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 expansion of the Gimaajii Healthy Children’s Initiative, a program for children ages 5-12, through the addition of health-based activities involving exercise and nutrition. The expansion will create additional curriculum to engage youth more deeply, based on growing and harvesting culturally based medicinal plants and food. AICHO makes use of a health intervention curriculum developed collaboratively with residents. It is culturally based and guided by staff with knowledge of the native spiritual value of food. The program is engaging for the children, teaching them about healthy food by growing it and preparing it themselves, and by going on culturally based field trips such as maple sugar and wild rice harvesting.