MINNEAPOLIS (FOX 9) - The City of Minneapolis is ready to give a western Minnesota tribe two parcels of land in the East Philips neighborhood with the goal of tackling opioid abuse.
The Red Lake Nation would be the recipient of the vacant land on Bloomington Avenue.
They were the first tribe to open a retail cannabis business in August and when FOX 9 visited, and said they’d use the profits to address addiction issues.
Leaders are already renovating a building next door to the vacant land where they’ll provide "uplifting our relatives" services – the equivalent of family and children services, focused on culturally-specific treatment.
A Native woman in the audience for the land transfer announcement thanked them because she says she’s lost seven relatives to opioids, and she thinks this could help.
Tribal leaders emphasized that addicted and unhoused Native Americans are not to be forgotten.
"When we forget these people, we lose our place in the cycle of life, and it impacts us all," said Red Lake Tribal Secretary Samuel Strong. "And we get that here in Minneapolis, one of the most progressive cities. They want to help our native people, and they don’t want to just help, they want to be a partner."
Red Lake also hopes to expand onto the city’s land with community gardens and possibly housing at some point.
The city owned the land for most of the last 30 years, and it’s been vacant for a lot of that time.
This isn’t a done deal, though, until the Minneapolis City Council votes on the land transfer next Tuesday.