Monday, March 30, 2009

Organization focused on American Indian issues opens headquaters

Organization focused on American Indian issues opens headquaters

A social service agency focusing on helping American Indians recently opened its headquarters in Marshalltown.

"We help with rent, utilities, water bills - things like that," said John Miller, one of the founders of the organization. "We also do drug and alcohol counseling. Everything we do is spiritually based."

The organization's roots go back several years to when Miller and his business partner, John Bucheit, were in prison together. While there, they came up with a plan to help American Indians who find themselves in some tough situations.

After getting out of prison, they started the Native American Freedom Foundation. They have a passion to help American Indian people and, because of that goal, they are planning on opening offices in North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Idaho and in Canada.

"There's not really a whole lot of organizations out there that specialize in Native Americans," Miller said. "More than 50 percent of our staff is native including me and my partner John."

The funding has mainly come from the pockets of the partners who started the project, but they are hoping for more funding as time goes on.

"We're not able to help as many people as we would like to, but there is a lot of need in this area," Miller said.

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