First Nations Receives Grant to Support Indigenous-Led Environmental Justice Efforts

First Nations Receives Grant to Support Indigenous-Led Environmental Justice Efforts
LONGMONT, Colorado (March 17, 2020) – First Nations Development Institute (First Nations) has received a $220,000 grant from the Broad Reach Fund of the Maine Community Foundation. The funds will be used to support Native American-led efforts to combat abusive extractive industries that are impacting Native communities, resources and land.

“Native communities have long-held, traditional knowledge that should be part of every conversation involving our land and environment,” said Michael Roberts, First Nations President and CEO. “We are excited to be able to support community-led efforts that allow Native communities to control their own lands and environmental landscapes.”

Last year, with the generous support of the Broad Reach Fund, First Nations was able to award grants totaling $135,000 to Native-led nonprofits and tribes to support environmental justice, specifically anti-extraction efforts, impacting Native communities. First Nations will use the new grant to again support these efforts in 2020. The organizations supported include:

  • Carrizo Comecrudo Tribe of Texas – to protect the Garcia Pasture, a sacred site in the Rio Grande Valley listed on the National Register of Historic Places and threatened by an export terminal and associated pipelines from Texas Liquified Natural Gas (LNG).
  • Diné Citizens Against Ruining Our Environment – to support the opposition of oil and gas drilling in the Chaco Canyon area, which specifically threatens the public health, Navajo culture, and tribal sovereignty of the Navajo Nation.
  • Gwich’in Steering Committee – to ensure the long-term health and viability of the Porcupine Caribou Herd breeding grounds at the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (which are under renewed threat of oil and gas exploration) which sustain the Gwich’in way of life.
  • Menominee Indian Tribe of Wisconsin – to pursue opposition to the Back 40 Mine, where extraction of minerals could ultimately create acid mine drainage which could damage historic and culturally significant sites including burial mounds and agricultural land.
  • Native Village of Venetie Tribal Government – to exercise their federally recognized rights to participate as a cooperating agency in the Environmental Impact Study being fast-tracked to open drilling exploration in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to ensure traditional knowledge and historical laws are taken into consideration.
  • Sicangu Lakota Treaty Council – to protect tribal homelands from the Keystone XL pipeline proposed to go through the Great Sioux Reservation that was established by treaty. Funds will directly support community outreach and engagement.
  • Red-Tailed Hawk Collective – to support the Southeast Indigenous Climate Change Working Group to provide outreach support to Native communities, tribes and organizations in their efforts to oppose the Atlantic Coast Pipeline and associated infrastructure in North Carolina. This work also involves development and implementation of climate change strategies.
  • United Tribes of Bristol Bay – to support grassroots organizing in soliciting public comments on the draft Environmental Impact Statement issued for the Pebble Mine project, a proposed massive open-pit mine at the headwaters of Bristol Bay in Alaska. The proposed mine would devastate pristine habitat that sustains the world’s largest salmon run that is essential to the culture and livelihoods of the tribes in this region.

First Nations welcomes expressions of interest from Native communities and organizations that are engaged in efforts to combat extractive industries that are impacting Native communities and land. Grants for the 2020 funding cycle will range from $10,000 to $20,000 each.
About First Nations Development Institute
For more than 39 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
About the Broad Reach Fund
The Broad Reach Fund supports nonprofits and tribes pursuing social justice, cultural and natural resource protection, and environmental health. The Fund seeks forward-thinking solutions to social, environmental and economic problems. It favors constituency-led organizations and places a high priority on safeguarding fundamental human rights and democratic practices.


Jackie Francke, First Nations Vice President of Programs & Administration or (303) 774-7836 x202

Raymond Foxworth, First Nations Vice President of Communications, Development & Grantmaking or (303) 774-7836