August 2020

Indigenous Peoples and Human Rights

Friday, August 19, 2022

The Money Pump -- Non-Profits in Indian Country: Fraud, Secrecy and Deep Deception


Iron Eyes Cody, an Italian who masqueraded as an Indian, and Princess Pale Moon, both were exposed as frauds. They were part of the non-profit American Indian Heritage Foundation television commercials before the non-profit was shut down. It solicited both cash and land in its "Give the land back to the Indians" campaign. (Photo Iron Eyes Cody presents President Jimmy Carter with a headdress on April 21, 1978. Photo courtesy of Peter Bregg/Associated Press)

The Money Pump -- Non-Profits in Indian Country: Fraud, Secrecy and Deep Deception

Censored News spent months looking at the tax records of non-profits in Indian country. Here's what we found: The non-profit structure puts lots of money into the pockets of a few.

By Brenda Norrell
Censored News
Updated August 19, 2022

The average income in Indian country is $40,000.

The average salary of an executive director at a non-profit in Indian country is $100,000.

Some directors' salaries are $200,000 or more.

Many executive directors of non-profits in Indian country have been playing poor, especially when grassroots groups asked for funding. Now, their tax documents are online and reveal that many receive millions of dollars in grants and donations each year.

The tax records show directors giving themselves lavish salaries and expense accounts, and many funneling money to family members.

The Exploitation of O'odham Sacred Lifeways

Ofelia Rivas, Tohono O'odham elder, said non-profits are exploiting the sacred.

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