In AIO’s history there have been many milestones.
1970: AIO was founded in 1970.
Founded in 1970 by LaDonna Harris and a cohort of her fellow Native American activists.
1971: AIO helped found the Council of Energy Resource Tribes (CERT).
AIO was instrumental in establishing CERT, whose member tribes work in concert to increase tribal control over their natural resources.
1970’s: AIO assist with federal recognition of tribes.
The AIO network was instrumental in forcing the Bureau of Indian Affairs to create a process for federal recognition. The Menominee Tribe and the Poarch Band Creek were two tribes that the AIO helped gain recognition.
1980-90’s: AIO “Tribal Issue Management Systems (TIMS) Forums” with Tribes.
AIO held forums to re-incorporate traditional values into contemporary tribal governance. AIO facilitated forums in Poarch Creek Band in Alabama, the Winnebago Tribe in Nebraska, the Comanche Tribe in Oklahoma, and the Menominee Tribe in Wisconsin.
1990’s: AIO worked with Tribal leaders and the Environmental Protection Agency.
AIO worked with the EPA and tribal leaders, and led to policy that allowed tribes and to set regulation standards to address environmental problems on and around their reservations. AIO's work led to the creation of the Tribal Association of Solid Waste and Emergency Response.
1992: The Birth of the American Indian Ambassadors Program.
A prestigious group of Native Americans, Alaska Natives, and other advisors, met for three days to help conceptualize a program to rekindle dormant vision, refresh current leadership and empower emerging leaders to create avenues for Native Americans to express their cultural values in all arenas of contemporary life.
2002: The Emergence of AIO’s Sister Organization in Aotearoa (New Zealand).
The relationship between a group of Maori leaders and AIO commenced when the American Indian Ambassador Class of 2001/02 visited Aotearoa (New Zealand), igniting the formation of the Advancement of Maori Opportunity (AMO) and the Maori Ambassadors Program.
2007: The Beginning of an International Indigenous Network between Bolivia, New Zealand and the United States.
AIO and AMO engaged in a joint International Gathering, taking Maori and Native American Ambassadors to Bolivia.