A Minneapolis police officer has been charged with the murder of George Floyd. But in the four days between Floyd’s death and the charges, anger and frustration took over many streets and neighborhoods. Hundreds of buildings burned to the ground and among them was the new office space of a beloved Native non-profit, Migizi.
“I don’t know the story of when it ultimately caught fire but I think it was because there was a building right next to it that caught fire,” said Rhiana Yazzie, the artistic director of New Native Theater
As soon as she saw the news on Facebook, she started a fundraiser to help Executive Director Kelly Drummer rebuild. As of Friday afternoon, more than a thousand donations had poured in. Migizi is a youth development and community-building organization that celebrates Native culture and autonomy.
“Looks like Little Earth is fine. There were many residents, of course an American Indian Movement Patrol was out there, many residents, Native people in the community were out there patrolling all night,” said Yazzie “There were a lot of people who put up sign to say this is Native American organization things like that, asking people to spare our places.”
And community places – including many that stepped up during the pandemic – have been spared. In Saint Paul the new youth shelter Mni Oshi Ain Dah Yung withstood the anger and violence that damaged many buildings along University Avenue.
The Metropolitan Urban Indian Directors are meeting to figure out the best way forward for community-serving nonprofits that were already struggling because of the pandemic.