Michael Goze (Ho-Chunk) has been selected as the new President and CEO of the American Indian Community Develop-ment Corporation in Minneapolis. The appointment is part of a larger transition for the organization.
Goze has a long history of service in the Native American community and Phillips neighborhood. “My last three offices were right here on Franklin Avenue,” Goze said. “So I think we’ll have a fairly seamless transition.”
Goze has worked in real estate and in chemical health and dependency.
He was a past director of Mission Lodge in Plymouth and a chemical
health counselor for Hennepin County. He was worked at the American
Indian Center, and the Lifeskills Center for Leadership. He believes
his background will serve as a solid foundation for meeting AICDC
objectives, which provides culturally unique initiatives, housing, and
entrepreneurial programs to help strengthen American Indian
communities. Since 1991, it has developed several housing and chemical
Goze said his top priorities are to visit the continuous care and
chemical health areas and to address home ownership. “Home ownership is
a way to increase stability and economic development in the Native
community,” he said. He has a particular interest in providing safe
and affordable homes to special needs Native Americans and elders.
AICDC currently earns revenue from a variety of sources. “A large part
of the income comes from contracts for services,” he said.
“Approximately 5% of the total budget comes from competitive grants.”
Goze said he hopes to add to AICDC’s economic and social platform, “I
worked with Dave Anderson of Famous Dave’s when he was Assistant
Secretary of Indian Affairs,” Goze said. “I can bring relationships
like that to AICDC, relationships on federal and tribal levels.”
As part of the larger AICDC transition, Goze will be looking for a
Chief Operating Officer to assist in the day-to-day operations.
Gordon Thayer, the previous President and CEO, co-founded (with Robert
Albee) AICDC. In 1991, the American Indian Task Force on Housing and
Homelessness was formed from a Homeless Assistance Act initiative.
Thayer, working for the Bureau of Indian Affairs at the time, was
determined to focus on the Twin Cities. Thayer and Albee organized the
task force with Native professionals. Their initial goal was to provide
better assistance to American Indians on the streets and in shelters.
Recognizing the scope of homelessness among Native people (10% at the
time) and that none of the fifty Twin Cities Indian organizations were
dedicated to housing and supportive services, the American Indian Task
Force formed the American Indian Housing Corporation in 1992. Thayer
served as AICDC President and CEO until this spring.
Goze said he was not part of initiating the current AICDC transition,
which was launched by the Board of Directors. “Gordon is a friend of
mine,” Goze said. “He is pursuing his interests in treatment services
and the ministry. He’s working in the neighborhood on those issues
Anishinabe Wakiagun (The People’s Home in the Ojibwe language) was the
first AICDC housing project. Current AICDC programs include the Kola
Street Outreach, which assists chronically homeless Native people.
AICDC also manages the daily operations of the Detox Center at 1800
Chicago Avenue for Hennepin County, and has recently worked with the
Mille Lacs Ojibwe to develop the Niibiwa Sibiin housing and other