Owamni team shows Indigenous resiliency as it rebuilds after electrical fire

The country's most prominent Indigenous restaurant has been closed since April


Provided by Owamni

A mid-April fire has left Minneapolis' highest-profile restaurant dark as workers race to reopen Owamni.

"This is a good example of what Indigenous resiliency looks like," Owamni co-owner Dana Thompson said after listing off all the challenges of preparing to reopen the restaurant after an electrical fire.

On the afternoon of April 5, the restaurant in Minneapolis' Water Works Park experienced a power surge; Thompson said she then could smell electrical wires burning. "As the evacuation began, the building filled with smoke." Something had happened to the park's main circuit breaker, located below the restaurant. It was completely destroyed.

The fire was quickly contained, and the majority of the restaurant wasn't damaged. But the main breaker needed to be replaced, and Thompson said the lead time on a new one is anywhere from 12 to 24 months. Engineers have had to devise a way to build one while they wait.



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