Five Ways to Learn about Native American Culture in Minnesota
November is Native American Heritage Month! Now and every day, we strive to honor the important contributions that indigenous people make in our communities.
One of the Minneapolis Foundation’s guiding values is that we work hard to create internally the community we hope to see externally. Both individually and as a team, we are always looking for ways to grow, learn, and engage with Minnesota’s diverse cultures. This month, our Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee took the opportunity to highlight Heritage Month by creating a list of local Native-owned businesses, art exhibits, books, and other resources. If you’re looking for ways to support and learn about Native American culture here in Minnesota, read on!
We want to acknowledge that Minneapolis is on the sacred land of the Dakhóta Oyáte (Dakota People) and that the Anishinaaben(Ojibwe) and other indigenous peoples also stewarded this land. Minnesota comes from the Dakota name for the area, Mni Sota Makoce — “the land where the waters reflect the skies.”
Ideas for Getting Involved
- A New Dawn, an Eternal Promise, a Courageous Future: National Congress of American Indians State of Indian Nations 2021 address delivered to the Congress of the United States, by NCAI President Fawn Sharp.
- Articles about identity from Native Americans in Philanthropy.
- The Circle is dedicated to presenting news from a Native American perspective, while granting an equal opportunity to community voices. The November issue
- NativeAmericanHeritageMonth.Gov: This link will bring you to a collection of resources put together by the Smithsonian, Library of Congress, National Gallery of Art, National Park Service and others.
- Discover the history of the land we occupy:
- Native Americans in Philanthropy: A powerful and growing network of Native and non-Native nonprofits, tribal communities, foundations and community leaders committed to engaging, learning and sharing resources and best practices grounded in the Native tradition of reciprocity.
- Have a meal at one of Minneapolis’ Native owned restaurants:
- Gatherings Café serves fresh, locally grown foods that are Indigenous and prepared in healthy ways.
- Pow Wow Grounds has been caffeinating and feeding the American Indian community in Minneapolis since 2010.
- Owamni by The Sioux Chef. Experience the true flavors of North America, featuring foods of Mni Sota Makoce, Land Where the Waters Reflect the Clouds.
- The Sioux Chef is committed to revitalizing Native American Cuisine and in the process re-identifying North American Cuisine and reclaiming an important culinary culture long buried and often inaccessible.
- Explore the Minneapolis Institute of Art’s permanent collection of Native American art as well as new exhibits.
- All My Relations Arts current exhibit biskaabiiyang (returning to ourselves): A group exhibition investigating Indigenous Futurisms and the interconnectedness of nows through video installation, interactive gaming, mixed media and digital illustrations curated by Emerging Curators Institute Fellow, Juleana Enright.
- Native Harvest is owned and operated by White Earth Land Recovery Project. You can buy items like Hand Harvested Wild Rice and Pure Maple Syrup.
- Red Lake Nation Fishery, from the Red Lake Band of Ojibwe, is one of the only places in the US to buy domestic walleye. They are proud to ship the highest-quality fish products available anywhere on earth. Enjoy Walleye, Yellow Perch, Crappie, Northern, Smoked White Fish, and more.
- Wozupi Tribal Gardens, from the Mdewakanton Dakota in MN, sells USDA certified organic produce and eggs.
- Sweet Grass Trading Co. has a unique selection of traditional Native American food products and handcrafted items. Learn about the heritage behind each item and the featured artisans.
- Honor the Earth is working to create awareness and support for Native environmental issues and to develop needed financial and political resources for the survival of sustainable Native communities.
- Native American Community Clinic is based in the Little Earth neighborhood of Minneapolis and works to promote health & wellness of mind, body & spirit of Native American families.
- Dream of Wild Health owns a 30-acre farm in Hugo, MN, providing educational programs that reconnect the urban Native American community with traditional Native plants and their culinary, medicinal and spiritual use.
- The Minnesota Indian Women’s Resource Center (MIWRC) is a non-profit social and mental health services organization committed to traditional ways of being and support of Native women and their families.
*This is only a sampling of organizations doing work to support Native Americans in Minnesota. We encourage you to research organizations that speak to your philanthropic efforts.