Our Executive Director, Patina Park, sent this open letter of thanks to Senator Franken for his most recent contribution to our agency. The Star Tribune has a story about the gift
Today on Indigenous Peoples Day and on behalf of the Minnesota Indian Women's Resource Center (MIWRC), I wish to extend my gratitude to Senator Al Franken for his generous contribution on Friday, October 6th. Senator Franken has been a long-time champion for Native American governments and people, both on and off the reservations, in urban and rural, and particularly in developing solutions to end the violence that has affected our women and girls. Senator Franken has taken the time to listen to us explain the problems affecting our families and to support our solutions, rather than creating solutions himself. MIWRC considers him a deeply trusted ally and our relative.
On Friday, October 6th we were approached by the Senator's staff to inquire whether we would accept a donation from the Senator. Though we are aware of the controversy surrounding Harvey Weinstein, and the fact that this money came from political contributions made by him, we do not believe that this gift from the Senator is tainted by that controversy. The gift will be used to provide funding for programming which is focused on empowering our mothers and their families and providing opportunities to heal from the trauma that our community has experienced for many generations. We believe a gift given to us with a good heart is a gift that carries good. Senator Franken has consistently shown us that he has a good heart and we are grateful for his gift
We are not deaf to the actions of Mr. Weinstein. We are deeply saddened by the stories that are now coming forward and send out our prayers to those who were harmed by his actions. We hope they all can find the healing they need and know in their hearts that they did nothing to deserve what happened to them, and they are all worthy of respect and honor. We also pray for Mr. Weinstein that he can accept responsibility for the harm he has caused and take actions to heal himself. He cannot undo what he has already admitted to doing, but he can stop himself from causing any further trauma.
Wopila Tanka Senator Franken for your gift and for your efforts to raise Indigenous issues at both the local and national levels. You are truly a trusted friend.
MINNESOTA INDIAN WOMEN'S RESOURCE CENTER
October 6th, 2017