Native American Community Development Institute (NACDI)
The Native American Community Development Institute (NACDI) is building economic momentum in the local American Indian community.
The Twin Cities American Indian community lags behind most other ethnic groups in the metropolitan region on many indicators of well-being, including income, educational attainment, homeownership and health status. Currently, there are more than 30 different American Indian non-profits in the metro area working to address these issues in the community. Like non-Native organizations, they often work separately, without collaboration and common vision. NACDI is bringing Native organizations together in a community-led, asset-based approach to building social and economic power and advancing social equity.
NACDI focuses on sustainable development in economic sectors that have high job growth potential and opportunities for asset development: land and housing, entertainment and media, health and wellness, and arts and culture. NACDI’s multi-pronged approach to building a vibrant and sustainable community combines training and education, research, economic and entrepreneurial development and workforce initiatives, homeownership, wealth development and stability; and technology capacity building.
Only four years old, NACDI has already recruited the first American Indian-owned bank to open a branch on Franklin Avenue, established a Community Organizing and Leadership Institute, opened the only American Indian contemporary fine arts gallery in the region, facilitated a Tribal/Urban American Indian Investment Summit and facilitated the creation of a Community Blueprint that defines a vision for the future of the urban American Indian community of the Twin Cities.
American Indian people have long valued visioning and planning. The concept and practice of looking seven generations into the future requires careful reflection and consideration before action. Decisions are not made just for this moment, but must consider those who will follow.
NACDI understands that this work needs the energy and alignment of the whole community to succeed. According to staff member Daniel Yang, NACDI’s success to date is a result of “engaging and respecting the American Indian community, understanding what is needed and creating solutions, and developing strategies and projects that support culturally appropriate transformation and community growth.“