Our Programs: Native American Foods & Health

Native American Foods & Health

First Nations Development Institute recognizes that accessing healthy food is a challenge for many Native American children and families. Without access to healthy food, a nutritious diet and good health are out of reach. To increase access to healthy food, we support tribes and Native communities as they build sustainable food systems that improve health, strengthen food security and increase the control over Native agriculture and food systems. First Nations provides this assistance in the form of financial and technical support, including training materials, to projects that address agriculture and food sectors in Native communities.

First Nations also undertakes research projects that build the knowledge and understanding of Native agriculture and food systems issues, and inform Native communities about innovative ideas and best practices. We also participate in policy forums that help develop legislative and regulatory initiatives within this sector. First Nations supports a regional and national network of Native food sector and related organizations. 

Native Agriculture and Food Systems Initiative 

In 2012, First Nations awarded 31 grants totaling $905,000 to 29 Native organizations dedicated to increasing food access and improving the health and nutrition of Native children and families. The Native Agriculture and Food Systems Initiative (NAFSI) grant is intended to help tribes and Native communities build sustainable food systems such as community gardens, food banks, food pantries and/or other agricultural projects related to Native food-systems control. These 31 grants were made possible by the generous support of the AARP Foundation, The Christensen Fund, CHS Foundation, U.S. Department of Agriculture Office of Advocacy and Outreach, U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Development, Walmart Foundation, and the W.K. Kellogg Foundation.