• Franklin/Hiawatha Encampment

    Wall of Forgotten Natives

    To donate to a discretionary fund to benefit the camp the click button below.

    To donate directly to Natives Against Heroin or other groups providing services to the encampment please click on How To Help above.

  • A brief history

    Minneapolis is built on Dakota land, and has long been home to a significant Native American Indian population. The Native people here are resourceful, resilient, and committed to our families, communities and cultures. Centuries of genocide and forced assimilation have created a range of challenges for 21st century American Indians. Native people make up a disproportionate number of the homeless population in Minneapolis. Causes of homelessness are related to economics, domestic violence, addiction, mental illness, and many other causes.

     

    In recent weeks many people joined together to create a safe encampment near the Franklin/Hiawatha corridor. This community is comprised primarily of Native people, many with significant housing challenges. A broad coalition of partners and stakeholders are coming together to address the short-term, mid-term and long-term barriers to housing for the residents of this camp. Working together, we hope to find housing for the camp’s residents by the end of September, and certainly before the weather turns cold.

     

    Metropolitan Urban Indian Directors (MUID) stands in solidarity with our community and partners and we are committed to dedicating our organization’s resources to support this effort. To read MUID's full statement on this issue, please click on MUID Statement above.

  • FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

    Below are the answers to some of the frequently asked questions about the camp. Note that this is an ever-changing situation.

    This page will be updated regularly.

    What is the Franklin Hiawatha encampment?

    This is a gathering of homeless Minneapolis residents, primarily of Native American descent. Some have jobs while some are unemployed. All lack access to shelter or affordable housing due to lack of shelter beds, lack of affordable housing, lack of a job, and other reasons.

    What happens when winter comes? Will the camp be there forever?

    The City and other agencies plan to transition the residents at the encampment to temporary transitional housing, shelter, or more permanent housing by September 30, 2018. The encampment along Franklin and Hiawatha will not be allowed to continue with winter setting in. Safety and public health reasons make it imperative that we find other lodging for residents.

    What will happen on the September 30 deadline set by Mayor Frey?

    It is likely that a solution will still be in process at that time. Mayor Frey has indicated that if this is the case the deadline for clearing the camp would be pushed back. See this article on the Minnesota Public Radio web page for more.

    Who is trying to help the residents find shelter/housing?

    The Metropolitan Urban Indian Directors - a group representing the leadership of Native-led non-profits and businesses - have taken the lead on trying to find short, mid and long term solutions that will benefit the residents of the encampment. Short term we are trying to provide a secure environment, meals, and medical care as needed. Mid term we are tying to find temporary shelter. Long term MUID is trying to provide services and assistance including permanent housing, job training and more. The City of Minneapolis and other agencies have been partnering with MUID in this work.

    Will going to the encampment increase my chances of getting permanent low income housing?

    This is a rumor that has been going around. If you are currently in a shelter please remain there. Residents at the encampment will not be moved ahead of existing waiting lists for shelter or low income housing.

    What are those bright lights at the encampment?

    The lights have been provided for safety reasons.

    Is it safe at the camp?

    Living without shelter can be dangerous in and of itself, and homeless people are a vulnerable population. However the residents of the camp came together because they feel safer - the adage that there is safety in numbers is very true here. Natives Against Heroin volunteers are always on-site helping to organize, serve food and assist with questions and basic needs. The Minneapolis Police patrol regularly and lights have been placed on site to provide some illumination during night-time hours.

    How can I help?

    Making a cash donation is the most helpful, but there are other ways to help. Please see the How To Help, Donation and Volunteer pages on this site for more information.

  • Camp Blog

    Writings, photographs and news from our community.

    I originally posted this on Facebook, but wanted to capture this on the camp blog both for visitors to read and for archival purposes. Below, my post in its entirely after the September 19, 2019 meeting of the Committee of the Whole. Franklin Hiawatha encampment update: I wrote this as a number...
    Tonight the residents of the Franklin Hiawatha encampment enjoyed a hot meal - and I mean that in more ways than one! Tommy Beevas, owner of Pimento, an Eat Street restaurant serving authentic Jamaican food, brought a little bit of the tropics to the camp on this cold and rainy night. Residents...
    In the middle of an indigenous urban encampment, next to a roaring highway filled with speeding commuters, there are more moments of magic than one might imagine. They are born of the acts of human kindness that underpin daily life at the camp. Without these acts of compassion and generosity...
    Some times words don't come easy. I'm staring at the keyboard wondering how to convey two days that started with so much hope, and ended with near tragedy. But let's start with the positive. Many good things have happened. Yesterday representatives from the City of Minneapolis met with Patina...
    More Posts
  • How To Help

    Here are some ways you can donate directly to the organizations that are working both on the ground at the camp, and on mid and long term solutions.

