Through our NAFSI effort (Native Agriculture and Food Systems Initiative), First Nations stimulates projects that will help Native communities build or regain control of their food systems and agricultural processes, which in turn will create much-needed economic growth while improving health and nutrition for Native communities.
Last June, First Nations Development Institute granted $400,000 to 22 Native American Organizations through our Native Youth and Culture Fund, which is underwritten by the Kalliopeia Foundation with other contributions from foundations and tribal, corporate and individual supporters.
In December 2012, First Nations Development Institute (First Nations) sent program consultant Shawn Spruce to the Pueblo of Acoma in New Mexico to conduct a workshop on investment strategies. With funding from FINRA Investor Education Foundation, Spruce presented the program, “Investing for the Future,” to a group of 10 youth and young adult workers, ages 16-25.
First Nations assists with a large number of projects under our Native Agriculture and Food Systems Initiative and other related areas. Recently, with support from the U.S. Department of Agriculture Outreach and Assistance for Socially Disadvantaged Farmers and Ranchers Program housed under Office of Advocacy and Outreach, we have been conducting a technical-assistance project to strengthen the capacity of individual farmers and ranchers and local organizations that serve them on the Navajo and Hopi reservations.
First Nations, under a $200,000 grant from the Johnson Scholarship Foundation of West Palm Beach, Florida, is launching a pilot project with the goal of promoting the much-needed growth of private-sector businesses in Indian Country. In the project, we’re helping form partnerships between tribal colleges and local Native Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs) in two communities, with the idea that successful pairings such as these can be replicated elsewhere among American Indian nations, and significantly improve the economic vitality of Native communities.