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2017 Tours

Immigrant Stories: A Walking Tour of Eat Street

Friday, October 6, 5:30 to 7:00
Tour will begin at Nicollet Avenue and 29th Street; public transportation available
Ticket price: $25

Running from downtown Minneapolis to the Minnesota River and beyond, Nicollet Avenue is a major thoroughfare and commercial corridor. In 1997, a one-mile stretch Nicollet south of downtown became known as “Eat Street” in recognition of its diverse ethnic restaurants and markets. These immigrant-owned businesses served as engines of revitalization in an area of the city that had been plagued by problems stemming from the closing of Nicollet Avenue at Lake Street, declining property values, and street crime. Combined with the efforts of neighborhood activists and the Minneapolis Neighborhood Revitalization Program, immigrant entrepreneurs turned Eat Street into a culinary destination that has attracted visitors from across the country.

On this walking tour, you will learn about the history of Eat Street through the stories of immigrant business owners who have participated in the Eat Street Oral History Project. We will start and end at 29th Street, the site of a Kmart that was built on top of Nicollet Avenue in 1977, diverting traffic from the avenue and raising the ire of local residents and business owners. Tour stops include a Mexican bakery, a Vietnamese market, the site of a former Middle Eastern café, and German, Greek, Chinese, and Vietnamese restaurants. The tour will be led by Kim Heikkila of Spotlight Oral History and Joey Whitesman of the Whitter Alliance neighborhood association. After the tour, you will have time for dinner on your own at an Eat Street restaurant.


“On the Avenue”: Franklin Avenue, Minneapolis’ American Indian Cultural Corridor
Saturday, October 7, 12:45 to 3:00 PM
Meet in the hotel lobby — transportation provided by school bus
Ticket price:  $25

The greater Minneapolis/Saint Paul metropolitan area is home to at least half the Native American population in the state of Minnesota. Much of this population is concentrated in and around Franklin Avenue in south Minneapolis. Simply called “the Avenue” by Twin Cities Native Americans, Franklin Avenue is considered the heart of the vibrant neighborhood also known as Minneapolis’ American Indian Cultural Corridor. A short distance south of downtown Minneapolis, the Franklin Avenue neighborhood became home to large numbers of Native Americans displaced during the federal relocation programs of the 1950s and 60s and has since remained an important neighborhood and gathering space for Native people.

Many “firsts” happened here, including the founding of the American Indian Movement (AIM), the development of one of the oldest American Indian Centers in the country, the origin of the first urban American Indian health clinic, and the creation of the first American Indian preference housing project. These organizations are still around today. In addition, “The Avenue” features Native-run coffee shops and restaurants, art galleries, a gift shop with many Native-made items; the AIM Interpretive Center; and the Minneapolis American Indian Center.

On this tour, you will learn about the history of this neighborhood and experience its richness.  We will walk and/or bus to sites such as All My Relations Art Gallery, Pow Wow Grounds coffee shop, the Native American Community Development Institute (NACDI), the Franklin Avenue Library (to view Robert DesJarlait’s mosaic Red Lake); the Minneapolis American Indian Center and Northland Visions Native Art and Fine Gifts.

Tour Guide Colleen Casey (Mdewakanton Dakota descent) is a teacher, writer, historian and co-facilitator of the local writing group TGI Frybread .  Her grandmother came to the neighborhood from Shakopee, Minnesota, as a young woman, and her mother grew up in the neighborhood. Her Dakota side of the family has a long history in the area.

Historic St. Paul Pub Crawl

Saturday, October 7, 1:00 to 4:00 PM
Meet in hotel lobby — transportation provided by charter bus
Ticket price: $50

Seek out new go-to brews and learn about St. Paul’s hoppy past on this three-hour tour with samples, conversations and hidden gems along the way. The tour includes a behind-the-scenes look at the Schmidt Brewery Complex, now Schmidt Artist Lofts, with one of Schmidt’s last brewmasters, Phil Gagne, as well as tours and tastings at Flat Earth Brewing and Summit Brewing.

This tour is for ages 21 and up. The tour includes transportation via charter bus and no more than two blocks of moderately paced walking on uneven surfaces. Please contact OHA should you need to make arrangements for  limited mobility. The registration deadline for this workshop is September 1. If we do not reach the tour minimum, your fee will be refunded.