Monday, 23 October 2017
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Flathead Council Arbor      Rites of Passage      Ancient Voices gathering

Institutional Values

Above All, Respect
The American Indian Institute and Traditional Circle of Indian Elders and Youth continue along a wisdom guided journey into mutual respect; following the Elders counsel that above all else, respect for self, respect for others and respect for Mother Earth must guide our lives.

The mission of the American Indian Institute is to perpetuate the ancient wisdom and cultural heritage of North America’s Native peoples, and to promote a greater understanding of that wisdom among all people.  The Institute achieves its mission by serving as the administrative agency and support source for the Traditional Circle of Indian Elders and Youth, a coalition of grassroots spiritual leaders from Indian nations throughout North America.

The American Indian Institute recognizes traditional Indian wisdom as an endangered human resource that is relevant to today’s world and that holds keys to our common survival.  Looking seven generations into the future, we see a world in which the values and traditions of indigenous peoples are respected for the wisdom they hold for the Earth and all its peoples.  We pursue this vision by supporting the Traditional Circle of Indian Elders and Youth as it teaches, motivates, and celebrates traditional Indian peoples today.

We act as facilitators of gatherings of traditional peoples, promoters of healing of Indian communities, and supporters of efforts to educate non-Indians about the wisdom and harmony inherent in the traditional indigenous worldview.

Navajo Tradtional Youth Initiative

Diné for Wild Horses is a cultural youth project created with the peoples of the Na’hooká Diné to revive their sacred legacy and spiritual connection with the majestic horse that has helped their people survive and endure as a culture. Learn More

Important Announcement: Eric Noyes has announced his resignation as Executive Director of the American Indian Institute after almost 17 years as a member of the staff. The Board of Trustees and the many friends of the Institute acknowledge with gratitude his generation of service to the Traditional Circle of Elders and Youth. As the Board and the Traditional Circle are working closely together in furthering the mission of the Two Circles, Eric’s absence will be felt. We wish for him the very best and pray for his success and good health.





Congratulations to American Indian Institute founder, Bob Staffanson. His book Witness to Spirit: My Life with Cowboys, Mozart & Indians won the 10th Annual National Indie Excellence Award in the Memoir category. Click Here for more information about the book.


View a video of Robert Staffanson talking about his book.

Communiques from the
Traditional Circle of Indian Elders and Youth

Available for Purchase!

Pauline Whitesinger, Diné (Navajo) Elder from Big Mountain, Navajo Nation, talks about traditions and the Hopi/Navajo Joint-use Area relocation resistance. Click Here to purchase this video.


Institute's Annual Report for 2015
is now available.