American Indian Community Housing Organization

Focus Area: Youth Development

Grant Amount: $15,000

Located in Duluth. Established in 1993, AICHO is a housing organization supporting previously homeless Native American families and those experiencing domestic violence. Led by Indigenous women, it is based in Indigenous values, especially the Ojibwe culture of local tribal communities.

Grant supports the Gimaajii Healthy Families Initiative, a youth food and gardening program for children ages 5-12 and their families, building on programming that engages youth in curriculum based on growing and harvesting culturally based medicinal plants and food. It operates 5 days a week with a schedule of weekly gardening, maintenance activities, cooking, and academic support. This program is deeply culturally based and guided by staff with knowledge of the Native spiritual value of food. AICHO prefers to describe this program as “healing centered” rather than “trauma informed,” as it helps to give support and identity to Native youth facing many challenges.