Minneapolis, Red Lake Nation agree to transfer city land for addiction services

The City of Minneapolis has announced a plan to give two parcels of city owned land back to the Red Lake Nation. 

Mayor Jacob Frey and the Minneapolis City Council have partnered with Red Lake Nation to find a way forward to help the ongoing addiction that strongly effects the Red Lake Nation people. 

The first step, according to Frey, is to give back this land to Red Lake Nation to build an opioid treatment center. 

Darrell Seki, Chairman of the Red Lake Nation, said Red Lake purchased the land for two dollars.

"We didn’t want to be given the land, we wanted to buy it on behalf of the Red Lake Nation people, it’s all for the people," Seki said. 

City Council President Andrea Jenkins stated that giving the land back is just the beginning of the work to help the homeless population in the city, specifically homeless Red Lake Nation people. 

The land was going to be developed for a multi-unit affordable housing by Sherman Associates, which never came to fruition. It has since laid vacant for over a decade, according to Frey. The city then purchased the land back in February 2023.

According to city and Red Lake leaders, the goal for the land is to create a new cultural center for the Red Lake people in Minneapolis. People working on the project want to provide culturally specific services, including a community healing garden that would host sacred ceremonial services which will add to the cultural richness and wellness of the neighborhood.

Long term plans for the land include the development of the properties into a healing/opioid treatment center that may include housing. 

The building is currently being renovated by an all-Indigenous crew and is going to be finished by mid-November, according to Cheri Goodwin, Executive Director of Ombindwaa Gidinawemaaganinaadog (Red Lake Nation). 

Red Lake Nation is currently engaged with the State of Minnesota in fundraising for the long-term redevelopment plan.