Ȟaȟa Wakpadaŋ and the missing stories of Native Americans living in the suburbs

I was surprised to learn that there are more Indigenous people living in suburbs in Minnesota than in urban cores.

The suburbs grew in part because of white flight from the cities. Indigenous people faced barriers to living there, such as racial covenants and redlining. There also was the practical reality of social isolation from other Native families.

But just like many non-Native people, home ownership and better educational opportunities for their children are drawing Indigenous people to the suburbs, said Dr. Kasey Keeler, an assistant professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and a scholar of suburban American Indian history.

Dr. Kasey Keeler.

“We live in an Indigenous landscape,” said Keeler, who grew up in Coon Rapids. “Suburbs are historically Indian places. … It is a place that we have always been and a place where we belong.”

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Upcoming events celebrating water, treaties, and Indigenous communities

In this post:

  • Water is Sacred Gathering at the Mississippi Headwaters, June 3-5
  • Golden Valley Native American Community Celebration, June 4
  • June 6 Webinar: Indigenous leaders in Canada share their experiences meeting with Pope Francis
  • Treaty People Walk along Superior’s South Shore, June 11-25
  • Shell River Revival: Three weekends this summer, June – August
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