Division of Indian Work

Focus Area: Youth Development

Grant Amount: $15,000

Based in Minneapolis, serves the metro area. Established more than 66 years ago, DIW is a Native-led organization serving urban American Indian people with a variety of programs based in culture and traditional healing practices. Previously part of the Greater Minneapolis Council of Churches, DIW separated in 2016 and finalized its own 501(c)(3) status in 2018. For the past 5 years, DIW has hosted a Children’s Defense Fund Freedom School based in Native American culture at its building on East Lake Street in the Phillips neighborhood of Minneapolis.

Grant supports developing an alternative to the Freedom School programming to be used for summer youth programming. DIW is developing a plan using some of the Children’s Defense Fund literacy curricula and supplementing it with culturally based programming and STEM curricula. DIW has been responding to the Covid-19 crisis by providing food for the community, especially elders, and delivering programs such as the summer youth programming virtually.