BENEFITING: Americans for Indian Opportunity, Inc.
"Leadership and learning are indispensable to each other." John F. Kennedy
For over 40 years Americans for Indian Opportunity (AIO), under the guidance and leadership of LaDonna Harris, has been at the forefront of every Indigenous movement in the United States and beyond. AIO bases its longevity and successs on the incorporation of Indigenous philosophies and values.
AIO draws upon traditional Indigenous philosophies to foster a network of value-based leaders, spark and sustain stakeholder-driven solutions, and AIO continues to coordinate visionary leaders and progressive organizations in a national Indigenous movement to address the challenges of the new century. Governed by a Board of international Indigenous leaders, AIO also seeks to create innovative international Indigenous interactions that contribute Indigenous worldviews to the global discussion.
AIO’s highly acclaimed Ambassadors Program is an Indigenous values-based community capacity-building, leadership development initiative launched in 1993. The Program helps early to mid-career Native American professionals strengthen, within an Indigenous cultural context, their ability to improve the well-being and growth of their communities.
During the course of the program, Ambassadors meet and work with leading Native decision-makers and national policymakers, explore family and tribal histories, develop and implement a community-based project, explore personal “medicine” or inner strength, and strengthen communications skills. They attend gatherings in communities across the nation and visit at least one Indigenous community outside the United States.
With over 200 graduates of the Program, the Ambasador Alumni are the cornerstone network. They are well connected to AIO and to each other collaborating across class to create systemic changes in their communities.