban and reservation work together because it's important to me that my family's taking care of back home just as it's very important and that i'm taken care of here crossing along tribal ways
and wisdom children and teenagers is almost nonexistent in this that's because there are few orders from the same voters who are capable of conducting ritual and serve traditional ways are usually learned the leftovers in the city that can create an identity gap for many young urban indians yeah i pray it carefully and reading they aware of whatever our time for one of the government that we can defunding former group get together teacher children make him proud of being indian they can get for their future recall there was a period of time where cultures clash
and somebody who bought a circle they removed a very vital important part of who we are as natives announced the children was generations of children they took they put in boarding schools and they've effectively broke the hoop because how indian people retain their indian ness their identity was through our elders and our elders were the ones that were the teachers they were the ones who passed on the language the stories that were spared long it's an honor to be one of the people that is helping these kids these indian kids begin that journey regardless of education and i try to tell that the non native kids that come here that you know before there was any buildings before there was any freeways before there's any
cds native people were here he says he's done second graders and fourth graders here in our inner city public schools and i'm always asked the crowd that's out there is says is anybody here are native american and the crowd just looks around and disbelief like a little concerned with the real and one person a razor hannon in the crowd when that was always a look at the current level of the union an attorney even if paul be in stills or shaman a person does for been you know identified as being a native american is it big mac again so i said talk to me in spanish spanish no oh you know someone when they hear that and that and native americans in that you know you are
once i feel like a lot of people find out that you are indian women are your indian enough i've had people walk away from me when i've set up the nearest city as opposed to reservations or that how could that be the jury in new york city it's hard to explain i don't know what why their perceptions is that since people from all around the globe come to a city that native people who work here are indigenous to this country to be near city just seems like a fantastic fleet had to get here why you hear or do i stay here and when you're going home identity as a very important factor and being an end if you know hulu your parents or your
grandparents are know about your family history and i think that that is the strongest tool that we have and transmitting cultural knowledge we are now dealing with a fourth generation youth in urban areas that were dealing with a lot of intermarriage so there are populations be coming next and this raises problems because there is a tendency on those people are you know completely ended to discriminate against and it was half white half african americans have chicano central so i think that that's something that i think even in my own decision to marry a non indian was a big one and a difficult one for me to make it because i did honestly think about you know perhaps losing even more out of navajo identity in and even you know isis as we see more more people were becoming mixed income other ethnic groups
within our indian population you do think about perhaps one day we may be an invisible group especially since we identify ourselves by our mottos by blood quantum more money into things like that so something that i really thought about and struggled with myself as far as the play should marry another indian person or navajo man and so that's something that i think still concerns mean that's why it's very important to me that i teach her about her navajo language and background and i do take her back home and expose her to the rest of my family and other neighborhoods in the area that is very important to me a day saints banned it is because i've talked to
yeah it's chinese right away i said you know one day they're the
same one five of them that one symbol of the indian culture and the city has the power it has become the universal for weaving its way through the fabric of the native communities in cities across the us he was the one comment that crosses troubled backgrounds and cultures i had started going to powwows this is a way of connecting with other indians the first thing that comes to my mind is his ability to know in visibility to the outside world that we create our space and in and maintaining the visibility but also in his ability to one another they were here and i think that's really powerful the way i was taught about singing dancing is that the gifts that we're a good job when you're good at it or you know social skills with that and i think that you know like i'm giving these gifts that you know they're for the people
you know whether you're getting paid a lot or little or nothing are going to help somebody out or you know anything into a competition we're there for the people to make people feel that you know that's that's the most important part is you know continuing that way and you know i plan and remember that way that's how i was raised it means a lot that means the first thing you know i was a very funny hearing johnny is in paris today and said i like singing i like the song you know on second supporting my own close to home and then my dad's jon snow aka their father may change their functions in that you have to represent indians generally powers who's giving back to the community elders and stuff in
being a part of this community is just trying to keep it up and running for the foundation and i have to stay with that i think patterson is this is my duty all of those things their connection is still alive from seven generations ago from seven generations before that that hardly is still alive it's a modern believe that that the drum is the heartbeat of our nation in a less paladino that has brought all ali's tribes together to have a gathering of
nations largest annual powwow in the world takes place in albuquerque new mexico traditionally what native people of colder forty nine is a social gathering that takes place after apollo in more recent times contemporary native musicians have given new meaning in a different venue to forty nine a court battle that day this is pretty interesting
imagination plays it just happens he came in thank
you she calls because the new cd it seems out of place geographically it's important and saw a chance to see references to animals or a full year dr cindy lee offering or tobacco seems inappropriate in a sea of concrete and asphalt attachment to the earth mother gets lost growing up in a beautiful morning i
do for my family it was a funny or jesus christ pretty soon every the major ceremony on friday night and sunday morning when some consumer hands so there was never there was never really like you have to choose one listen to this scene so strong
confusion television and i go back all the old ways of humbling yourself asking for support and it seems to work you can basically walk all over new york city never touch the line which i think is a very powerful experience here where you can create your own ceremonies but her own rituals that we can share with each other i think some people will do some things as part of a common creating a common bond and they recognize that that's part of surviving an urban setting but they don't necessarily see that as being a reflection of the time for something that's terribly specific era in our traditional language with a phrase that means that we are all related and all people black yellow y all people in this great spirit created in those universes they're all
related and i think that in our relationships with one another in their relationships with our family i think they can find some really special holiday pajamas and then i believe it is oh many times people listening singing feel better and here i sit now and a bagel city of an ear for like seven eight months to one which while i'm still going as is you're reminded every day when the orders from my pope will pray and they remember all those who have left their living somewhere else in their prayer is for
their safe return of no comfort that someday they will return spirit's brothers sisters relatives have a way of life and i think unless you're going to go home and many and living here in whatever they think vice versa there are fresh it is what it is that we do this young people feel like they need
to bring their new fresh ideas to the table we still respect that we use i'm a city person i guess when i retire i want all the reservations too fancy hotel some ways with her and serviceable michele norris host
of course there is that's what it is it is hard land away understand it in cities especially in other ways try to take over the world
for generations one of those generations right because barry is that baker jr this program was
made possible by the corporation for public broadcasting additional funding was provided by the john d and catherine t macarthur foundation or eighty eight
Looking Toward Home
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Vision Maker Media (Lincoln, Nebraska)
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Program Description
This film shows how government relocation programs in the 1950s enticed significant numbers of Native Americans to leave the reservation for life in major cities such as, Los Angeles, Chicago, New York, and the San Francisco Bay Area. The life and times of urban Indians is shown primarily through the eyes of these individuals and subsequent generations as they maintain their tribal identity far away from the culturally nurturing climate of the reservation.
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Producer: Chino, Conroy
Producer: Morris, Beverly
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Vision Maker Media
Identifier: 2013-00348 (VMM Inventory #)
Format: Digital Betacam
Generation: Master
Duration: 0:56:40
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Chicago: “Looking Toward Home,” 2003-00-00, Vision Maker Media, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed June 21, 2024,
MLA: “Looking Toward Home.” 2003-00-00. Vision Maker Media, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Web. June 21, 2024. <>.
APA: Looking Toward Home. Boston, MA: Vision Maker Media, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from