The Society of American Indians was a progressive group formed in Columbus, Ohio in 1911 by 50 Native Americans, most of them middle-class professional men and women. It was established to address the problems facing Native Americans, such as ways to improve health, education, civil rights, and local government.
Seneca anthropologist Arthur C. Parker was elected to be the first secretary of the SAI. He took minutes of the first conference of the SAI, held in Columbus, Ohio in 1911. Eighteen Indian activists met to create a platform for the improvement of rights and well-being of all Indians. The objectives of the group were "to encourage Indian leadership, promote self-help, and foster the assimilation of Indians while encouraging them to exhibit pride in their race."