Summary: In the 1950s, Native people from all over the United States moved to the San Francisco Bay Area as part of the Bureau of Indian Affairs Relocation Program. Oakland was a major destination of this program, and once there, Indian people arriving from rural areas had to adjust to urban living. They did it by creating a cooperative, multi-tribal community--not a geographic community, but rather a network of people linked by shared experiences and understandings.
...show more The Intertribal Friendship House in Oakland became a sanctuary during times of upheaval in people's lives and the heart of a vibrant American Indian community. As one long-time resident observes, "The Wednesday Night Dinner at the Friendship House was a must if you wanted to know what was happening among Native people."
This album of essays, photographs, stories, and art chronicles some of the people and events that have played--and continue to play--a role in the lives of Native families in the Bay Area Indian community over the past seventy years. Based on years of work by more than ninety individuals who have participated in the Bay Area Indian community and assembled by the Community History Project at the Intertribal Friendship House, it traces the community's changes from before and during the relocation period through the building of community institutions. It then offers insight into American Indian activism of the 1960s and '70s--including the occupation of Alcatraz--and shows how the Indian community continues to be created and re-created for future generations.
Through oral histories, written pieces prepared especially for this book, graphic images, and even news clippings, Urban Voices collects a bundle of memories that will be familiar to Indian people living in cities throughout the United States. And through this collection, non-Indians can gain a better understanding of Indian people in America today.
Urban Voices represents a labor of love on the part of many people in the Bay Area. The editorial committee consisted of Susan Lobo, Sharon Bennett, Charlene Betsillie, Joyce Keoke, Geraldine Martinez Lira, and Marilyn StGermaine. Coordinating Editor Susan Lobo is a cultural anthropologist who has worked as a consultant for American Indian tribes and community organizations. Her publications include A House of My Own: Social Organization in the Squatter Settlements of Lima, Peru (University of Arizona Press); Native American Voices: A Reader; and American Indians and the Urban Experience. ...show less