• Franklin/Hiawatha Encampment

    Wall of Forgotten Natives

    TO DONATE TO A DISCRETIONARY FUND TO BENEFIT THE CAMP CLICK BUTTON BELOW.

    To donate directly to 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 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.

    Now what's happening? October 25, 2018

    Plans continue to move forward for the creation of a 'Navigation Center' based on city staff research on best practices in other cities.

    The City Council has approved $1.5 million in funding for the temporary Navigation Center, which will be established at 2109 Cedar Ave., a 1.25-acre site adjacent to the Franklin Avenue METRO Blue Line station and close to the existing encampment. The center is scheduled to open in December and be operational until the end of May.

     

    The Navigation Center will be placed on land owned by the Red Lake Band of Chippewa. This site is earmarked by Red Lake for construction of affordable housing to begin in the summer of 2019. As of October 25, 2018, the buildings were still standing. The timeline for the construction of the Navigation Center remains in flux.

    What about winter, Part 2 (October 25, 2018)

    Due to the proposed December opening date for the new Navigation Center, the current encampment will need to be winterized to protect the residents of the encampment from frostbite and hypothermia. The winterization planning effort is being led by the Minnesota Indian Women's Resource Center.

    Now what's happening?!? October 17, 2018

    Plans continue to move forward for the creation of a 'Navigation Center' based on city research on best practices in other cities. After offering two potential sites for a Navigation Center that were not ideal - and met with considerable community push back - the Minneapolis City Council deferred a vote on a site. The next day the Red Lake Band of Chippewa offered the use of a parcel of land they own. The land is earmarked for construction of affordable housing with a ground breaking scheduled for next summer. Therefore any Navigation Center constructed there would be temporary. The parcel is conveniently located across Hiawatha from the current encampment. However environmental testing and the demolition of the existing structures must occur before a temporary Navigation Center can be built. As of October 17, 2018, the buildings were still standing. The timeline for the construction of the Navigation Center remains in flux.

    What about winter? Part 1

    Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey had originally pledged to house the residents of the encampment by September 30th. That deadline has passed. The approximate date for the new, temporary Navigation Center to be ready for occupancy is mid-December. The Red Lake Nation has stepped forward with plans to winterize the encampment at its current location - until residents have found shelter or housing, or are moved to the new Navigation Center. NOTE: The Red Lake Band is no longer leading the effort to winterize the encampment.

    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 - and Hennepin County have taken the lead on trying to find short, mid and long term solutions that will benefit the residents of the encampment. The Red Lake Nation has also become involved, hiring Avivo, a full spectrum housing, chemical and mental health service, to match residents to available shelter.

     

    Short term MUID, Natives Against Heroin and other groups are trying to provide a secure environment, meals, and medical care as needed. Mid term MUID, the Red Lake Band, and other groups are trying to find temporary shelter. Long term MUID is trying to secure services and assistance including permanent housing, job training and more. Hennepin County, the City of Minneapolis and other agencies have been partnering with MUID in this work. In terms of immediate shelter, Hennepin County is also deeply involved in this work, as are some private homeless shelter and advocacy groups, and the Red Lake Nation.

    Will going to the encampment increase a persons 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.

  • Camp Blog

    Writings, photographs and news from our community.

    Below is a letter from Inspector Sullivan of the Minneapolis Police Department 3rd Precinct: From the Minneapolis Police Department’s 3rd Precinct November 5, 2018 We understand that homelessness, addiction, and mental health are profound societal issues and challenges that cannot and will...
    Occasionally we receive emails inquiring about health care for the residents of the Franklin Hiawtha encampment. I'm always pleased to share that there are nurses and nurse practitioners on-site Monday through Friday, 1:00 to 4:00 PM. The care is provide by Livio - a local health care provider...
    Grant Snyder is, quite simply, one of the most amazing humans I've ever met. And I've been blessed to meet quite a few incredible people - so that's saying a lot. Officer Snyder is the Minneapolis Police Department's liaison to the city's homeless and vulnerable adult population. He approaches...
    Franklin Hiawatha encampment, by the numbers: October 29, 2018. This list will be updated and added to from time to time. 207 - Number of tents as of October 24, 2018 3 - Number of showers on-site at the Hygiene Service Area 225 - Number of gallons of coffee brewed and delivered each morning by...
    More Posts
  • NON-CASH DONATIONS

     

    DIW STORAGE AREA IS FULL

    NO DONATIONS ACCEPTED AT THIS LOCATION UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE.

     

    TAKE CLOTHING AND ITEMS BELOW DIRECTLY TO CAMP. WINTER CLOTHING ITEMS ONLY.

     

    CURRENTLY NEEDED:

    TARPS, TENTS, COLEMAN 1 LB PROPANE TANKS, WOOD & WATER AT THE CAMP.

    NON-PERISHABLE FOOD (SEE BELOW)

    Items above can now be delivered directly to the encampment.

    Blankets, sleeping bags, tarps, tents (No clothing)

    Deliver to MN Indian Women's Resource Center

    Blankets/sleeping bags remain a high priority need. No clothing accepted at this location. Deliveries accepted Monday through Wednesday 2:00 to 4:00 PM or by appointment. For an appt call Karen Joy at 612-728-2027.

     

    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

    Clothing

    Deliver clothing to the camp

    Clean winter items only please.

    Personal Care Kits

    NOT NEEDED AT THIS TIME

     

  • Volunteer Information

    Below are the volunteer activities needed at this time.

    Winterization Crew

    Sign up to help with effort to winterize the encampment - to keep our relatives safe and warm during the months of November and December. Most work will take place over a single weekend, to be announced - but very soon. To add your name to the list email us through the Contact page on this website. Please make sure to note in your email if you have any construction or other relevant skills!

    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 (tho cooking at your own home is fine too.) Email through the Contact page on this site for more information.

    Camp clean-up

    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. Camp clean up is every Saturday 2:00 to 3:00 PM 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 sorting donations

    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.

  • 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 mail a check to Woodland Bank at 1113 E Franklin Ave # 108, Minneapolis, MN 55404. Make sure to say your donation is for NAH. Or call 651-442-0103 and speak to James Cross.

    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

  • 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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