Abstract Details

New Search

Powell, Peter J., 1928- : St. Augustine's Center for American Indians Records, 1957-2016

Records of the Saint Augustine's Center for American Indians in Chicago, which provided casework and supportive services for the cityís Native American community, 1961-2006. The Center was founded by Father Peter J. Powell to offer social services to American Indian families newly arrived in Chicago as part of the BIAís Indian Relocation Program. This federal program moved Indian families from the reservations to major cities, arranged for housing and jobs, and withdrew assistance after six months. The Centerís work grew, and in 1964 Saint Augustine's became the first Indian center to receive a War on Poverty grant to train Native American counselors and provide direct assistance to families. Additional services were later added including the Bo-Sho-Ne-Gee Drop-In Center to provide alcohol counseling, and the Indian Child Welfare and Operation Excel programs for youth. In 1973, Father Powell realized his goal to place the Center in Native American hands when he stepped down and was succeeded as Director by Amy Skenandore of the Stockbridge Muncee Nation of Wisconsin. Later directors included Matt Pilcher (Winnebago), Elmira McClure (Prairie-Band Potawatomi) and Arlene Williams (Oneida). By 2006 when intensive casework/counseling services were discontinued, three generations and over 6,000 different Native American families and individuals had been served. Since then the staff has worked with the homeless of all races in Uptown Chicago, offering meals, alcohol counseling, and a daily Holy Mass.
Extent: 108.5 linear feet - (70 record cartons, 50 card files, and other binders and boxes)
Subjects: Chicago, Indians and the West, Social Action
Call Number: Ayer Modern MS St. Augustines
Finding Aids:
This material is unprocessed; and is available by appointment only.