The mission of the American Indian Center of Chicago (AIC) is to promote fellowship among Native people of all Tribes living in metropolitan Chicago and to create bonds of understanding and communication between Natives and non-Natives in this city; to advance the general welfare of Natives into the metropolitan community life; to foster the economic advancement of Natives; to sustain cultural, artistic, and avocational pursuits; and to perpetuate Native cultural values.
The American Indian Center of Chicago (AIC) has a long history of serving Natives. Established in 1953, this Center is one of the first urban Native centers in the country. Federal policies such as termination and the Indian Relocation program of the 1950s brought thousands of Natives from all over the country to metropolitan Chicago. Because of this influx of reservation Natives, AIC was organized to help Native families cope with the transition from reservation to urban life.
AIC focuses on the arts by offering workshops such as drum making, moccasin making, and also by housing the first and only art gallery space dedicated to the promotion and education of Native artists in the city of Chicago. AIC runs a year round education program for youth that provides culturally based after school and summer programming for youth of all ages. AIC actively engages the Native American community through programming such as monthly senior lunches, monthly community potlucks and weekly drum practice.