    Donate directly to Natives Against Heroin

    Natives Against Heroin will use the funds to provide daily, front line, support to the residents at the encampment.

    To donate directly to NAH CLICK HERE or visit or mail a check to Woodland Bank at 1113 E Franklin Ave # 108, Minneapolis, MN 55404. Make sure to say your donation is for NAW. Or call 651-442-0103 and speak to James Cross. Please note these donations are NOT tax deductible.

    Donate to MN Indian Womens Resource Center

    MIWRC will use the funds to provide families and individuals with basic clothes and household goods once housing is secured.

    MIWRC also provides a comprehensive array of services to women and families. To donate to MIWRC to benefit resident at the encampment CLICK HERE

    Donate to Native American Community Clinic

    NACC will use the funds to provide medical-related services to residents of the camp.

    NACC promotes the health & wellness of body, mind & spirit of Native American families. To learn more or to make a donation to support their work at the camp CLICK HERE

    Donate to Indigenous Peoples Task Force

    Your donation will be used for HIV, HCV and other testing/screening of residents at the camp.

    To learn more about IPTF and the services they offer - or make a donation - CLICK HERE

    Donate to American Indian Community Development Corporation

    Your donation will be used to secure permanent housing for residents of the camp.

    The American Indian Community Development Corporation's mission is to provide culturally unique initiatives, housing and entrepreneurial programs that will strengthen American Indian communities. To learn more CLICK HERE

    Donate to American Indian OIC

    Your donation will help provide job training and other resources to residents and others who need them.

    The mission of the American Indian OIC is to empower American Indians to pursue career opportunities by providing individualized education, training, and employment services in a culturally rich environment. To learn more or make a donation CLICK HERE

  • NON-CASH DONATIONS

    See below for specific items that are needed

    and where to deliver them.

    Do not deliver items directly to the encampment.

    There is no storage available at the camp.

     

    URGENT NEED:

    Paper plates, napkins, hot cups, plastic spoons and forks

     

    NO BLANKETS AT THIS TIME

    NO MORE FEMININE HYGIENE ITEMS AT THIS TIME

    Blankets and clothing items - NOTE - donate ONLY the items listed below.

    Deliver to MN Indian Women's Resource Center

    See the list below. ONLY donate items on the list. We are currently focusing on outfitting everyone with a hoodie, socks and shoes as the weather becomes cooler. Blankets/sleeping bags are also a high priority need.

    Deliver to MN Indian Women's Resource Center at 2300 S 15th Ave, Minneapolis, MN 55404.

     

     

    Non-perishable food items and water

    Deliver to Gichitwaa Kateri Catholic Church

    Non-perishable food items, bottled water and juice, are always needed. Please try to make healthy options available to our residents.

    Deliver to Gichitwaa Kateri Catholic Church at 3045 Park Ave, Minneapolis, MN 55407

    CURRENT NEEDS

    WATER

    hand towels

    bath towels

    flash lights

    pepper spray

    hoodies

    socks

    shoes

    Rubbermaid-type plastic bins for residents to store clothes, etc

    Personal Care Kits

    NOT NEEDED AT THIS TIME

    Deliver to MN Indian Women's Resource Center

    Care kits should go to MN Indian Women's Resource Center at 2300 S 15th Ave, Minneapolis, MN 55404.

     

    Care kits should include tooth brush, toothpaste, comb, shampoo, hand towel, soap, fingernail clipper, deodorant, hand sanitizer

  • Volunteer Information

    Below are the volunteer activities needed at this time.

    Organize a food drive

    Join with your friends, family, or other community members to collect non-perishable food, water and juice. Non-perishable food items should be taken to Gichitwaa Kateri Catholic Church at 3045 Park Ave, Minneapolis, MN 55407. Call the Church for best drop off times, (612) 824-7606

    Meal Service

    Prepare a a hot meal or bag lunches for residents of the encampment. You'll be feeding 150+ so make sure you have the funds and the capacity to do this. Great for community and faith groups with access to commercial kitchens. Email through the Contact page on this site for more information.

