Published August 15, 2016
RED LAKE RESERVATION – The Red Lake Band of Chippewa Indians announced today it has purchased property in Minneapolis and is bringing together partners to help plan to build a mixed-use development that will bring affordable housing, retail and leisure amenities to the community.
The 37,367 square-foot site is located at the intersection of 17th Avenue South and Cedar Ave in Minneapolis, approximately 200 feet from the Franklin Station of the Blue Line, and situated at the gateway of the American Indian Cultural Corridor, home to the greatest concentration of urban American Indian people in Minnesota. Roughly 2,100 Red Lake Band members plus their descendants live in the Twin Cities area.
The Red Lake Band will now work with its project partners to develop the site into a mixed-use property with approximately 115 units of affordable housing to serve tribal members living in the Twin Cities. The tentative name for the entire development will be Mino-bimaadiziwin, which means “living the good life” in Ojibwe. It will be designed to be an economically self-sustaining project that will also help address some of the complex needs in the area.
“Our community has deep and historic ties to the Twin Cities and Mino-bimaadiziwin is an important opportunity to for us to strengthen and benefit all members of the Red Lake Band,” said Red Lake Band of Chippewa Indians Chairman Darrell G. Seki, Sr. “By providing a self-sustaining source of affordable housing for our people, Mino-bimaadiziwin will also generate revenue for the Band that we plan to reinvest on the reservation.”
Seki, Sr. said there is an acute need for affordable housing in the Twin Cities, particularly within the American Indian community. In addition to on-site amenities that will serve the development’s families and residents, the property also has easy access to existing neighborhood resources, including the American Indian Opportunities Industrialization Center (OIC) and the Minneapolis American Indian Center.
Mino-bimaadiziwin will be a joint effort of the Red Lake Economic Development and Planning Department and the Red Lake Reservation Housing Authority. While this is the coalition’s first project in Minneapolis, the Band has significant housing, economic and community development experience. Samuel Strong, the Band’s director of economic development, will manage the project.
“The Red Lake Band has developed a national reputation as a tribal housing leader, and we have long sought a way to extend our affordable housing efforts to our members who reside in Minneapolis,” Strong said. “The vision for Mino-bimaadiziwin is the next step in our journey toward creating a self-sustaining, amenity-rich and family-oriented development that will give our people a sense of pride, belonging and security.”
“Redevelopment of the Amble Hardware site has been a long-time goal of the Seward Neighborhood Group. We are excited about the Mino-bimaadiziwin housing development and support the efforts of the Red Lake Band of Chippewa Indians,” said Ashley Freitag, Co-President, Seward Neighborhood Group.
Initial concepts for the project have been proposed and the group is in the process of securing financing for the property redevelopment, with construction expected to begin in 2018.
For more information about the Red Lake Band of Chippewa Indians, please visit: http://www.redlakenation.org.