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Update on the Reclaiming Mni Sota Indigenous Writers Grant: New Direction and Continued Commitment

Update on the Reclaiming Mni Sota Indigenous Writers Grant: New Direction and Continued Commitment

Dear Donors, Supporters, and Friends,

I want to update you on the Reclaiming Mni Sota Indigenous Writers Grant. Launched on June 15 last year, this initiative aimed to support one Indigenous writer from Minnesota with a $10,000 grant, connected to my novel Reclaiming Mni Sota: An Alternate History of the U.S. – Dakota War of 1862. It was part of a broader effort to address a history of inequality.

Despite facing criticism from some Native American community members, we pressed on, believing in the positive impact of the novel and the grant. Thanks to you, we raised $6,467 by the end of the fundraising period. However, there were no applicants for the grant. As a result, we donated the funds to Indigenous Nations Poets, who later returned the donation, stating only, “We’re returning this money because we’re uncomfortable with the manner and circumstances under which it was collected.”

Respecting their stance, my Native colleague Michael AmikoGaabaw Loso and I looked for another recipient. I’m pleased to say that after speaking directly with their chief financial officer, the American Indian Community Development Corporation (AICDC) in Minneapolis has agreed to accept the funds. While AICDC isn’t focused on literature, it does crucial work with housing and homelessness for Native communities.

Before making the donation, I’ll reach out to each donor about this change and offer a refund if preferred. Then, on Monday, February 12, I’ll donate any remaining funds to AICDC.

Thank you for your support. Although things didn’t go as planned, I’m confident these funds will still benefit Native Americans in Minnesota. This experience has been educational, and I’m committed to honoring our shared history and supporting Native communities now and in the future.

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