September 2022 Newsletter

Highlights from First Nations, Gratitude for You

Dear Friends,

Welcome to the latest edition of Indian Giver, First Nations’ quarterly newsletter. As fall surrounds us with beauty and color, our Community Partners continue to make important, positive impacts in Indian Country, and we are excited to share some of their amazing stories here.

This issue features a profile on one of our 2021 Luce Indigenous Knowledge Fellows, as well as highlights from Community Partners Oneida Nation and YAKANAL, a New Mexico-based program reconnecting Indigenous people to traditional agriculture. And in our Donor Spotlight, we introduce you to Dr. Norbert Goldfield, a board-certified internist who is passionate about bringing peace and improved health to the world.

Thank you for reading, and we hope you enjoy this issue.

Stocking the Pantry: How the Oneida Nation is Fighting Hunger on the Rez

To address widespread food insecurity on the reservation, the Oneida Nation launched the Oneida Emergency Food Pantry in 2017. “There are no income guidelines. We never turn people away,” says Marlon Skenandore, pantry manager. Initially, the pantry served 12 people daily. Today, it serves more than 700 people a month and receives around 200,000 pounds of food donations a year from sources such as Festival Foods, Fresh Thyme Market, local gardeners, and Feeding Wisconsin. The pantry is also part of a food distribution network of all 11 federally recognized tribes in Wisconsin that assembles 3,600 elder food boxes a month, divided among the tribes. Read the full story.

‘Our Foods Are Beautiful!’: A Journey to Reignite Native Agriculture in the Pueblos

To help alleviate food insecurity in the Southwest, YAKANAL, a New Mexico-based international program, is reconnecting Indigenous people to their land and traditional agriculture. Led by Dr. Shelly Valdez (Pueblo of Laguna), CEO of Native Pathways, and Dr. Isabel Hawkins, an astronomer, YAKANAL is restoring cultural farming practices to the Pueblo communities through farm-to-table programs, beekeeping, growing herbs, seed preservation, and building outdoor ovens called hornos to teach traditional cooking methods. “The goal of restoring healthy Native foods allows the community to rely less on processed foods and can provide a sustainable source of income for Indigenous farmers,” explains Dr. Valdez. Read the full story.

Oneida Nation Trains More Butchers to Fortify Its Protein Supply Chain

Currently, the Oneida Nation has only six fully certified butchers to support two beef-processing operations on its commercial and organic farms. To help grow its stable of butchers, the Oneida Nation recently held a butcher certification training with a blended online and in-person curriculum. Students learned about different cuts of meat and how to cook them, as well as how to safely slaughter and respectfully process beef to feed the Oneida community. “Learning to process the animal correctly ensures that the meat is wholesome and safe to eat,” explains Dr. Arquimides Reyes, an onsite training instructor. Read the full story.



Meet Luce Indigenous Knowledge Fellow Hinaleimoana Wong-Kalu

Hinaleimoana Wong-Kalu, “Kumu Hina,” is a Native Hawaiian transgender woman with a passion for Hawaiian language, culture, music, and art. She tells the beautiful stories of Hawaiian history through hula (dance), oli (chant), and mele (song), and she is an accomplished filmmaker. Recently, she co-produced and co-directed the animated short “Kapaemahu,” which premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival and appeared on the Oscar shortlist for “Best Animated Short Film.” The groundbreaking film centers on four healing stones on Waikiki Beach and their relationship to the māhū, “four healers of dual male and female spirit,” says Wong-Kalu. Read her profile.



Meet the Doctor Bringing Peace and Improved Health to the World

Dr. Norbert Goldfield has dedicated his life to making people all over the world healthier. For more than 30 years, he has worked as a board-certified internist in Springfield, Massachusetts, delivering high-quality healthcare to low-income people. He is also founder and executive director of Healing Across the Divides (HATD), the only nonprofit organization in the world whose mission is to “measurably improve the health of marginalized people living in both Israel and the occupied Palestinian territories via community-based interventions.” Read his story.