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Intertribal Friendship House (IFH) located in Oakland, CA was established in 1955 as one of the first urban American Indian community centers in the nation. It was founded by the American Friends Service Committee to serve the needs of American Indian people relocated from reservations to the San Francisco Bay Area.
Originally created as a community center, IFH expanded into social services when staff became concerned about the lack of resources for American Indian people as they faced the challenges of relocation from reservations to urban communities such as Oakland due to the displacement from their native lands. The Bay Area American Indian community is multi-tribal, made of Native people and their descendants—those who originate here and those who have come to the Bay region from all over the United States and from other parts of this hemisphere.
For urban Native people IFH has served as the Urban Reservation and Homeland. In many cases it is one of the few places that keeps them connected to their culture and traditions through pow wow dance, drumming, beading classes, and the many social gatherings, cultural events, and ceremonies that are held there. Intertribal Friendship House is more than an organization. It is the heart of a vibrant tribal community.