Who We Are


Southern California American Indian Resource Center, Inc. (SCAIR) is a non-profit 501(c)(3) community-based tribal organization, established in 1997 under the authority of P.L. 93-638, the Indian Self Determination and Education Act of 1976.

SCAIR was founded by William H. Johnson Sr. (Comanche)  in 1997. Mr. Johnson understood the dilemmas and challenges of Native Americans living in urban areas and upon his retirement as a lathing foreman, he established SCAIR to help all Native Americans living within San Diego County.

Throughout the years, SCAIR has provided a number of educational and community programs in Native American Communities and on Tribal Lands. In 1999, SCAIR operated Even Start Family Literacy Programs at the Santa Ysabel, Los Coyotes and Mesa Grande Reservations, as well as the Warner Springs Unified School District. SCAIR also managed an Early Head Start Program and a Tribal Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) Program on the Campo Reservation.

In 2007, SCAIR was awarded a contract by the Southern California Tribal Chairmen’s Association (SCTCA) to provide Tribal Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) Program services. The same year, SCAIR was also designated as an American Indian Education Center (AIEC) by the California Department of Education.

In 2012, SCAIR consolidated its two centers, previously located in Alpine and San Diego’s Fairmount area. SCAIR’s state-of-the-art center is now located in the revitalized area of Downtown El Cajon.

In 2013, SCAIR was the recipient of a Tobacco-Use Prevention Education (TUPE) Program grant, also through the California Department of Education, as well as a grant through the New York Life Foundation and the National Alliance for Grieving Children which provided funds to establish the Support and Grief Education (SAGE) Project.

In 2014, SCAIR was designated by the Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration, as a Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) Program recipient. Those funds established SCAIR’s Native NetWORKS Program. In 2017, SCAIR was recognized as one of six outstanding grantees in the country by the Department of Labor, Division of Indian and Native American Programs.

In 2017, SCAIR received a subcontract from the Northern California Indian Development Council to provide Community Service Block Grant funds to eligible Participants. SCAIR established the Howka Program to distribute these services.

In 2018, SCAIR was approved by the Department of Labor for an expansion of it’s Native NetWORKS Program services into a new six-county region including: Santa Cruz, San Benito, Monterey, San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara and Ventura.