The Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe, the Northwest Indian Community Development Center and Red Lake Comprehensive Services were recently awarded new health equity grants for early education.
According to the release from the Minnesota Department of Health, the Community Solutions for Healthy Child Development grant program allows members of American Indian communities and communities of color to play a leading role in selecting grantees based on needs identified in their communities.
The goals of the program include improving child development outcomes, reduce racial disparities in children’s health and development, and promote racial and geographic equity.
“With the Community Solutions fund, we are charting new territory,” said Betty Emarita, the Community Solutions Advisory Council co-chair.
“Intentional learning between the public sector and communities of color and American Indian communities can lead to equitable, new growth in the real economy – an essential foundation for healthy, thriving children and families. Over 25% of Minnesota millennials are people of color and American Indian, as are nearly a third of Minnesota children ages 4 and under.”
The Minnesota Legislature made the funding available after community organizing and advocacy efforts by groups such as Voices and Choices for Children, which works closely with organizations and people across various public and private sectors to prioritize the voices of organizations, advocates and parents of color and American Indians.
“We are excited about this partnership that puts the know-how and decision making of American Indian and communities of color front and center in our efforts to close racial inequities and give all children a healthy start,” said Minnesota Commissioner of Health Jan Malcolm.
The program will award $1.5 million each year through fiscal year 2023.