I wish you a happy New Year. As we welcome the slowly lengthening days, we are working in the greenhouses preparing for the growing season and the launch of Indigi-Baby Food.

We welcome the addition of an Assistant Director, Lucy Slater. Lucy was the first staff person hired back in 1989. We welcome her back. IPTF is growing to improve our work in the community and with you.

This month we will be offering our first Narcan trainings in addition to our regular HIV testing days and HIV 101 workshops. A full list of training dates are below.

I am preparing to lead the Salt River Nibi (Water) Walk in Arizona this February. We do it for the water! We do it for the wellness of our communities!

Celebrating the Leadership and Confidence of

our Native Youth

We love our youth! Our Keep the Fire Alive Program focuses on suicide prevention by helping Native teens build new positive relationships, have an opportunity to spend time with their peers, enjoy a meal together, and participate in cultural activities. We foster the self expression of our youth through our Ikidowin Acting Ensemble, teaching them the foundations of writing, movement and directing in theater.

Sixteen Native youth currently participate in the Keep the Fire Alive Program and Ikidowin Acting Ensemble. They meet twice a week and have joined several community events. The youth planned our Family Holiday Celebration: choosing the menu, designing activities, singing the tobacco song, and entertaining us with skits they created. The event was well attended and very powerful. We are excited to see what our youth create in 2020!

Unsheltered homelessness continues to be a crisis in our community, particularly in these dangerously cold winter months.

In December we began conducting street outreach one weekend a month from midnight to 4 am. We help unsheltered people get temporary shelter, clean injection equipment, as well as supplies to keep warm such as gloves and emergency blankets. Indigenous Peoples Task Force is doing this street outreach in partnership with the 7-organizations that make up the Metro Urban Indian Directors Unsheltered/Opioid Response Team. On our first night of outreach in December we engaged 91 people, helping some get into shelter, take clean injection supplies, learn how to use nasal narcan, and sign up for General Assistance. We also vaccinated 13 people for HEP A. We will continue reaching out to lift up the wellness of everyone in our community.

Also in December the Minnesota Department of Human Services announced availability of emergency funds in Response to Unsheltered Homelessness in the American Indian community, for which IPTF applied and have been awarded. Between now and June 30, 2021, IPTF will be providing navigation services for anyone living on the streets to help them connect with culturally appropriate housing, as well as with substance misuse services. Once placed in initial short term treatment and/or emergency housing, we will continue to provide one-on-one support to people as they make their way through the system, with the end goal of permanent housing placement. We know how time-consuming and challenging transitions through these programs can be, and so we’ll also engage our Elders in designing and leading group activities that provide community and emotional support and encouragement. For more information on this new program contact Lucy Slater at And if you are interested in working on this program, see position description.

Upcoming Testing Days and Trainings

Tuesday, January 14, 5:30 - Narcan Training, Indigneous Peoples Task Force. More.
Thursday, January 16, noon - Narcan Training, Prairie Island Elder Center. More.
Thursday, January 23, 11 - 1 - HIV 101, Minnesota Chippewa Tribes Building, Minneapolis. More.
Tuesday, January 28, 12 - 3 p.m. - HIV Testing, Division of Indian Work, Minneapolis. More.
Tuesday, February 4, HIV 101 and Narcan Training, Leech Lake Opiod Treatment Program. More.

Indigenous Peoples Task Force also offers FREE rapid HIV testing at our Main Office during regular business hours.

Thank you for all your generous support!

We are filled with gratitude to all our donors. We are over halfway to the goal of raising funds for our new building. Chi Migwetch!
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