This Week at First Nations: April 2, 2021

Raising Awareness in Minnesota

A First Nations’ community partner has finalized the first of their “Support Local Indigenous Food Producers” billboards, this one featuring Fond du Lac Ojibwe Youth Indigenous Food Producer Delilah Savage. The billboard will be on display April 5 through May 2 near the AICHO building in Duluth, Minnesota, as part of the organization’s Zaaga’iganing Anishinaabe Food Sovereignty Policy Initiative to develop a network of Indigenous food producers and stakeholders, share resources, and identify policy strategies. Learn more about AICHO here.


Did You Catch the Spring Issue of Indian Giver?

Indian Giver is First Nations’ quarterly newsletter that features the impact and successes of First Nations’ community partners and supporters. The spring issue hit inboxes this week with highlights on Roberta Eaglehorse-Otiz, a participant in First Nations’ Native Fundraisers Community of Practice, and Trisha Moquino, a Luce Indigenous Knowledge Fellow, plus our work to recognize Native land rights at The Ohio State University. If you missed it, access the spring issue here.


Have You Read #NativeReads?

First Nations believes it is time for citizens of sovereign tribal nations to define and articulate their own literary traditions. Last year, First Nations partnered with the Oak Lake Writers Society to increase knowledge and appreciation of Oceti Sakowin (Dakota, Lakota and Nakota) literatures by featuring 10 books, and accompanying discussion guides, in the #NativeReads campaign. The Oak Lake Writers Society and The Red Nation Podcast have also covered each of the books in a multi-episode series, with new episodes airing this month. Follow these links for your summer reading list and listening list.


Robert Baldy and IAC Pacific Region TA Specialist Kier Johnson run an automated drip irrigation line at Daggs Farm.

Attention Grantmakers, Lenders, and Investors

As we mentioned last week, First Nations is partnering with Sustainable Agriculture and Food Systems Funders (SAFSF) to create and lead a new Indigenous Food Systems Community of Practice. Over the course of a year, a group of 14 funders will gather to interact, learn, and build relationships with Native American practitioners and organizations, and sharpen their skills and strategies for investing in Indigenous partners who are leading sustainable agriculture and food systems work in Indian Country. Applications for the Community of Practice are now being accepted through May 19, 2021. Grantmakers, lenders, and investors who bring a commitment to investing in Indigenous communities are encouraged to apply here.


First Nations’ 2020 Impact Report is Out

In 2020, First Nation was able to pivot and support Native communities throughout the year. This includes issuing $6.5 million in program grants and emergency grants and reaching over 37,500 people through programs and technical assistance sessions. We’re happy to recap the accomplishments of Native communities throughout the country that have been made possible thanks to First Nations’ unwavering supporters. Download the full report here.


What We’re Watching: Exterminate All the Brutes

First Nations is honored to be included as an audience resource for Exterminate All the Brutes. This four-part hybrid docuseries provides a “visually arresting journey through time, into the darkest hours of humanity. Through his personal voyage, Raoul Peck deconstructs the making and masking of history, digging deep into the exploitative and genocidal aspects of European colonialism … Exterminate All the Brutes revisits and reframes the profound meaning of the Native American genocide and American slavery and their fundamental implications for our present.”

The Resource Page will launch here at the same time the series premieres on April 7, 2021, on HBO and HBO MAX.


Operation Fish Drop Addresses COVID-19 in Alaska

Indian Country Today reports, “Hundreds of cars lined the road to the Alaska Native Heritage Center on Thursday and Friday, as Alaska Native elders and their families gathered to receive wild salmon through a grassroots initiative coined Operation Fish Drop. In the end, more than 12,000 pounds of Bristol Bay sock-eye salmon were delivered to around 400 families. Tribal councils, local fisheries, and volunteers came together to run the initiative, which aimed to address food insecurities brought about by COVID-19.”

Photo credit Indian Country Today, Meghan Sullivan


Language Matters: How to Talk About Natives

The Native Governance Center will host a free virtual event, “Language Matters: How to Talk about Native Nations.” The event will provide an overview of terminology related to Native nations, including the basics (what’s ok, what’s not ok). The event will also showcase the wide range of opinions on language and terminology within Indian Country. This is geared toward beginners and open to all. Tune in to Facebook Live, Wednesday, May 12, at 2:30 pm Mountain. Learn more.


New Webinar on Pandemic-Related Roadblocks for Elders

The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation and the National Indian Council on Aging are hosting a webinar, April 15, 2021, at 10 am Mountain, to inform American Indian and Alaska Natives about safe financial measures. Older adults and organizations that serve older adults are invited to attend. Participants will gain new knowledge to help protect them from scams and resources to support them through the pandemic. Register here.