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Founded in 1970, the Native American Rights Fund (NARF) is the oldest and largest nonprofit legal organization asserting and defending the rights of Indian tribes, organizations, and individuals nationwide. Early in our existence, the Board of Directors determined that legal resources should be concentrated in these five areas:
Preserve tribal existence
The future existence of the remaining Indian tribes in this country depends ultimately upon secure and permanent land bases, and the rights of self-determination necessary to preserve traditional customs and ways of life.
Protect tribal natural resources
The natural resources found on Indian lands vary greatly. NARF concentrates its efforts in asserting tribal resource rights and protecting them from loss and exploitation by non-Indians. Major resource protection includes land rights; water rights; hunting, fishing and gathering rights; environmental protection; timber rights; and prudent development of mineral resources.
Promote Native American human rights
The Native American Rights Fund is concerned with securing basic human rights for Native Americans in such areas as education, health, housing and religious freedom rights. Read more about this priority>>
Hold governments accountable to Native Americans
NARF focuses much of its efforts on guaranteeing that the federal and state governments are accountable for the proper recognition and enforcement of the many laws and regulations which govern the lives of Indian people.
Develop Indian law and educate the public about Indian rights, laws, and issues
This involves not only the establishment of favorable court precedents in major areas of Indian law, but also the compilation and distribution of Indian law resources to everyone working on behalf of Indian rights. “