First Nations to Award Grants for Policy and Advocacy for Native Nutrition and Health


Application Deadline November 14, 2019

First Nations to Award Grants for Policy and Advocacy Efforts Aimed at Native Nutrition and Health

LONGMONT, Colorado (October 8, 2019) – First Nations Development Institute (First Nations) is now accepting grant proposals through a new effort known as the Fertile Ground Advocacy Campaign under its Native Agriculture and Food Systems Initiative, or NAFSI. First Nations will award up to seven grants of $50,000 to $80,000 each to support Native American-led efforts aimed at advancing new policies and innovative policymaking approaches that benefit Native American nutrition and health. These can involve efforts to improve access to healthy foods, reduce consumption of sugary beverages and foods, strengthen food sovereignty work that is rooted in tradition, culture and Indigenous knowledge, or other approaches.

The Fertile Ground Advocacy Campaign is made possible through the Policy Innovation Fund, which was developed jointly by the Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community (SMSC) and the American Heart Association (AHA) and its Voices for Healthy Kids (VFHK) initiative funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. The $1.6 million Policy Innovation Fund is a continuation of the SMSC and AHA’s partnership to promote Native-led dietary health advocacy, which first began in 2015. Other elements of the campaign include leadership development, technical assistance and movement-building activities to support the growing nutrition and health movement in Indian Country.

The Request for Proposals can be found at The application deadline is Thursday, November 14, 2019. All applications must be submitted via the First Nations online grant application system. Organizations eligible to apply include federal- or state-recognized tribal governments (including tribally-run programs or departments), Native-controlled 501(c)(3) nonprofits, Native-controlled community-based organizations with a fiscal sponsor, and Native Section 7871 organizations.

Specifically, First Nations seeks projects that promote the development and passage of policies and policy systems change. This can include such things as “ground-softening” efforts and campaigns focused on increasing access to healthy, affordable and Native-produced food, or improving nutrition and health outcomes for Native peoples.

There will be two free Q&A webinars for applicants to learn more about the RFP process and eligibility. Participation in these webinars is not mandatory, but applicants are strongly encouraged to register for and attend one or both of them.

Thursday, October 10, 2019, at 2:00 p.m. Mountain Time. Register at:

Monday, October 21, 2019, at 1:00 p.m. Mountain Time. Register at:

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 American Heart Association

The American Heart Association is devoted to saving people from heart disease and stroke – the two leading causes of death in the world. They team with millions of volunteers to fund innovative research, fight for stronger public health policies, and provide lifesaving tools and information to prevent and treat these diseases. The Dallas-based association is the nation’s oldest and largest voluntary organization dedicated to fighting heart disease and stroke. To learn more or to get involved, call 1-800-AHA-USA1, visit or call any of our offices around the country. Voices for Healthy Kids is an initiative funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and part of the American Heart Association that address policies to improve the lives and health of children.

About the Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community

The Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community is a federally recognized, sovereign Native American tribe located southwest of Minneapolis/St. Paul. Following a Dakota tradition of generosity, the SMSC is one of the top philanthropists in Minnesota and is the largest contributor to Native American tribes and causes across the country. It is a strong community partner and a leader in protecting and restoring natural resources. The SMSC’s government, Gaming Enterprise, and various other enterprises are collectively the largest employer in Scott County. 


Rana LaPine, First Nations Program Officer
(303) 774-7836 x 209 or