Native peoples had been part of Seattle’s
population from the beginning. Valued symbolically, they were
despised, shunned, and persecuted in person.
After World War II, the urban
Indian population expanded, but it was not until
the formation of the American Indian Women’s Service League in
1958 and the opening of the downtown Indian Center in 1960
that urban Indians gained a political voice.
In 1960, the group opened the Indian Cultural Center which provided social
services, taught Native cultural awareness, and laid the foundation for the political activism of young urban
Indians in the
late 1960s and 1970s