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Highlights from First Nations, Gratitude for You

Dear Friends,

Welcome to the March 2024 issue of Indian Giver, our first quarterly newsletter of the new year

In this issue, we introduce a new program launched by the Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians that has inspired its youth to start their own businesses one day. We also share how First Nations’ financial support has had a ripple effect on young Indigenous and black artists and researchers through the Soul of Nations Foundation. And you’ll learn how our California Tribal Fund is bringing people together to advocate for the protection of ancestral lands.

In our Donor Spotlight, meet Jenifer Marx, a well-traveled adventurer and author of historical books on pirates and gold. Also featured is 2023 Luce Indigenous Knowledge Fellow LaRae Wiley, who has been on a decades-long trailblazing effort to preserve the Colville Salish language.

Thank you for your continued support of First Nations. We wish you much success with all you have planned for 2024.

This image was created by Charity Upshaw, a Navajo artist, who participated in the 2017 Brea Foley Portrait Competition hosted by Soul of Nations.

The March 2024 Indian Giver features:

Inspiring Native Youth to Be Entrepreneurs. The Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians is teaching its youth how to run their own business through a new youth entrepreneurship program. Over the holidays, Choctaw teens learned how to use digital equipment to fabricate products that they sold at the Christmas market.

How Ripple Effect of Support Advances Arts and Culture. The work of young Indigenous and black artists and researchers all over the world is being uplifted and amplified, thanks to a partnership between the Soul of Nations Foundation and this organization. Says Soul of Nations Executive Director Ernest Hill about the ripple effect from First Nations: “Your willingness to take a chance on our work and your enduring inspiration have been instrumental in our continued efforts.”

Digging Deep to Protect Ancestral Lands. First Nations’ California Tribal Fund recently hosted a gathering to strengthen connections between advocates working hard to protect ancestral lands. Fourteen participants from nine tribes and tribal organizations attended the event at the Yocha Dehe Wintun Nation.

Knowledge Makers, Knowledge Sharers. LaRae Wiley (Sinixt [Lakes] Band of the Colville Confederated Tribes) is a 2023 Luce Indigenous Knowledge Fellow who has spent decades developing her language fluency and blazing trails in the preservation of the “extremely endangered” n̓səl̓xčin̓ language. She is co-founder of an immersion school called Salish School of Spokane (SSOS).

Reflections of an Adventurous Supporter. Florida resident Jenifer Marx has lived a life most people only dream of. The author of historical books on pirates, gold, and shipwrecks once traveled the world to exotic lands with her three daughters and husband, Robert F. Marx, a renowned underwater archaeologist. Now 84, her advice for a long, happy life? “Stay curious about the world.”

Read the full issue here.