NACDI was a contract partner of Friends of the Falls and together we jointly led community engagement for The Falls Initiative.
The Falls Initiative is an opportunity to transform the heart of Minneapolis’ Central Riverfront from a deactivated, concrete lock and largely inaccessible green space into an iconic destination honoring both Indigenous history and the beauty of Owámniyomni itself.
Friends of the Falls and NACDI developed and convened the Native Partnership Council (NPC) as a channel to share stories about Owámniyomni to consider this place from an Indigenous perspective, and set guiding principles for the project.
In 2022, Friends of the Falls and NACDI hosted an intensive period of public conversation informed by and interwoven with, the groundwork, priorities, and emerging themes laid out by the NPC. A series of five Community Conversations broadened the discussion, connected Native and non-Native communities, and aligned the priorities of multiple stakeholder groups while continuing to authentically center Native voices. The Partnership Council helped shape the format and content for each Community Conversation, and afterward, met to reflect on the public input. The Native Partnership Council authored a statement to encapsulate their first season of work, to affirm the engagement and design progress made to date, and to clearly define their vision for the Falls.
These ideas will continue to evolve based on Dakota Tribal leaders’ input and direction.