Monday marked Indigenous People's Day. May we never forget those whose cultures, peoples, spirit and religions first transformed this sacred land. This year for the first time ever we have a President who honors Indigenous People's Day with a presidential proclamation.
On this day, some people celebrate the first point of contact between the Indigenous people of the Americas with the first white settlers from Spain, Portugal or France and other European countries. And yet, on this day we also celebrate the strength of the very people who were first here - whose wisdom we must honor, whose traditions persevered despite centuries of warfare, oppression and suppression. On Indigenous People's Day, we go back to the Earth and we honor the roots of our resilience.
Wakan Tipi is an important place in our community, and I was honored to have had the opportunity to celebrate the first phase of construction with neighbors, advocates, and colleagues.
The Wakan Tipi is sacred because leaders of the community chose to safeguard it in its rightful place. This nation finds itself after a year of protest and racial reckoning with the issues of teaching real history in our schools. If we want to have those honest conversations, then those conversations start here. We can talk about how we have thrived despite our conditions. We can talk about how our Indigenous brothers and sisters are not erased from history even after centuries of attempts to do so. On Monday, we honored them as we honor ourselves. We remembered that when we invest in leaders of color and in their communities, they can help bring about transformational change.
My own people, the Hmong people, were once indigenous to a foreign land too. And over centuries we have been persecuted from one part of the globe to another. We stand here today and we may not all be Indigenous to this land, but that doesn't mean that at one point our own ancestors were also not first people's people on first people's land. We can still find great love, strength, courage, community, and resilience in coming together for each other. I want to thank everyone from local officials to my state legislative peers that have made this day possible.
As the Delta variant runs rampant across the state, hospital capacity is running out, and medical professionals are asking for Minnesotans’ help in curbing the spread. Getting a vaccine is effective, safe, and decreases the risk of hospitalization. It’s the best way we can show each other we care about our older loved ones, children who aren’t old enough to get a vaccine yet, and our neighbors with autoimmune disorders who are at higher risk of contracting the virus.
It’s hard to imagine the possibility of not being able to access critical emergency services at a hospital in a time when we might need it most, but the threat is real and dangerous. Governor Walz just announced today a COVID-19 action plan to help relieve Minnesota’s increasingly crowded hospitals. Please contact your doctor with any questions and get vaccinated to protect yourself and others in our community and state.
How Minnesotans can get their free shot:
How Minnesotans can get a free COVID-19 test:
DEED Announces Main Street Economic Revitalization Grant Recipients
This week, the Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) announced the partners for the first round of the Main Street Economic Revitalization Program. This new $80 million statewide economic redevelopment program we passed in the legislature, distributed through two rounds of applications, will award grants to partner organizations to establish programs within specific communities that will, in turn, fund economic development and redevelopment projects.The first round of grants will award up to $39,850,000 to organizations across Minnesota. I’m pleased to share the Saint Paul and Minnesota Foundation is a recipient and will be awarded $8,960,000.
The Saint Paul & Minnesota Foundation is community foundation that collaborates with communities across Minnesota in identifying, convening around and advocating for critical issues that affect the world today. Their project will provide grants to business in the Snelling-University-Rice Cultural district, East Side and West Seventh commercial corridors to support economic recovery from the impacts of social unrest and the COVID-19 outbreak.
Keep in Touch
Next week, the House Capital Investment Committee is traveling to Southwest Minnesota to see and hear from local residents about public infrastructure investments they’d like state assistance with. I’ll be on the road, but please don’t hesitate to contact me anytime at email@example.com with questions or input. You can also call my office at 651-296-4201 if you need assistance.
Thanks for the honor of serving our Eastside community in Minnesota’s capital city. I appreciate the opportunity to continue our work together.
Great to connect with Eastside Somali athletes!