United Native Americans, Inc. (or U.N.A.) was formed in 1968 in San Francisco, California to promote the General Welfare of Native Americans. There are no paid staff or officers in U.N.A. and all work is donated. U.N.A. is not funded and exists solely on the support derived from membership dues, the sale of U.N.A. Merchandise, Tee Shirts, buttons, bumper stickers, and Posters, plus the few donations that have been received.
U.N.A was founded by Indians for Indians and is controlled by Indians.
U.N.A. has been Labeled a "Militant" organization because of it's Aggressive Stand it has taken and because of the slogan it stresses--"INDIAN POWER", which is defined as Self-Determination, the Right to Run your Own Affairs and to Direct your Own Destiny, which is something Indian People Definitely Need. U.N.A is Definitely an Action Organization and if this means "Militant" then we are Militants. We as Native Americans, in order to perpetuate our Heritage, Exercise Constructive Leadership, and to perfect a Native American Organization which will Respond to the Needs of Native Americans.
U.N.A. Strives to Improve Indian Image.
U.N.A. has been one of the Strongest advocates to improve the "Negative" image of Indian People, and has been critical of the "Movie Industry" for their Exploitation of Indians, and the Stereotype they have created of the "drunken, inarticulate, savage." Academic Revolutionary; Lehman Brightman Founded & Coordinated The First Native Americans Studies Program in The United States at UC Berkeley.
U.N.A. Testifies In Congress.
In 1968, Senate Sub-Committee Hearings on Indian Education held in Washington D.C., U.N.A. National President, Lehman L. Brightman gave some very damaging evidence against the Bureau of Indian Affairs boarding schools and their policy of taking young Indian children way from their parents and placing them in 'off-reservation" boarding schools, thousands of miles away from their homes. Mr. Brightman called Indian Education under the Bureau of Indian Affairs a "National Disgrace."
U.N.A. Investigates Indian Boarding Schools.
U.N.A. has tried to act as a "watch dog" over the governmental agencies that control Indian affairs, and has been extremely critical of the Bureau of Indian Affairs and the U.S. Public Health Service for their lack of Aid and callous treatment of Indian people. Since 1968, U.N.A. has investigated four of the Bureau of Indian Affairs Boarding Schools because of complaints of "brutality, - lack of food, -overcrowded living quarters, and to find out why these four high schools were not state accredited." The four government boarding schools investigated by U.N.A. were: Sherman Institute in Riverside, California, --Stewart Institute in Carson City, Nevada, -- Pierre Indian School in Pierre, South Dakota and Phoenix Indian School in Phoenix, Arizona."
U.N.A. Investigates Indian Hospitals.
Due to other complaints by Indian people of "poor medical service and other wrong doings," U.N.A. investigated two Indian hospitals run by the U.S. Public Health Service and exposed the "outrageous practices" to the public and Federal Authorities. The Hospitals investigated by U.N.A. were: Phoenix Indian Hospital in Phoenix, Arizona and the Indian Hospital on the Cheyenne River Sioux Reservation in Eagle Butte, South Dakota.
Services Provided by U.N.A.
The duties and services provided by U.N.A. are many and varied. U.N.A. provides the security of knowing that someone cares and will go to bat for them when all others won't. We fully realize that Indian people alone cannot rise out of this pit of poverty and neglect and it will take the combined efforts of Indians and Sympathetic non-Indians. For this reason U.N.A. accepts non-Indians as associate members who desire to help and their "expertise" in the fields of 'Law", Education, Medicine, etc, can be put to good use.
We as Native Americans, in order to perpetuate our Heritage, Exercise Constructive Leadership, and to perfect a Native American Organization which will Respond to the Needs of Native American. The Purpose of United Native Americans, Inc. Shall be:
(1) To Actively Participate in Promoting the Health, Education and Welfare of All Native Americans.
(2) To Encourage and Develop Leadership among Native American People.
(3) To Promote Cooperation among Native Americans and their Organizations.
(4) To Focus Public Attention upon those areas in which Injustices to Native Americans can be Fully Recognized and Corrected.
(5) To Encourage and perpetuate the Native American Heritage with it's individual Tribal Customs and Traditions.
(6) To Eliminate Prejudice and Discrimination Against Native Americans.
(7) To Promote the General Welfare of All Native Americans.
United Native Americans,Inc. Lehman L. Brightman: International President
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