According to an investigative report by a writer at The Federalist, a group linked to Native American activist Nathan Phillips is receiving donations under less-than-forthcoming circumstances.
Phillips was catapulted into the spotlight when a video clip of a Jan. 18 confrontation with a group of teenagers near the Lincoln Memorial in Washington went viral.
While the teens — some wearing “Make America Great Again” hats — were initially assumed to be the aggressors, a later video showed that Phillips approached the group himself,getting in one teen’s face while banging a drum repeatedly.
Outrage over the interaction, however, has caused many liberals, who say the teen should have backed down, to want to support Phillips.
Phillips has been the subject of multiple news stories, including a New York Times piece in which Phillips was called “the former director of the Native Youth Alliance, a group that works to ensure that traditional culture and spiritual ways are upheld for future generations.” However, as Cleveland noted, the mainstream media has been largely lacking curiousity about Phillips’ group.
“Native Youth Alliance was founded in 1990 as a religious organization and has been incorporated as a non-profit since 1993,” the page says in its “About” section.
Phillips’ picture and videos can be seen prominently displayed in another section.
The address provided is located in Michigan, however, according to The Federalist’s Margo Cleveland, there are no corporate records for the “Native Youth Alliance.”
A search of corporate records in Washington, D.C., revealed that the group Native Youth Alliance was registered as a nonprofit on Jan. 30, 2002, Cleveland wrote, and had Phillips’ now deceased partner, Shoshana Konstant, listed as the registered agent, according to the Cleveland.
“Since then, however, D.C. regulators have revoked the Native Youth Alliance’s nonprofit status. Maryland records also show Konstant as the registered agent for a religious nonprofit named Native Youth Alliance that was formed in 1993, but is no longer ‘in good standing,’” Cleveland reported.
Nathan Phillips’ Nonprofit Is ‘Not In Good Standing,’ But Still Taking Money https://t.co/Q6TR7hLq79
— The Federalist (@FDRLST) January 29, 2019
No other reports or details were found for the Native Youth Alliance, and no annual reports were filed in the last five years, according to the report.
The Internal Revenue Service also has no such organization listed in its charitable organization database, according to Cleveland.
However, listed on the Native Youth Alliance Blog just above its “Donate” button, the project has this disclaimer:
“It has come to our attention that there are people who want to help us in our efforts. We have also heard that there are others who have collected donations for us and kept if for themselves; therefore, Native Youth Alliance is authorizing only our Fiscal Sponsor, the Washington Peace Center, to accept donations to support our work…
“Though Native Youth Alliance will be accountable for all our funding, the Peace Center has agreed to accept the responsibility of Fiscal Sponsor for those who need a tax deduction.”
According to Cleveland, the Peace Center is registered with the IRS. However, she noted, the Native Youth Alliance states that will also accept checks mailed to it directly at its post office box. (“We thank all those who have supported us in the past, and all support yet to come,” the blog states.)
Cleveland also noted that Phillips’ daughter posted a note to her Facebook page on Jan. 20 — two days after the Lincoln Memorial confrontation — thanking those who supported her father with the same email address used as on the Facebook page and on the Native Youth Alliance page:
“Thank you, everyone for reaching out and supporting my dad Nathan Phillips this weekend.
“If anyone has any resources or connections for news and media, political, or organizational that would be interested please contact me or my dad directly.
“Our organization is Native Youth Alliance is on Facebook and can be reached at NativeYouthAlliance@gmail.com…
“If you would like get involved and get organized please contact me.
Phillips daughter then wrote, “If you would like to support Native Youth Alliance donations can be sent via PayPal at NativeYouthAlliance@gmail.com.”
Cleveland neared her conclusion with some questions.
“But what is the Native Youth Alliance? Where was it incorporated? Who is the current director? Who has access to the PayPal account? And for what will the funds be used?” she wrote.
Attempts to reach the Native Youth Alliance went unanswered, Cleveland wrote.
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