Minneapolis, MN — In recognition of winning a 2019 Bush Prize for Community Innovation, this grant will advance the organization’s charitable mission of empowering American Indian women and families while advocating for justice and equity
Minnesota Indian Women's Resource Center (MIWRC) builds hope, health and cultural prosperity for Native women and their families. MIWRC delivers lifesaving programs and leads vital systems change at the local and national levels. It was one of the first agencies in the country to provide gender-based, culturally specific programming developed by and for American Indian women.
MIWRC roots its work in traditional Indigenous values and a deep understanding of the historical trauma of settler colonization and urban relocation. A powerful advocate for its community, MIWRC works responsively, understanding that rapid intervention can mean the difference between life and death for women experiencing family violence, substance addiction, mental health issues, homelessness and commercial sexual exploitation.
In 2018, MIWRC partnered with several Native organizations to respond swiftly and effectively to the grave conditions in a Minneapolis encampment of nearly 200 predominantly Native people experiencing homelessness. MIWRC built public understanding of the situation and partnered with government agencies to effectively address the crisis. As a result of MIWRC's leadership, the City of Minneapolis adjusted its housing budget to better address the needs of the Native community.
On the national level, MIWRC has influenced the federal government's definition of domestic violence and improved services by helping remove silos between federal domestic violence and sexual violence agencies.