As one of the major hubs of urban Native activism in Minneapolis, American Indian OIC ensures the community is ready to go for the 2022 election.
By focusing on community-based events over the last few months, they’ve brought people together to learn about the election. These gatherings had raffles, speakers, food from Native organizations, and have worked closely with Make Voting in Tradition, which is another member of the Democracy is Indigenous Cohort in Minneapolis.
“The whole purpose of these events is to talk about how important it is to vote during the mid-terms ” Stephanie Nick, the Director of Takoda Stability at OIC. “Too many people just focus on the presidential election so we need to make sure everyone knows how important this upcoming election can be.”
OIC also hosted a popular National Voter Registration Day event, with high-profile guests such as Peggy Flanagan, Minnesota’s Lieutenant Governor and an enrolled member for the White Earth Nation. This celebration also included food and prizes for those that attended, which helped draw people from around the city to learn about the importance of the election.
OIC also provides educational opportunities through the Takoda Institute and has been working to integrate its civic engagement messaging into that as well.
One point of pride for OIC over the last few weeks has been having people speak with their community about the election and introducing a new style of candidate.
“You can see the excitement, we’ve been having more indigenous candidates running and people that voters can relate to,” says Nick. “These are normal people, not lifetime politicians. They’re people they know from the community and it’s inspiring to see.”
Over the final stretch, OIC is ensuring they keep the conversation focused on getting people to the polls.
“We’ve been doing so much talking about why voting is important but now we are shifting into getting people to the polls,” says Nick. “We’re working with our unhoused population, helping them get to the polls, and going to the places where people are wto make sure they can vote.”