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News & Views of Phillips Since 1976
Friday July 19th 2024

A Grand Gathering

Charlie Stately, longtime owner of Woodland Indian Crafts Shop, chats with customers during the Minneapolis American Indian Center Open House on May 1. Charlie’s shop has been a staple of the center for more than four decades and now has a home in a larger space on the first floor.
After the ribbon cutting ceremony, the doors opened and community members reentered the center for the first time since it was closed in late 2022. The center underwent a historic renovation and expansion that provided needed maintenance and upgrades that will allow it to serve the community for future generations.
Three elders are all smiles as they watch the conclusion of the American Indian Month Kickoff Parade and the Minneapolis American Indian Center Ribbon Cutting Ceremony on May 1.
Lt. Gov. Peggy Flanagan, the highest-ranking Native woman in elected office in the United States, said a nice tribute to the center during the ribbon cutting ceremony. White Earth Nation Chairman Michael Fairbanks jokingly held up a White Earth flag behind Flanagan as she spoke, showcasing her tribal affiliation.
The Sampson Brothers performed a hoop dance while Keith Secola and David Huckfelt provided the live music entertainment in the gym during the open house celebration on May 1.
The events were a family affair. Many elders, families, and children were in attendance at the parade, powwow, and open house. Pictured are a couple visitors exploring the new gym space and finding a place to sit to watch the afternoon’s entertainment.

By NATALIE RADEMACHER, MAIC Communications Coordinator

Minnesota American Indian Month kicked off last month with a parade and the grand reopening of the Minneapolis American Indian Center (MAIC). An estimated 1,500 people partook in the celebrations and visited the renovated and expanded center on May 1. An open house and powwow followed the Minnesota American Indian Month Kickoff Parade, which concluded at the Center. Franklin Avenue was filled with eager parade attendees and onlookers as tribal leaders and MAIC board and leadership welcomed the community back during the ribbon cutting ceremony. After the ribbon was cut by MAIC board member Dawn Paro, the doors opened to the community for the first time since closing in late 2022 to undergo a massive renovation.
The open house provided opportunities for visitors to explore the center and connect with program staff. Keith Secola, David Huckfelt, and The Sampson Brothers performed in the gym and helped showcase the upgraded sound system.
Following the afternoon festivities, attendees returned in the evening for a grand celebratory powwow. Longtime MAIC staff commented that they’ve never seen the gym that full before. There was standing room only, and people flooded out into the rotunda, vendor areas, and parking lot, where food trucks served delicious goodies.
A big thank you to the volunteers, vendors, performers, staff, funders, project partners, and community members who made the celebration a success. It meant a lot seeing the space filled with people. The sounds of laughter, drums, and conversation made it feel like we were finally back, fulfilling our purpose as a home for the community again.
The center is officially open again 8 a.m. – 4 p.m. Monday through Friday. For an updated list of our programming, please visit www.maicnet.org.
Gatherings Cafe will host its reopening event, in collaboration with Two Rivers Art Gallery, from 5 – 8 p.m. on Friday, May 31.

All photos: Lisa Lardy, courtesy of the Minneapolis American Indian Center

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