“The past is more than a memory.” -John Trudell
The American Indian Community Housing Organization (AICHO) has advocated for housing for American Indian people since 1993. AICHO operates the only culturally-specific domestic violence emergency shelter in Northeast Minnesota, offering safety and advocacy. AICHO created transitional housing and permanent supportive housing in response to the need for safe, affordable housing. Over the course of nearly three decades, the need for housing has only increased and become more complicated. But the root of American Indian homelessness goes back much further.
The truth is the land we all live on is originally Indigenous land. Tribal communities have thrived here and had ample resources, including homes for all Tribal citizens. With colonization and conquest, Indigenous communities endured great losses and survived intentional, massive actions to eliminate their communities, their people, and their cultural ways. Much of this history has been erased and the harm has not yet fully been acknowledged. This includes land theft, systemic violence, and policies that robbed Tribal Nations of economic power, cultural rights, and community integrity.
The question we must ask ourselves is this: how can American Indian people be homeless in their original homelands?
Keep tabs on some of the exciting things happening at AICHO! Blog posts managed by volunteers as they are available.