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Division of Indian Work

The Division of Indian Work (DIW) has been a key contributor to the Native community for more than 66 years. Our mission is to empower urban American Indians through culturally-based education, counseling, advocacy and leadership development. 




LEAP! 2019: Feeding Native Families, Empowering Native Youth

A REcap

LEAP! 2019 was a success! We're excited to say that this year we raised over $72,000 for our Horizon's Unlimited Food Shelf and Youth Leadership Development Program!

Our keynote speaker for the event was Lieutenant Governor Peggy Flanagan. WCCO reporter Reg Chapman was the Master of Ceremonies for the event, which featured a silent auction, live auction, Fund-A-Need Pledge opportunity and included a Native drum group and hoop dancers for entertainment.

Over 300 people attended this year's event, located at the International Market Square in Minneapolis.

Thank You to the many table hosts, guests, and volunteers, including our LEAP committee and LEAP chairs Marisa Carr and Janis Hardy, who helped make this year's event a major success.


New Program Announcement!

We are proud to share that we have started a section of Family Spirit and we welcome Takayla Lightfield as our health educator. 

For more information on the program visit Families.

To reach out to Takayla, visit our Staff Directory.


Native Women in Politics!

White Earth tribal member Peggy Flanagan and Red Lake Band member Donna Bergstrom have made the news for being running mates for a couple of very important political offices. It truly is great to see such wonderful representations of Native Women in politics.

For the fullnews story, click here >> https://www.mprnews.org/story/2018/08/20/native-american-women-making-political-strides-this-year

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Image property of smile.amazon.com.

Image property of smile.amazon.com.

New! Donate with Amazon Smile! 

If you use Amazon you can now donate .5% of eligible purchases to DIW! The process is simple: if you are a first time user of Amazon Smile, simply go to smile.amazon.com and you will be prompted to select an organization to receive donations. Type in "Division of Indian Work" and you're done! Now, whenever you make purchases on Amazon Smile (works on web browsers, not the mobile app), .5% will be donated to DIW. If you have used Amazon Smile before, you can change your preferred organization in your Amazon Smile settings and information page. Thanks!

More Ways to Donate



Welcome to our new tenant!

We would like to give a warm welcome to our new tenant Turtle Theater Collective. They will be joining our other tenants Hennepin County Human Services and Minnesota Indian Women's Resource Center on our second floor.  More →


Women of Traditional Birthing Create Hand Drums

On Thursday, June 14th, the Ninde Doulas participated in creating traditional hand drums. It was a great night and we are excited for the next step! Doulas will be learning songs to sing and teach the mothers and families. Thanks to all who joined us! More →


Freedom School 2018

Freedom School has begun! Beginning June 18th, 50 students began the 6 week program at Seward Montessori School. This free k-8 summer enrichment program provides academically supportive, culturally relevant, and experiential learning opportunities. More →


Tell it to the Judge

On May 30th DIW hosted it’s 3rd “Tell it to the Judge,” an event dedicated to bringing together the community and local judges in an informal conversation on how the current judicial system affects the local, urban Native community. This night had a focus of domestic violence and a recap of the results of previous "Tell it to the Judge" events.  More →


Bdote Learning center celebrations

On April 21st, 2018 we celebrated with the Bdote Learning Center in a showcase of academic achievements and language acquisition. We would like to thank Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey for visiting the Bdote Learning Center and recognizing the efforts this school is doing to encourage language revitalization with his Proclamation of April 19th, 2018 as Indigenous Languages Day in the City of Minneapolis. Congratulations to all of the kids and families that were represented this night!


LEAP 2018 Recap

On February 26th, we held our third annual fundraising event LEAP: Feeding Families, Empowering Youth. We are excited to announce that we raised over $50,000 to help our HU Food Shelf and Youth Leadership Development Program! Thank you to all who came.   More →

Minnesota Monthly

May 1, 2017 - On February 27, the Division of Indian Work hosted the second annual LEAP benefit at the Metropolitan Club in Golden Valley. The Division empowers urban American Indians through education, counseling, advocacy, and leadership development. 
More →

LEAP 2017 Recap

February 27, 2017 - The Division of Indian Work (DIW)  is basking in the glow of a wonderful evening of giving and sharing at our LEAP benefit on February 27.  Over three hundred people enjoyed the food and drink, visited with old friends...and made new connections... while enjoying the beautiful ambiance at the Metropolitan. More →


20th AnNual Elders Picnic 

Sept. 22, 2016 - Today's Elders Picnic at Minnehaha Park was a huge success! A big thanks to Thrivent Financial's Action Team for providing us with gift bags for elders in support of our Health Services. Highlights included a Wisdom Steps Walk, music, free lunch, door prizes, raffle, activities, memorial honoring and more! Thank you everyone! More →


Aug. 29, 2016 - We threw a garden party to celebrate the 675 lbs of produce we've harvested from the Woju Wakan garden this summer in partnership with Minnesota FoodShare and volunteers! The free farmers market has featured everything from watermelons and raspberries to sage, squash, tomatoes, and fresh mint. More →


Aug. 25, 2016 - On behalf of DIW and it's board members, we extend a VERY big thank you to the Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community (SMSC) for their challenge grant of $65,000 which includes the installation of solar panels. Through partnerships and collaborations such as this, environmental stewardship activities, and charitable giving, SMSC seeks to embody Dakota values each day. More →

American Indian Freedom School 

American Indian Freedom Schools is wrapping up our 2nd Freedom School summer today.  In partnership with Children's Defense Fund-MN, DIW hosts the nation's first American Indian-focused school during the months of June and July. More →

Horizons Unlimited Farmers Market

Division of Indian Work's Horizons Unlimited food shelf and Minnesota FoodShare are joining forces this summer to offer FREE farmers markets every Wednesday from 12:30pm - 2:30pm as an extension of the DIW food shelf Horizons Unlimited. Horizons Unlimited (HU) addresses hunger by providing the only culturally-sensitive food shelf in the west metro serving the urban American Indian population. More →