Native-Led Policy Change Making Headway with New Fertile Ground Advocacy Campaigns
First Nations Development Institute leads new collaborative grantmaking for Native health through Policy Innovation Fund
LONGMONT, Colo., July 10, 2019 — The Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community, the American Heart Association and First Nations Development Institute (First Nations) today announced nearly $250,000 in grants through the collaborative Policy Innovation Fund. These grants are part of the Fertile Ground Advocacy Campaign, a $1.6 million funding initiative to support Native American nutrition and health advocacy. Grant recipients will improve access to healthy foods, reduce consumption of sugary drinks and foods, and strengthen food sovereignty work that is rooted in tradition, culture and Indigenous knowledge.
The campaign was developed jointly by the Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community and the American Heart Association, a global force for longer, healthier lives, and its Voices for Healthy Kids initiative funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. First Nations, which administers the Policy Innovation Fund, conducted the first of two national solicitations for grant proposals. Grants were awarded through a competitive process to tribes and Native-led organizations to support innovative projects designed to improve nutrition and health policy systems at the tribal, local, state and national levels.
To support the success of Native grantees and advocates, the American Indian Cancer Foundation (AICAF), a Native-governed nonprofit organization, will provide leadership development, technical assistance and movement-building activities to support the growing nutrition and health movement in Indian Country.
Grant recipients are:
- California Indian Museum & Cultural Center (Santa Rosa, California): $81,667 — The Ma Pʰidin: Protecting Our Ground project serves Native people of all ages from 24 Pomo and Miwok tribes in Sonoma, Lake and Mendocino counties in Northern California. These tribes have limited access to traditional food resources, so the project will focus on removing barriers to access, such as updating county park codes, which currently prohibit gathering food. The project also includes conducting a community assessment, engaging stakeholders and developing recommendations to ensure tribal and county leaders can address barriers and improve nutrition and health.
- Karuk Tribe (Happy Camp, California): $81,667 — The Yav Pananu’avaha: Karuk Tribe’s Our Good Food project supports developing, advocating and implementing policies that promote tribal food sovereignty. Our Good Food will improve access to Native foods for community members and food-service programs; promote healthy choices for K-12 students through Native health lessons and a youth-led food sovereignty campaign; and encourage comprehensive implementation of the Karuk Tribe Food Policy in all tribal events. The project also will advocate for changes to school, summer, community and elder food-service programs and finalizing the tribe’s food sovereignty policy through research and community engagement.
- Port Gamble S’Klallam Foundation (Kingston, Washington): $80,000 — The Port Gamble S’Klallam Shellfish Grow-Out Expansion Project will focus on ways to sustain and expand natural shellfish resources for a healthy traditional diet of the S’Klallam tribal community. The project will develop shellfish aquaculture policy, conduct community outreach focused on sustaining shellfish populations for community subsistence and later expand the shellfish population for commercial production.
The Fertile Ground Advocacy Campaign is made possible through generous funding from Seeds of Native Health, a $10 million philanthropic effort of the Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community, to improve Native nutrition, and Voices for Healthy Kids. First Nations will lead grant administration and the American Indian Cancer Foundation will provide consultation services to the policy change campaigns.
About the American Heart Association
The American Heart Association is a relentless force for a world of longer, healthier lives. We are dedicated to ensuring equitable health in all communities. Through collaboration with numerous organizations, and powered by millions of volunteers, we fund innovative research, advocate for the public’s health and share lifesaving resources. The Dallas-based organization has been a leading source of health information for nearly a century. Connect with us on heart.org, Facebook, Twitter or by calling 1-800-AHA-USA1.
About Voices for Healthy Kids
Voices for Healthy Kids is a joint initiative of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the American Heart Association, making each day healthier for all children. The collaboration is working with communities across the nation to ensure that children have access to healthy food and physical activity where they live, learn and play. For more information, visit VoicesForHealthyKids.org.
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. For more information, visit ShakopeeDakota.org.
About Seeds of Native Health
Seeds of Native Health is the Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community’s philanthropic campaign to improve Native American nutrition and food access. Launched in 2015, the $10 million campaign has provided grants to local communities and funded research, education and capacity-building efforts. Partners include the American Diabetes Association, American Heart Association, Better Way Foundation, First Nations Development Institute, MAZON: A Jewish Response to Hunger, the Minneapolis Federal Reserve Bank, the Notah Begay III Foundation, the University of Arkansas School of Law’s Indigenous Food and Agriculture Initiative, and the University of Minnesota. More information is available at SeedsofNativeHealth.org.
About First Nations Development Institute
For 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 FirstNations.org.
About the American Indian Cancer Foundation
The American Indian Cancer Foundation (AICAF) is a national, Native-governed, 501(c)3 nonprofit health organization dedicated to improving access to prevention, early detection, treatment and survivor support to eliminate the cancer burdens experienced by American Indian and Alaska Native people. AICAF partners with tribal and urban organizations to co-create effective and sustainable cancer solutions that are culturally appropriate. AICAF believes Native communities possess the wisdom to find innovative solutions that are community-centered to address cancer inequities. AICAF provides capacity building through training, technical assistance and resources to tribal and urban partners to achieve these shared objectives. For more information, visit AmericanIndianCancer.org.
For Media Inquiries:
Randy Blauvelt, First Nations Senior Communications Officer
firstname.lastname@example.org or 303-915-2579
Sara Swenson, Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community
651-717-4170 or email@example.com
Suzette Harris, American Heart Association Media Advocacy Director
214-706-1207 or firstname.lastname@example.org