    Trash pick up at the camp

    Help camp residents and members of Natives Against Heroin clear trash from the encampment. Although residents keep the encampment largely free of garbage and other trash, we aim to schedule a 'deep clean' every week.  Email us through the Contact page to sign up to help.

    Create personal care kits - NOT NEEDED AT THIS TIME

    Create personal care kits for campers. Kits should be in individual zip lock bags and include tooth brush, toothpaste, comb, shampoo, hand towel, soap, fingernail clipper, deodorant, hand sanitizer. Please deliver to MN Indian Women's Resource Center at 2300 S 15th Ave, Minneapolis, MN 55404.

    Help sort and move donations - NOT NEEDED AT THIS TIME

    Help sort and package donation of clothes, etc. to be delivered to residents at the encampment. The activity will take place at MN Indian Women's Resource Center at 2300 S 15th Ave, Minneapolis, MN 55404. Email us through the Contact page to sign up to help.

  • Metro Urban Indian Directors

    Representing Native American-led non-profits

    Click above to visit the MUID website.

    There you can find links to all of the MUID member organizations.

    MUID is a coalition of leadership of the region’s Native organizations. MUID membership represents a range of nonprofits including direct health services, education, housing, and economic development.

     

    Established over 40 years ago, MUID is partner with the groundbreaking Memo of Understanding with City of Minneapolis, which establishes a framework for the City’s engagement with the Native the community. MUID seeks to support the work of grassroots efforts like Natives Against Heroin (NAH), the public and private sector, and community in addressing solutions to homelessness in the Native and broader communities.

  • Complete MUID Statement on the Franklin/Hiawatha Encampment

    August 23, 2018

    Minneapolis is on Dakota Land in Mni Sota Makoce (Land where the water reflects the sky) and is now home to many Native people from across the state and across the country. The water, trees, and all living things growing out of the ground carry with them the spirit of the original Dakota inhabitants because this ground is quite literally saturated with the DNA of our Indigenous ancestors. These ancestors lived here for millennium before Minneapolis even became a City. This land continues to be sacred land for many of the Urban Native population.

     

    Despite hundreds of years of trauma and genocidal actions against us in this country, Native people are still here. We are resourceful, resilient, and committed to our community, families, and our cultures and traditions. However, we still face many challenges. Homelessness, chemical dependency, mental and physical health struggles, vulnerability to exploitation and violence are all byproducts of the generations of trauma experienced by our relatives. Though we are less than 2% of the population, we experience disproportionate rates of all these effects.

     

    In recent weeks many of our relatives have come together and moved into tents in the area along a soundwall on the east side of Highway 55. This community has become known as the Franklin/Hiawatha Encampment, or for some, the Wall of Forgotten Natives. Our community faces significant challenges to housing and many have been “forgotten” and erased by those systems that were set up to assist them. These relatives face many barriers to finding safe and affordable housing, which is a long-standing problem in Minneapolis. Housing shortages, rigid landlords, policies that create lifetime bans based on survival behaviors; these are just some of the things that affect these individuals and have created the environment for the Encampment.

     

    In response, a broad coalition of government, non profit, and community partners and stakeholders are coming together to address the short-term, mid-term and long-term barriers to housing for the residents of this camp, as well as those in other camps not so visible. Working together, we hope to find housing options for the camp’s population by the end of September, certainly before the weather turns cold.

     

    The Metropolitan Urban Indian Directors (MUID) is helping to coordinate this effort. MUID is a collation of leadership of Minneapolis Native organizations and urban Tribal offices and embassies. Membership represent a wide range of nonprofits including direct health services, education, housing, economic development, and more. Established over 40 years ago, MUID is a partner with the groundbreaking Memo of Understanding with City of Minneapolis, which establishes a framework for the City’s engagement with the Native community.

     

    MUID seeks to support and connect the tireless work of grassroots groups like Natives Against Heroin (NAH), the public and private sector organizations that have stepped forward to help, and the many individuals who seek to band together to create long term solutions to homelessness in the Native and broader communities. To do this we must build a sustainable, long-term, coordinated effort that acknowledges the indigenous history that frames this struggle.

     

    We invite all to join us in this work.

  • Contact Us

    We will return your email as soon as we can.

    This is an all-volunteer effort - please have patience.

    Migwetch.

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