Nawayee Center School

A nonprofit organization

$3,580 raised by 6 donors

14% complete

$25,000 Goal


Our mission is to provide a transformative education, grounded in indigenous life-ways and a love of learning. The school enrolls, re-engages and graduates Native American youth. Most Nawayee students are disconnected from both education and from employment when they come to our door. Creating our own school curriculum and taking control over education offers us a rare chance to develop education systems that honor Native history, culture, and teaching practices and provide a shelter from the systemic de-culturalization of our children.


Nawayee Center School began as a drop-in center for at-risk native youth in the Phillips neighborhood and in 1974 became an educational institution serving grades 7-12 as a contract alternative school within the Minneapolis Public School system. The school is currently housed in the East Phillips neighborhood of Minneapolis in a building that hosted many of the early meetings of the American Indian Movement.

With over 44 years of experience serving thousands of students, we believe it is the school’s great challenge and honor to take in the children who have been abandoned by other systems and work with them to find the resources for a fresh start. Support for our students with needs that range from diabetes/medical screenings, trouble-shooting attendance issues because of family issues related to drugs, alcohol, abuse and homelessness, to navigating post graduation planning. 

How Your Contribution Helps

Center School is undergoing many exciting changes and improvements in both our programming and our physical spaces. In the past few months alone, we have:

-Begun work on a birchbark canoe

-Planted Native medicines in our garden

-Gathered and prepared poles for our new school tipi

-Constructed a hoop house with the help of urban agriculture icon Will Allen

-Welcomed new staff members with a focus on cultural teachings, including art and Ojibwe language

-Begun repairs on our cafeteria, which had undergone water damage this summer

We are all very excited about the momentum we are gaining as we recover from these challenging times that have affected so many schools. Your contribution will help us in sustaining our current programming as well as future projects and activities we have been discussing which include, but are not limited to:

-Commercializing our kitchen to allow for partnerships with Native chefs and food organizations

-Repair and care for our historic building

-Intercontinental exchanges with Native schools in Australia and New Zealand

Center School and its students are grateful for the investment in the hundreds of students that have walked through its doors over the past year from our community and donors like you!

Organization Data


Organization name

Nawayee Center School

Tax id (EIN)



Arts & Culture Education Environment Children & Family Community Economic Development


2421 Bloomington Ave
Minneapolis, MN 55404


612721 1655

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