Where does an organization’s work begin? For Walking Shield in Costa Mesa, California it began in 1986 with its founder Phil Stevens. who was very concerned about the high poverty rate and poor living conditions of Native Americans living on reservations. Walking Shield was his Lakota (Sioux) name.

John Castillo the Executive Director of Walking Shield since 1999, describes its mission. “Our work is to improve the quality of life for American Indian families- and that means shelter, health care, community development, educational assistance, humanitarian relief.” “We are a small group", he adds, "but our strength is in our partnerships. Over the years we have helped hundreds of thousands of people. We leverage the resources of a whole range of partners who work touching people in 40 Indian reservations in 16 states.