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These difficulties were often due to inadequacies in healthcare and education, unemployment, and being disconnected from their communities and cultures.
Also, few people outside the American Indian community knew of their plight.
She was the only Indian to testify about the plight of urban Indians before U. AIWSL members publicized these events in print, radio, and television to a non-Indian audience.
Due to these efforts, the first North American Indian Jamboree and Benefit Ball held by the AIWSL in 1961 attracted more than a thousand people.
Indians had long migrated through American cities for commerce and social reasons.Puget Sound and other Northwest Indians, after first moving to reservations, were permitted to travel between reservations and outside them in search of work, making Seattle a crucial cultural and trading meeting place for indigenous people.Pacific Northwest Indians, who had relied on primarily on fishing and hunting for centuries, found it increasingly difficult to sustain themselves with these occupations alone, and found reservation resources and federal programs insufficient in helping them adapt to agricultural or other forms of work.Warren believed it was important to have a hospitality center for Indians that would accomplish the following goals: (1) be a friendly place for Indians to meet, (2) give assistance to Indians who are not acquainted with the city ways of living, (3) refer those with educational medical or other problems to proper channels for advice, (4) and very important, preserve our Indian culture.
Warren and the AIWSL sent letters to service organizations throughout the country, and by 1960 they had raised the funds to open the Seattle Indian Center in a small building downtown.
Non-Indians knew little about Indian culture and often harbored negative stereotypes of American Indians.