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The UAII Board of Directors released the following statement regarding the recent housing eviction:


BY Maddie Sanders

“For more than 50 years, United American Indian Involvement, Inc. (UAII) has served, housed, and offered the highest quality support within our reach to Indigenous relatives throughout the Los Angeles County area. We do not take this responsibility lightly and our commitment is unwavering.

In July 2023, with the safety and well-being of our relatives in mind, we made an intentional decision to conclude the lease of a housing site that no longer met our structural and safety standards. This decision meant that our organization would also need to mindfully and compassionately relocate the occupants that called this site their temporary home. To show our commitment to our mission and the occupants’ well-being, we began meeting and communicating with the tenants on a weekly basis to discuss options, and most importantly, we ensured them that UAII would take responsibility for a multi-month relocation package so that our relatives did not bear the burden of these costs.

From the beginning of their occupancy agreements, we were transparent with all tenants about the temporary nature of this housing site but we reassured each person that UAII was working intentionally to find a more long-term, ideal living situation for them. A majority of the tenants were understanding and complied with the relocation process but unfortunately, a small group of tenants did not. This led to unlawful occupation of the home site and put these tenants and their families at risk. For more than 10 months, UAII Housing staff worked diligently to negotiate with the occupants without success. Faced with refusal, we stuck to our values and continued to partner with other local Indigenous organizations to offer services, food, workforce opportunities, and other resources to support their well-being during the illegal occupation.

Today, we had the unfortunate task of completing an eviction of the aforementioned occupants. No matter the adversarial stance these relatives took against this process, we cannot reiterate how much their health and well-being matter to us. We wish them well and many UAII services are still available to them should they need further support.”

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About the United American Indian Involvement, Inc.: The mission of the United American Indian Involvement, Inc., (UAII) is to promote and support the physical, behavioral, and spiritual well-being of American Indian/Alaska Natives in the urban Los Angeles area by providing comprehensive, integrated services that focus on all age groups and incorporate American Indian/Alaska Native cultures and traditions. To learn more about UAII, please visit: https://uaii.org.
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