Rochester Mom is starting a brand new resource series called Give Five. The idea of Give Five is simple. We are inviting you to Give Five minutes to read through each of these posts. The series will provide you with ideas, resources, lists, and suggestions on specific topics. We acknowledge that giving five minutes is just the start…a small step in a bigger journey we can all take to become allies to our BIPOC friends, family, and neighbors.
This series is intended to be a resource for YOU and your families. Topics will vary but all will be helpful as we work towards anti-racism and expand and diversify our understanding of race and diversity. Some resources will be collaborative with Rochester Mom writers, and for others, we’ll look to YOU! We want to know what you have learned on your own journeys and what resources have helped you along the way. Our goal with this series is to be a conduit of information: pulling together resources to help one another. We are learning ourselves and it’s been a challenging yet beautiful process. Will you join us?
November is Native American Heritage month, also referred to as American Indian and Alaska Native Heritage Month. It is “a time to celebrate rich and diverse cultures, traditions, and histories and to acknowledge the important contributions of Native people” (NCIA.org). It is also important to learn about the challenges that impact Indigenous people specifically, both historically and today (NCIA.org). In this post we are focusing on the original inhabitants on this land we now call Minnesota. This collection is not comprehensive; instead, it is meant to be a starting point to learn more about the Native Americans in the area where we now live, from the past through the present.
Where are you?
This guide was created by the Native Governance Center, a Native-led non-profit organization that serves Native nations Mni Sota Makoce, North Dakota, and South Dakota focusing on rebuilding nations by leadership development and Tribal governance support programs. (nativegov.org)
Use this helpful tool to identify which native lands you were born, raised, and continue to live on. This website was created and maintained by an Indigenous-led, Canadian non-profit organization to help start conversations “about the history of colonialism, Indigenous ways of knowing, and settler-Indigenous relations.” (native-land.ca)
Mni Sota Makoce (Minnesota)
A Dakota phrase meaning “Land Where the Waters Reflect the Clouds–and the people’s roots remain strong” (Westerman & White, 2012).
Rochester is established on the native land belonging to the Wahpeton tribe who were apart of the alliance called Oceti Ŝakowiŋ — The Seven Council Fires. Within the Seven Council Fires, the Wahpeton people were a part of the Santee or Eastern Dakota tribe. (mnhs.org). Anishinaabe and other Indigenous people also live in this area (nativegov.org).
Oceti Ŝakowiŋ, The Seven Council Fires
Virtually view and learn about Oceti Ŝakowiŋ, The Seven Council Fires, artifacts here: Minnesota Historical Society
The US-Dakota war of 1862
Dedicate some time to visit the The US-Dakota war of 1862 virtual exhibit by the Minnesota Historical Society here: usdakotawar.org.
Read about the history of boarding schools “used as a tool of ethnic cleansing” in Minnesota and across the US, here: National Native American Boarding School Healing Coalition.
Indigenous Lives Today
Starting Point for Non-Native People
“Created and led by Native peoples, IllumiNative is a new nonprofit initiative designed to increase the visibility of – and challenge the negative narrative about – Native Nations and peoples in American society” (illuminatives.org/)
Arts & Culture
Supporting, highlighting, cultivating the work of Mnisota’s native artists.
An Anishinaabe artist located in White Earth, MN who creates Birchbark and Black Ash jewelry.
A Native American radio talk show based in the Twin Cities focusing on “Mother Earth, Tribal and Twin Cities issues.”
Food & Drink
420 1st Street South, Minneapolis, MN 55401
A full service, modern, indigenous restaurant on the shores of Hahawakpa (Mississippi).
1414 E Franklin Ave, Minneapolis, MN 55404
Native Owned Coffee Shop in Minneapolis.
1530 E Franklin Ave, Minneapolis, MN 55404
An Urban, Native American community cafe that serves fresh, locally grown foods that are indigenous and prepared in healthy ways.
Organizations to Support
Promotes and supports Native entrepreneurship in every form (mniba.org).
An urban Native Community Development Financial Institutions Fund (CDFI) of the Twin Cities focused on “building wealth in the Native community”. Their mission is “to provide training and access to capital in order to promote home ownership, entrepreneurship, and financial capabilities among American Indian men and women throughout the state of Minnesota” (mnisotafund.org).
The DIW’s “mission is to support and strengthen urban American Indian people through culturally-based education, traditional healing approaches, and leadership development” (diw-mn.org).
A K-8 Dakota and Ojibwe immersion and public charter school that provides students with “an academically rigorous education that is place-based, and rooted in Native language and culture of indigenous peoples” (bdote.org)
NACDI initiates projects that benefit the Native community through partnerships to help Native people create the future they envision (nacdi.org).
An indigenous non-profit focused on Indigenous education and food access (NATIFS.org).
This is not a comprehensive list, but rather just a place to get started. What else would you add?