Native American community gathers to get out to vote in Minneapolis

People gathered at the American Indian Opportunities Industrialization Center in Minneapolis for a get out the vote event for Native Americans. (FOX 9)

With only days left, Minnesota’s Native American community is making sure people get out to vote.

Friday on the grounds of the American Indian Opportunities Industrialization Center, there was a push to get Native people to the Early Voting Center. People gathered to celebrate voting with food and ceremonial drumming and later traveled together to the center to vote. To many who attended, voting is surviving.

“What this community has endured from the heinous murder of George Floyd to the complete abject failure of the federal government to manage the pandemic,” said Joe Hobot, president and CEO of the American Indian Opportunities Industrialization Center. “Our community has been disproportionally impacted by COVID-19. All of this is resonating with our people that we need to act, we need to get out and vote and voting is a way of flexing our muscle and exercising our power.”

For Lakota drummer Daryl Morano, the call of the drums this day beat the rhythm of a call to vote.

“The opening song is more like a welcoming song for everybody to come and stuff,” said Morano. “It’s really important to be voting for somebody that’s standing up for everybody.”

For Megan Bartel, the stakes in this election are high.

“It’s just more extreme than some of the past ones in my memory,” said Bartel. “And therefore it’s maybe more critical despite that every election is very important.”