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To: Al Bangoura
End indigenous homelessness in Minneapolis
Boozhoo Superintendent Bangoura,
I am writing you today about the homeless humanitarian crisis we continue to face in the Minneapolis indigenous community.
A crisis that has been going on for years with no solid plans or solutions from elected officials.
The only solution they have come up with seems to be a continuation of the “Indian removal act” where my relatives are traumatized over and over again with the encampment sweeps.
Where at times they may lose everything they own.
Not to mention the many many deaths we have had to suffer.
The indigenous homeless crisis we find ourselves in has little to do with lack of affordable housing and more to do with addiction and the mental health issues caused by historical trauma and from living under foreign occupation for several generations.
I would love to give you a tour of the homeless encampment and under the bridges for you to see the awe full and inhuman conditions my relatives are living under.
I have a tentative meeting set up with Parkboard members Becky Alper, Tom Olsen and Jason Chavez (9 ward city council) in early September to discuss the transfer of East Phillips park back to Minneapolis’ indigenous community.
We already know there is no lawful mechanism to return stolen Indian land. But it continues to happen more and more frequently these days.
We all know Minneapolis is located on stolen Indian land (Dakota territory) and we also agree that my relatives should never be homeless in their homelands.
Once this historic decision is reached the eyes of the world will once again be on Minneapolis, but this time for doing the right thing and returning stolen Indian land to help eliminate our homeless crisis with a culturally specific and culturally sensitive tiny home healing village.
Everything we need is right here in the community.
The Native American Community Clinic (NACC), Indian Health Board (IHB) and the Takoda Institute are only blocks away.
The village would have 24/7 security and daily neighborhood safety and street cleanup patrols.
We have an award winning indigenous architect currently working on the plans for the tiny home village.
We have the community support and also have funders ready to fund the construction of the tiny homes and ceremonial lodges of the Dakota and the Anishinabe.
I would appreciate a meeting with you to continue the conversation on Land back and eliminating the indigenous encampments permanently.
Why is this important?
Our community is suffering from an unprecedented humanitarian crisis that we haven’t seen since the Indian removal act.
The opioid and mental health problems our indigenous relatives are experiencing is killing our children and young adults in our native communities every single day.
We must create a safe and culturally healthy space to heal.
Western “treatment” is not working for the historical trauma that is the cause for most of the addiction and mental health issues we are facing today.
To heal properly, my people must return to our traditional ways of healing and living the best we can in this artificial environment that has been created by the colonists and settlers.
This little 6 acre park is perfectly located in the Minneapolis Indian community.
The park is only blocks away from the Native American Community Clinic, Indian Health board and the Takota Institute for higher education.
This historic move would all but eliminate the homeless encampments in south Minneapolis.
Our relatives would be able to be housed with dignity and heal within the community instead of always being “sent away” to get treated and fixed.
So please join our historic endeavor to get stolen Indian Landback and create our Red Road Village…
How it will be delivered