MISSION & HISTORY
Strengthening and encouraging the health and well-being of Native Americans.
To Create and Sustain a Better Everyday Life for Native Americans.
The Indian Relocation Act, officially known as the Public Law 959 or the Indian Relocation Act of 1956, was a U.S. federal law passed in 1956.
The Indian Relocation Act authorized a federal government program designed to encourage Native American individuals and families to leave their reservations and move to urban areas, primarily in major cities. The program was voluntary but was promoted as a way for Native Americans to gain employment opportunities and access to education and social services.
The primary objectives of the relocation program were to reduce the federal government’s responsibility for providing services on reservations, promote assimilation and integration of Native Americans into urban life, and address issues of high unemployment and poverty on reservations.
The Indian Relocation Act was part of a broader historical context of federal policies aimed at assimilating Native Americans into mainstream American society, including the termination policy, which sought to end the federal government’s recognition of tribal sovereignty and the reservation system.
While the program was said to be created to provide economic opportunities, many relocated Native Americans faced significant challenges in urban areas. The federal government fell short in fulfilling all promises of the program. Native Americans often encountered discrimination, culture shock and dislocation, homelessness, poverty, and struggled to access healthcare in many areas.
Texas Native Health, formerly known as Dallas Inter-Tribal Center and Urban Inter-Tribal Center of Texas, was created to fulfill the immediate needs of those living in the DFW Metroplex as a result of Public Law 959. The services offered in the beginning stages were simple medical procedures performed by volunteer physicians inside the Dallas Indian United Methodist Church building. Texas Native Health opened its doors in 1971.
Today, the organization has grown into an AAAHC Accredited, Patient Centered Medical Home with over 35 employees, a 58,813 sqft facility on 4.1 acres located in the Medical District of Dallas, and a variety of resources such as an outdoor events space and indoor event area. Services include but are not limited to: primary care, diabetes management, dental care, behavioral health counseling, pharmacy, tuition assistance, career training, human trafficking victim counseling, and cultural, community, and education activities.
Texas Native Health is dedicated to enriching the lives of our Indigenous population to ensure our identities, our culture, our languages, and our traditions live on.