The mission of Native Action is to bridge racial, socioeconomic, and environmental barriers by empowering, challenging and educating people in order to protect the environment and the quality of life for future generations.
Native Action is a non-profit community empowerment organization located on the Northern Cheyenne Indian Reservation in southeastern Montana. Founded in 1984 by members of the Northern Cheyenne Indian Tribe, Native Action has established itself as a leading model for citizen empowerment on Indian Reservations. Native Action has been actively working for over two decades to heal the wounds of the past century, correct the injustices and inequities of the present, and preserve the cultural heritage and land base of Native People.
Known historically as the "Fighting Cheyennes," Native Action embodies the spirit and hope of the Cheyenne people. This small independent organization is successfully tackling major environmental and social justice issues in Montana.
The largest coal stripmine and gasification complex in America lies just 15 miles from the Cheyenne Reservation. The Cheyenne people are living on one of the poorest Reservations in the country and yet for over 30 years, they have refused to stripmine their homeland for promises of riches. Since the 1960's, multi-national energy corporations have transformed southeastern Montana from a rural ranching community into an industrial wasteland. The organizers of Native Action are the grassroots leaders who recognized the need to strategically plan for this assault on our people and environment.
With a board and regular staff who are all Native American, Native Action has a precedent-setting history of working for community empowerment, Native rights, economic justice, strengthening Tribal governments, and the environment. Established as a non-profit on the Northern Cheyenne Reservation, Native Action was one of the first reservation-based public interest organizations in the country, and remains today one of only a handful of such organizations.
The Cheyenne people's resiliency remains the driving force of Native Action. Cheyenne cultural teachings guide Native Action's strategic planning. Contemporary reality of the Reservation is both harsh and beautiful. Native Action works to bridge the racial justice barriers in Montana by establishing long-term alliances with traditionally hostile non-Indian ranchers, unions, townsfolk, and organizations. Cultural and economic empowerment are the long-term goals of Native Action. Utilizing community organizing techniques, which are a blend of cultural traditions and contemporary reality, Native Action works on issues ranging from the environment, sexual abuse of children, Indian voting rights discrimination, sacred sites protection, economic justice, youth leadership, and Indian sisterhood.
Native Action is a a tax-exempt organization under 501(c)(3) and we are funded entirely by grants and contributions from foundations and individuals. We do not accept any government support.