Historic District Along East Franklin Floated to Remember Important Native American Landmarks and Activism

Proposed Historic District Map included in the city’s study of historically significant properties to Native American communities. (Taken from July 7 Power Point presentation.)

Researchers hired by the City of Minneapolis have identified a potential “Historic District” on and around East Franklin Avenue that encompasses buildings significant to the city’s Native American communities.

There is only one problem. A lot of the buildings aren’t old enough yet to be considered historic. This is one of those “down the road” projects.

The window for property to be consider “historic” is typically a minimum of 50 years. The city could consider a shorter frame, 35 years. Still, that limits the properties that can be considered.

There has been a significant amount of demolition and redevelopment along the Avenue. Some of the newer developments along Franklin are Pow Wow Grounds Coffee Shop, Many Rivers East and West and the Bii Di Gain Dash Elder Housing.

The “potential historic district” emerged as part of a city-commissioned report looking at the history of Native American communities and their activism in Minneapolis. City officials and researchers presented the full draft at their final community meeting, held July 7 at All My Relation Gallery. The potential historic district map was in a Power Point presentation.

The city got a small federal grant for the research; the consulting contract came in under $25,000. The research paints a fast, broad sweep of state, national, and local Native American history. At its core, the report is going to identify key properties and places the city should consider preserving because they represent significant historic events for the city’s Native American communities, and the contributions they have made.

Here is a link to the current draft. The final version will be released in August. The final report is expected to name more than two dozen properties as potentially historically significant.

There is a last window of opportunity to send comments on the current draft. Send them soon to: Christine McDonald, Native American Community Specialist,  612-849-2386, or John Smoley  Senior Planner at the Minneapolis Department of Community Planning and Economic Development (CPED) 612-673-2830.

Here are a few of the programs/properties that could get suggested for historic designation because of their role in Native American empowerment and history:

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History of Native Americans in Minneapolis: Draft Now Available, Public Meeting Set

The City of Minneapolis has released the first part of a new report on Native American history in the Minneapolis area. It focuses on Native American history here prior to the arrival of Europeans and the conflicts that arose immediately after.

  • The city is hosting a public hearing to take comments on Part I of the research, Tuesday, June 28, 6:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. at the Minnesota Indian Women’s Resource Center, 2300 15th Ave. S.

The second part of the report is scheduled for release July 1. It will focus on the history of Native American in Minneapolis in the 20th Century. A second public hearing will be scheduled to get comments on that draft. Watch the Minneapolis Heritage Preservation website for details. Continue reading

Native American History in the Minneapolis Area: An Update

An upcoming survey on Native American history in Minneapolis will include everything from precolonial history to the birth of the American Indian Movement here.
An upcoming survey on Native American history in Minneapolis will include everything from precolonial history to the birth of the American Indian Movement here.

Efforts to tell the 13,000 year history of Native Americans in what is now Minneapolis took another step forward, with researchers releasing a draft chapter.

Researchers from Two Pines Resource Group are still doing interviews and collecting information, but the project is on a short timeline. They are looking for information on the places, spaces, people and history important to Native peoples in the area. This includes sacred places, information on culture and arts, language revitalization, politics and activism, religious organizations, and Native American “firsts,” such as the first elected officials. All that and more will be included in their study.

The city held a public meeting Tuesday, April 12, at the Minneapolis American Indian Center to continue getting community feedback. (We wrote about this research effort in an earlier blog.)

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