Non-Indians knew little about Indian culture and often harbored negative stereotypes of American Indians.
Founded in 1958 in Seattle, the American Indian Women's Service League (AIWSL) was the first organization in Seattle dedicated towards tackling the problems of urban Indians.
Before the 1950s, Indians in Seattle were not formally organized.
When American Indian issues received local attention, it was mostly at the behest of non-Indian churches and civic organizations.
This resulted in deep poverty and poor living conditions, often resulting in no option but to move off the reservation in search of a better life.