This Week at First Nations: April 16, 2021

Strengthening Food Systems in New Mexico

First Nations is honored to be a part of the first New Mexico Grown Institute, a virtual gathering for New Mexico’s farm to cafeteria practitioners to strengthen the New Mexico Grown movement and mobilize the power of community to transform New Mexico’s food and educational systems. The free event runs April 20 to 22, 2021, and First Nations will present Native Farm to School: Connecting Traditional Foods, Stories, Language, and Community on the final day. Register now!


Next Round of COVID-19 Response Funding Awarded

This past week, another 14 Native nations and organizations received vital funding for response and recovery, critical services and infrastructure, communications and technology, and overall financial relief to stay resilient in the wake of COVID-19. This round brings the total amount of grants awarded to $3,476,108. Thank you to everyone for their support in making this funding possible! Learn more about First Nations’ COVID-19 Emergency Response Fund and how to donate here.


A Message of Hope from Luce Indigenous Knowledge Fellows

The 2020 Luce Indigenous Fellowship has drawn to a close, but the fellows’ lessons live on. In this video, they call on their experiences from the fellowship year in reflecting on the strength and resilience of Native people. Together, they offer a message of hope to Indigenous people: “Find your culture. Be who you are, and be proud of who you are. The hope is there. We are stronger than ever, and we will be until the end of time.” Thank you Luce fellows for sharing your knowledge. Watch the whole video here.


More on #NativeReads: Tune in Monday Night!

A few weeks ago we shared news on #NativeReads. Now, we’re excited to announce that First Nations’ consultant Dr. Sarah Hernandez (Sicangu Lakota) will lead a roundtable discussion on the 10 recommended Dakota, Lakota, and Nakota books in honor and celebration of Oceti Sakowin writers. Join Sarah on Monday, April 19, 2021, for this free event presented by the Institute for American Indian Research. RSVP by April 17! Learn more and register here.


“One Thing We Know How to Do is Survive”

“We’ve had devastating losses in terms of speakers, our elders and cultural leaders. It might be a dozen people, which doesn’t seem like a lot to the world. But when you’re an endangered language that’s like, five to 12 versions of a dictionary.” The Guardian highlights Northern Wisconsin’s only Ojibwe immersion school and its “race against the clock” to save the Ojibwe language.

Photo credit Mario Koran/The Guardian


Native Name Sought for Salish Sea Channel

Indian Country Today reports: “A channel of water in an archipelago north of Puget Sound carries the name of 19th century U.S. Army Gen. William S. Harney, notorious for whipping to death a Black woman in Missouri, leading the killing of Sicangu Lakota men, women and children in Nebraska, and taking the U.S. to the brink of armed conflict with Great Britain over a jurisdictional dispute in the Pacific Northwest. If a proposal is approved by the Washington state Board of Geographic Names, however, the channel would be renamed in honor of Henry Cayou, a fishing, maritime and political leader of Lummi and Saanich First Nation ancestry.”

Photo credit Indian Country Today/Creative Commons


Tocabe to Become a National Retail Brand

Nation’s Restaurant News is reporting that the American Indian Eatery Tocabe is preparing to be a distributer of products it already buys. “To deliver the products, they’re piggybacking on their suppliers’ distribution network allowing their brand to literally break out from being a two-unit fast-casual concept to a national brand with national distribution that allows them to continue their original mission of shining the spotlight on native products.”

Photo credit Nation’s Restaurant News Rachel Greiman