History and Values

History and Values

Using the Teachings of the Seven Grandfathers, we developed our agency values. The teachings of the Seven Grandfathers were given by the Great Spirit to the Anishinaabe who are represented generally by the Chippewa, Ottawa, and Potawatomi. Although these groups are native to the Great Lakes area, and though spirituality among American Indians is as varied as the geography they inhabit, we believe the teachings are as fundamental and universal as the human condition, wherever it exists.


  1. Wisdom (Nbwaakaawin) – To cherish knowledge in the physical world, and use such knowledge of traditional and modern medicine to heal body and soul.
  2. Love (Zaagidwin) – To share resources to help our brothers and sisters
  3. Respect (Mnaadendiwin) – To have care and concern for all, regardless of status in life.
  4. Courage (Aakadehewin) – To confront the most difficult issues presented to the organization with bravery.
  5. Honesty (Gqekwaasziwin) – To conduct every activity with a pure heart and in a straightforward manner.
  6. Humility (Ddaadendizwin) – To think about family, fellow human beings, and community before one thinks of themselves.
  7. Truth (Debwewin) – To be aware of all the teachings and consistently ensure Minobinmaadziiwin- “A Good Life”

Our Beautiful Journey

American Indian Health and Family Services is rooted in a rich history of sacrifice, dedication and commitment from the very beginning.



Established independent location of Livernois

Summer 1993

AIHFS purchased rectory & church Lawndale from Archdiocese


Secured additional funding fro renovations


Renovated to include kitchen facilities

August 2014

Severe damage and loss of basement space resulting from sewer failure


Founded as Detroit American Indian Health Center at NAIA

April 1993

Victims of Arson fire


Changed name of American Indian Health and Family Services of Southeastern MI, Inc.


Medical and Dental services brought to Lawndale location

April 2012

Renovated clinic to add extra exam rooms. STAFF growth 4x

October 2016

Completed community room and kitchen restoration

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