IPTF’s new home, Mikwanedun Audisookon, a center for Art and Wellness, will care for our earth, strengthen our bodies, and grow our spirits.
For over a quarter of a century the Indigenous Peoples Task Force has been vital to Native Americans’ ability to access traditional and western medical services. Our programs improve the quality of life for our clients, families, and communities. We provide programs addressing women’s health, tobacco cessation, and childhood diabetes, as well as culturally appropriate programs to prevent further transmission of HIV - programs that include both education and direct services. IPTF weaves theater, experiential learning and traditional arts and crafts into its work, especially in programs designed for Indigenous youth.
Why a new home for IPTF?
Mikwanedun Audisookon means "remember our teachings" in Ojibwe. The new Center will allow IPTF to bring all its art and wellness programs under one roof, expand its nutrition and youth theatre programs, and create new opportunities for Native youth in the arts and green economy. It will give us greater capacity to continue the healing traditions that have been passed down through the generations, providing an urban sanctuary where body, mind, and spirit can become whole through time-honored indigenous culture and practice. This will not just be a building created of bricks and mortar, but a community gathering place built from dreams and inspiration. The culmination of a vision held for over 10 years, Mikwanedun Audisookon will be built on property adjacent to our current Minneapolis home at 13th Avenue South and East 23rd Street in the Phillips neighborhood, where one can find Manidoowahdak Odena, our 14-unit permanent family housing for people living with HIV/AIDS or other disabilities.
Caring for the Earth
This new building will be made of compressed earth blocks, powered by a solar panel array, and heated and cooled by the earth via a geo thermal system. Training in cutting edge green building technologies — largely inaccessible for Indigenous peoples, people of color and low-income people living in Minneapolis — will be provided.
Strengthening our Bodies
We believe that food is life medicine. Feeding people a good breakfast and healthy lunch will be possible - made with foods grown in the community gardens and prepared in our commercial kitchen. Our wellness work with individuals and families will be strengenthened by increasing the capacity of our clinical facilities.
Growing our Spirits
This Center will house a theater for the Ikidowin Youth Theater Ensemble, one of the oldest ongoing Native theater groups in the United States. A shop and studio will host visiting artists and craftspeople who share their knowledge with our community. Our gallery will exhibit the work of aspiring Native artists. A healing room will be available to those in search of calm space for reflection or the meditative work of beading and quilting.
Teaching our youth and adults traditional tribal carving, basketry, box making -- whatever they wish to learn – is essential to their sense of belonging, identity and purpose.
A Place for Everyone
Though IPTF programs are based in Native values and ways of knowing, they are open to youth and adults of all backgrounds. Mikwanedun Audisookon Center for Art and Wellness will provide safe space where anyone can restore and renew their relationship with each other and the environment.
Mikwanedun Audisookon will represent a $3.5M capital investment in the Phillips neighborhood, with ongoing program and job training investments of approximately $360,000 annually — a significant and long-term contribution toward the health, cultural vitality, and economic growth and stability of the Native American and South Minneapolis communities.