August 23, 2010

First urban Indian destination

Franklin Avenue plan would create urban Indian cultural corridor

By Rupa ShenoyOrange banners that say "American Indian cultural corridor" recently went up along a small stretch of Franklin Avenue in Minneapolis. They're the first step in a project that organizers hope will change the street's tough reputation, and make it a national attraction.

The goal is to re-brand the traditional heart of the city's Native American community as a place where both Indians and tourists can enjoy Native American food, art, and culture.
And:Huenemann brought community members together to create a blueprint for a new Franklin Avenue, with sculpture- and tree-lined streets, Indian-owned boutiques and restaurants, and a planetarium that focuses on indigenous cosmology.

People arriving by car, bike or light rail might see a play at an American Indian theater or stay at an Indian-owned hotel. Along the way they may pass a pow-wow in a park or a new school for Indian youth. They could also stop in at Indian cafes, where elders gather to tell stories.

"That is what, in essence, we're sort of thinking about--little Italy, Chinatown," he said. "This would be the first we know of--the first urban Indian destination corridor in the country."
Comment:  For more on Native tourism, see Aboriginal Kiosk at Tourism Center and Tahlequah as Art Destination.

Below:  "A view of the one-mile stretch of Franklin Avenue in Minneapolis that organizers hope to turn into the country's first Indian cultural corridor." (MPR Photo/Rupa Shenoy)

1 comment:

Rob said...

Giishnasi-dood miknoot wrote:

"Is this a sincere attempt to better Minneapolis' NDN community, or is it just the re-branding of a Red Ghetto? How much of the real estate in the Franklin Ave. area is actually NDN-owned? Are the NDN-owned businesses to only be conducive to tourism? Will the Red Lake Embassy have anything to do with this community/project? Are other Minnesota tribes backing this idea? These are questions I'd love to see answered."

Your guess is as good as mine. The only info I have is in the article.

For more on the subject, see First Mural in Cultural Corridor.