Among many indigenous peoples, women played a central, important role in their communities. As life givers, women looked after the well being of the community. Women addressed unmet community needs and were viewed as the heart of indigenous societies.
The American Indian Community Housing Organization (AICHO) is a Duluth, Minnesota nonprofit organization established in 1993. AICHO grew out of a collective vision of Native American women in the Duluth community who saw a need for having a culturally specific organization to respond to social issues impacting American Indians, such as violence against women, poverty, and homelessness. Today, AICHO is the only provider of culturally specific housing and services in Northeast Minnesota.
Since its inception, AICHO developed a range of programming, including a domestic violence shelter, transitional housing, scattered-site supportive housing, on-site supportive housing, advocacy, and cultural activities. Although traditional Native American culture and practices are incorporated in all programs, AICHO serves all persons in need.
AICHO’s operating philosophy is that every American Indian woman and child deserves to live in a safe, non-threatening environment and should be treated with dignity and respect.
Honoring the resiliency of Native American people, AICHO’s vision is to strengthen our community by centering indigenous values in all aspects of our work. Our programs show our dedication to our vision and to the Native Americans living in Northern Minnesota.
- Dabinoo 'Igan - Domestic Violence Shelter) a place where you are safe, comforted and sheltered"
- Oshki Odaadiziwini Waaka 'Igan - (Transitional Housing Program) "a place where we dream of new beginnings"
- The Giiwe Mobile Team - "he or she comes home"
- Gimaajii Mino Bimaadizimin - (Supportive Housing) “we are, together, beginning a new life"
- Gimaajii Gathering Place - (Duluth's first Urban Indian Center)