Our mission is to provide a transformative education, grounded in indigenous life-ways and a love of learning through hands on experiences.

Your gift will provide Nawayee Center School students with extraordinary learning opportunities and a support system for our students beyond what traditional educational institutions present. With 98% of our students living below the poverty line we also offer warm clothing for kids who would otherwise have nothing to get them through the winter, school supplies and a safe haven in the center of the Phillips neighborhood community.


Nawayee is an Ojibwe word that means "the center" and for over 40 years Center School has been a fixture in the Phillips neighborhood, the heart of the Minneapolis Native American community, by providing educational resources for students struggling in a traditional academic environment.

At Nawayee Center School we provide high quality, culturally specific education to urban youth in grades 7-12. Smaller class sizes and innovative curricula allow us to better serve the needs of our students. We provide a strong network of passionate and hard-working educational innovators that create a well rounded, targeted learning environment and strong support system to give the greatest chance of academic success and a brighter future for our students.


Our academic programs integrate indigenous wisdom and hands on learning experiences tailored to help at-risk students struggling with depression, homelessness, early pregnancy and substance abuse by providing a variety of enrichment opportunities that keep kids hopeful and engaged. 

With your support in the 2017-18 school year, Nawayee Center School can continue our innovative experiential learning programs, including:

  • Indigenous language and life-ways education that includes rice harvesting, sweat lodges, drum making, and Native crafts to help develop and strengthen cultural pride.
  •  A Healthy Choices program that provides nutritious meals, health education, an on-site community garden, exercise opportunities, and health screenings to combat the diabetic epidemic in the Native American community early on.
  • The Children of the Seventh Fire, which is an Ojibwe prophecy that urges us to wake up and reclaim our children, that offers support and gender specific programs focused on family dynamics, parenting, positive sexual health, gender roles, leadership development, mentoring, internships and employment readiness. 
  • Adventure learning through a wide range of outdoor hands-on activities that include: science lessons, visits to historically significant Native American sites, and challenging physical education opportunities like rock climbing, bicycling, canoe trips, hiking, and urban youth expeditions through Outward Bound.

As a non-profit organization working to build a strong community of Native youth in the Twin Cities metro, we rely on acts of generosity and kindness for our school to survive and thrive. Thank you for your support and interest in Nawayee Center School!

© 2018 GiveMN | A registered 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization.