First Nations Receives Bank of America’s National Neighborhood Builders® Award

First Nations Named One of Four Recipients of Bank of America’s National Neighborhood Builders® Award

LONGMONT, Colo. (July 15, 2021) – First Nations Development Institute (First Nations) announced today that the 40-year-old organization has been named one of Bank of America’s National Neighborhood Builders®. As a recipient of the award, First Nations received $200,000 in flexible funding, a year of leadership development for a First Nations emerging leader and senior leader, access to a nationwide network of peer organizations, and the opportunity to access capital to expand its impact.

First Nations President and CEO Michael Roberts said the award is an honor and an investment in not only Native American economic development, but also the Native leaders who will drive its progress.

In line with this, he noted that the grant will go toward general operations, which will provide the flexibility for the organization to allocate funding where it is most needed, including the COVID-19 Emergency Response Fund, as well as toward capacity building in resource development, program management, and communications.

Further, through the leadership development aspect of the program, funds will be used to build the network, knowledge and skills of one emerging leader and one senior leader at First Nations:

  • Catherine Bryan, JD, (Navajo), Director of Strengthening Tribal & Community Institutions
  • Raymond Foxworth, PhD, (Navajo), Vice President of Grantmaking, Development & Communications

“Catherine and Raymond play a key role in fostering the growth and capacity of tribal programs and Native nonprofit organizations, as well as informing and strengthening trends in philanthropic giving throughout Indian Country,” Roberts said. “An investment in them will pay dividends in boosting their professional abilities as well their services to the broader Native community. Every opportunity presented to them will translate to benefits for Native groups.”

According to Kerry Sullivan, president of the Bank of America Charitable Foundation, Neighborhood Builder awardees are organizations that are leading the charge to address tough issues related to economic mobility – from workforce readiness and basic needs to broader community development solutions. In addition to being recognized as a national Neighborhood Builder through funding and leadership development, First Nations will be highlighted for their work in ensuring the long-term vitality of Native American communities.

“First Nations plays a critical role in building pathways to economic self-sufficiency in diverse communities,” said Sullivan. “Connecting this organization to funding and expertise through our Neighborhood Builder program will help in strengthening Native American economies and remains critical in helping these communities move forward.”

Other groups to receive the prestigious Neighborhood Builders Award include Feeding America, National Disability Institute, and YouthBuild USA. More information about the program can be found here.

About First Nations Development Institute

For 40 years, using a three-pronged strategy of educating grassroots practitioners, advocating for systemic change, and capitalizing Indian communities, First Nations has been working to restore Native American control and culturally-compatible stewardship of the assets they own – be they land, human potential, cultural heritage or natural resources – and to establish new assets for ensuring the long-term vitality of Native American communities. First Nations serves Native American communities throughout the United States. For more information, visit

Bank of America

At Bank of America, we’re guided by a common purpose to help make financial lives better, through the power of every connection. We’re delivering on this through responsible growth with a focus on our environmental, social and governance (ESG) leadership. ESG is embedded across our eight lines of business and reflects how we help fuel the global economy, build trust and credibility, and represent a company that people want to work for, invest in and do business with. It’s demonstrated in the inclusive and supportive workplace we create for our employees, the responsible products and services we offer our clients, and the impact we make around the world in helping local economies thrive. An important part of this work is forming strong partnerships with nonprofits and advocacy groups, such as community, consumer and environmental organizations, to bring together our collective networks and expertise to achieve greater impact. Learn more at, and connect with us on Twitter (@BofA_News).