Indigenous advocacy group calls on officials to close Camp Nenookaasi

A Minnesota-based Indigenous advocacy group is demanding action at a homeless encampment in the East Phillips neighborhood of Minneapolis.

The Metropolitan Urban Indian Directors (MUID) sent out a press release on Wednesday, calling on the city, county and state to provide resources to Camp Nenookaasi residents to remediate drug treatment, mental health and shelter problems so the camp can be closed immediately.

Additionally, MUID asked officials to provide security comprised of multiple agencies from around the city, county, and state to make sure the camp doesn’t grow and to provide resources to those in the camp who need it.

At least 35 Indigenous advocacy groups within the MUID signed the letter, which said that 88 of the 100 people in Camp Nenookaasi could be rehoused as soon as the end of the week.

In the release, MUID added that those who live around the camp are afraid to come forward with their concerns, saying, “This demand comes from community members who are threatened with retaliation if they come forward expressing their fears. The encampment draws predatory behavior by those who would prey on vulnerable adults, this endangers those in the camp and in the surrounding neighborhood.”

As the winter continues and temperatures drop, MUID also expressed concerns for people sleeping under plastic tarps in the camp.

Minneapolis had set previous eviction dates for the camp of Dec. 15 and 19, but delayed those without providing any new date to support ongoing efforts to find housing for those at the encampment.

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