Association on American Indian Affairs

History of the Association

The Association on American Indian Affairs (AAIA) is an 90-year-old organization with offices in Maryland and South Dakota. AAIA has a long history of successful national advocacy and grass roots initiatives. Our current programs fall into four categories: cultural preservation, youth/education, health and federal acknowledgment. Below is a timeline of some of the Association’s more significant achievements.

Association Time Line

  • 1922 AAIA is formed
  • 1922 AAIA helps Pueblos protect land and water rights
  • 1945 AAIA helps to establish National Congress of American Indians
  • 1948 First college scholarship awarded
  • 1956 AAIA establishes Field Health Nursing program
  • 1968 AAIA begins effort to prevent Otitis Media on Indian reservations
  • 1968 AAIA works to protect Taos Blue Lake
  • 1971 Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act enacted
  • 1978 Indian Child Welfare Act signed into law
  • 1982 AAIA President Ortiz honored by MacArthur Foundation
  • 1984 Tribal Government Tax Status Act becomes law
  • 1986 Landmark Washington Indian Child Welfare tribal-state agreement signed
  • 1990 Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act enacted
  • 1991 The Medicine Wheel Coalition for the Protection of Sacred Sites established
  • 1994 Amendments to American Indian Religious Freedom Act approved
  • 1994 Reaffirmation of the Ione Band of Miwok Indians by the federal government
  • 1996 Bighorn Medicine Wheel Historic Preservation plan adopted
  • 1998 First AAIA-sponsored diabetes conference takes place
  • 2000 AAIA expands grants to summer camps
  • 2006 AAIA creates Dakotah-language Scrabble game and hosts first tournament
  • 2007 Dakotah language K-2 curriculum completed
  • 2008 Tribal amendments to Title IV-E Foster Care and Adoption Assistance Act approved in Fostering Connections for Success and Increasing Adoptions Act
  • 2011 Medicine Wheel/Medicine Mountain National Historic Landmark Approved