Minneapolis officials transfer land to Red Lake Nation

Minneapolis transfers land to Red Lake Nation

Minneapolis transfers land to Red Lake Nation

A plot of land in south Minneapolis that has sat empty since 2007 will soon become a hub of healing for the Indigenous community.

Minneapolis leaders on Thursday transferred two city-owned lots at 2931-7 Bloomington Ave. to the Red Lake Nation for $1 each. The properties abut 2929 Bloomington Ave., which was already in the hands of the Red Lake Nation and used to be the tribe’s embassy until its relocation to the Mino-bimaadiziwin complex on Cedar Avenue.

In the short term, the tribe plans to turn the land into a community healing garden that would host sacred ceremonial services. The overarching goal for the property is to build an opioid treatment center with housing units included.

Cheri Goodwin, executive director of Ombindwaa Gidinawemaaganinaadog (Ojibwe for “uplifting our relatives”), said the site is a manner of “decolonizing” and will deliver culturally specific services for the Indigenous community.

“We are going to drop our disparities, smash our disparities once and for all,” said Goodwin, whose organization is charged with overseeing the site. “Smash them, yes, by building culturally specific services. The future here is unbelievable. Whatever we can dream, we can do.”

She added that she envisions the space to include a kitchen, laundry and showers for those in need.

“I can’t tell you how proud I am to be standing here with our brothers and sisters, our family members, to do something which I believe is long overdue and is extraordinary,” Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey said during a news conference. “This parcel has been vacant for, I believe, well over a decade. It’s a city-owned parcel, and we are in the position now to help transform communities working alongside an extraordinary partnership of Red Lakers.”

The Red Lake Nation is in talks with the state government to come up with funding for its long-term plans, according to a proposal submitted to the city’s Business, Inspections, Housing and Zoning Committee.