AICHO Posts

Selective Focus: Indigenous First Art and Gift Shop

Located in the AICHO building at 202 W. 2nd St. in downtown Duluth, Indiginous First opened in 2017, and has been promoting and investing in Indigenous artists and entrepreneurs through their physical space, and now through their online store. This week, Jazmin Wong, coordinator for Indiginous First, discusses the mission guiding the shop, challenges and adaptations due to COVID-19, and a new CSA partnership to bring farm fresh foods to Duluth and Superior.

JW: We sell quality gifts and goods with a mission of advancing, promoting, and investing in Indigenous and diverse artists, authors, agriculturalist and entrepreneurs! Indigenous First is a continuously expanding social enterprise run by the American Indian Community Housing Organization (AICHO) in Duluth, MN. Our doors opened in July 2017!

Duluth’s First Public Mural by and for Indigenous Artists

Artist Votan Ik of NSRGNTS stands before the nearly completed mural.

To me, it’s rather astounding to think that Duluth has been without indigenous representation for this long. I imagine people from all over the world have been visiting Duluth as tourists and have only gotten to see one side of this place, unaware of the precolonial history that it’s tied to. This mural is a long-awaited step toward reaffirming our presence as indigenous people. It’s unapologetically native — an unmistakable vision that grew into fruition along the stretch of West Second Street, firmly declaring the presence of a people long pushed to the side from mainstream narratives.

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