American Indian Relief Council
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A Program of National Relief Charities
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Frequently Asked Questions

How can I trace my Native American Ancestry?
Can I visit a reservation?
Can I volunteer?
Can I donate items?
Who is National Relief Charities?
Are you a nonprofit organization? Is my contribution tax deductible?
Who do you help?
What percentage of what you collect goes to Native Americans?
Do you receive any money from the Government?
What happens to the money the government allocates for Native Americans?
Don't all Native Americans receive a monthly check from the government?
What about the money made from Casino operations?
Do you employ Native Americans?
Do Native Americans have to stay on the reservations?
How can I adopt a Native American child?
How can I reach a Chairperson?
Can I donate my vehicle?


How can I trace my Native American Ancestry?
Please visit the official website for the Department of the Interior at www.doi.gov or www.ancestry.com.
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Can I visit a reservation?
Please visit the Official Tribal website of the tribe or reservation that you would like to visit.
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Can I volunteer?
Please visit http://www.serve.gov/ or http://www.volunteermatch.org.
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Can I donate items?
Because we serve entire groups, such as every Elder in a Senior Center, it helps the most to have items donated in bulk and in like kind. For more information on donating items such as new toys, clothing, school supplies, or other needed items, please call our Donor Relations Department at (800) 370-0872.
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Who is National Relief Charities?
National Relief Charities is a nonprofit with eight programs for poverty-stricken reservations: American Indian Education Foundation, American Indian Relief Council, Council of Indian Nations, Navajo Relief Fund, Southwest Indian Relief Council, Sioux Nation Relief Fund, Native American Aid, and Rescue Operation for Animals of the Reservation. NRC provides the administration, accounting, and fundraising for these programs, over and above the actual material aid, education, and relief services. NRC is not a third party, and you may restrict your contribution to your program of choice simply by writing "Restricted" on your check or return form. This way, 100% of your donation goes to your program of choice.
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Are you a nonprofit organization? Is my contribution tax deductible?
Yes, we are a nonprofit 501 (c)(3) Tax Exempt Charity. Our Federal Tax ID is 58-1888256. A certified public accountant firm, as described by the IRS, prepares our Financial Statement and Audit. Your contribution to the American Indian Relief Council, a Program of National Relief Charities, is tax deductible.
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Who do you help?
We work with those Partners who meet our program guidelines and request our services, including meeting deadlines for major services such as Thanksgiving and Christmas. We emphasize service for the most vulnerable — the Elderly and the children. We have many services that can be offered for these populations, ranging from food and healthcare items to holiday projects and school supplies. What we provide depends on what will meet the specific needs of each Program Partner and their community. In other words, we strive to get the right goods to the right people.
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What percentage of what you collect goes to Native Americans?
NRC's percentages are well within the charity accountability standards. Please access our most recent IRS Form 990 and Annual Report to obtain a complete financial picture.
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Do you receive any money from the Government?
We do not receive any government funding.
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What happens to the money the government allocates for Native Americans?
The BIA reports that 90% of appropriations are expended at the local level, of which 62% are provided directly to tribes and tribal organizations through contracts, grants, and compacts — in other words 55%. These funds typically apply to infrastructure and natural resource concerns. Examples are energy and economic development, housing, irrigation and power systems, road maintenance, probate, land and records, forestry, agriculture, education, human services, justice services, range lands development, wild land fire management, water resources, and fish and wildlife management. Other monies go to running over 260 BIA offices throughout the country. It is said that barely 10 to 15 percent of BIA spending is thought to actually reach its supposed beneficiaries.
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Don’t all Native Americans receive a monthly check from the government?
No. Government benefits received by Native Americans depend on many factors. Many Native Americans are veterans or disabled. Others receive social security income from years of working on the railroad, washing dishes, or waitressing. In the areas where we work, the main source of governmental aid is energy assistance and food commodities, although many Elders say it is hard for them to wade through the line to receive the commodities. There is also TANF assistance for unemployed mothers, which often requires the recipients to volunteer for 40 hours a week in a supervised program.

Simply put, budget cutbacks and governmental policies have made it hard for many Native Americans to feed their families. With housing in disrepair and overcrowded, many Native Americans on the reservations lack any permanent address. This makes them ineligible to receive food stamps or public assistance. In remote communities, those who are able to receive food stamps frequently lack the transportation to go off the reservation and shop at a regular grocery store where they could stretch their food stamp value. In many reservation communities, there is only a convenience store where food options are limited and pricey. In these stores, the food stamps don't go very far.
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What about the money made from Casino operations?
The BIA reports 562 tribes in the U.S. Of them, NIGA reports that only 223 have casinos. Of those, only 73 give payouts. These are not the reservations where we work. In fact, the research shows that casinos need to be within 50 miles of a metro area (with 10,000 or more residents) to be highly profitable. In our experience, the rural casinos do not have enough traffic to generate large profits — the casinos do create a few tribal jobs. Some of the tribes with profitable casinos do help other tribes, but even that is regulated by the government.
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Do you employ Native Americans?
We are an Equal Opportunity Employer. We do not discriminate on the basis of age, race, or gender. Every position is filled with the most skilled candidate for the job. We do have Native Americans on staff and encourage Native Americans to apply for any opening we have.
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Do Native Americans have to stay on the reservations?
Native Americans are free to leave the reservations, although not without leaving their family behind. Family is very important to Native Americans and, for most, their reservation is "home."

Leaving the reservation also means a loss of community support. Families on the reservation sometimes combine their resources in an effort to stay together. Some willing candidates are unable to leave, due to a lack of transportation. Many do leave, however, to find work or complete a college education. In turn, they help support the ones they left behind.
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How can I adopt a Native American child?
Most tribes do not allow their children to be adopted outside of the tribe. The Indian Child Welfare Act expressly discourages this. Adoption is not an acceptable plan unless the child's Tribe concurs with a permanent termination of parental rights and adoption. In the case of a permanent adoption, the social worker typically looks for: 1) a member of the child's extended family, 2) other members of the child's Tribe, 3) other Indian families of similar Indian heritage, or 4) other Indian families.

Children placed outside of the tribe, even in foster care, lose a sense of belonging unless they maintain their connection with their extended family, their tribe, and their caretakers. The extended family holds great importance within the Indian culture, and Indian children usually remain with one of their many grandmas.
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How can I talk to Darwin Long, Chairman?
Darwin is a Program Partner and lives and works on a reservation in the Northern Plains. He advises us on the changing needs of the people and help us portray conditions accurately and respectfully in our messaging to donors.
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Can I donate my vehicle?
National Relief Charities has chosen Cars 4 Causes to process all of our vehicle and boat donations. You can call Cars 4 Causes toll-free at 888-392-8278 for more information.
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AIRC Relief Center

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