Minneapolis Homeless Encampment
Following the murder of George Floyd an encampment of unsheltered people began on the vacant lot next to the Indigenous Peoples Task Force office in the Phillips neighborhood. At the beginning of September the City of Minneapolis clear this and many other encampments around the city. Outreach workers from Indigenous Peoples Task Force along with St. Stephens, Minnesota Indian Women’s Resource Center, Southside Harm Reduction, Avivo, American Indian Community Development Corporation, AICDC, Hennepin County, Simpson Housing and many other outreach teams and community members moved them back to the Wall of Forgotten Natives.
On September 3, 2020 our Executive Director Sharon Day spoke at a press conference calling for a greater response to the housing crisis. This is a transcript of her comments:
American Indians have been preyed upon, hunted for bounties, our children stolen and placed in boarding schools, foster care and adopted out to people who abused us. I know because I was one of those children.
We have been rounded up and placed in reservations the same way the MN state troopers rounded up our relatives yesterday and fenced them in. Yet we have fought for the United States in every war and conflict because we were defending our lands. We were moved to the cities during the Relocation era. And we remain here today. This is our land. Our people long to be together.
You wish to forget us. You look the other way! When the encampment was behind the Indigenous Peoples Task Force, no one cared. No one cared about the predators preying on our women and children. No one cared about the garbage piling up. People lived In unsanitary conditions.
Two years ago we asked for some long term plans so we could provide a place for our relatives. We asked for the Roof Depot. It is close, has rest rooms, water, and space to build tiny homes. The city of Minneapolis said no. A place to park city trucks was more important.
Every single one of us wants to be productive. We wish to have a place to cook a meal, have a roof over our heads, and visit with our relatives. Give us the Roof Depot. Show us we matter! Show us we matter more than a storage area for your trucks! We will make a good place for our relatives so they can live the lives they wish to!