This Week at First Nations: April 22, 2022

Reminder: Applications Due in May for Two New Funding Opportunities

Last week, First Nations announced the application openings for two new grant opportunities.

Protecting Bering Sea Marine Resources: 10 grants of $50,000 each to eligible Native communities working to protect marine resources in the Bering Sea ecoregion. Apply by May 25, 2022.

Luce Indigenous Knowledge Fellowship 2023: 10 fellowships of $75,000 each to 10 outstanding Native knowledge holders and knowledge makers engaged in meaningful work that benefits Indigenous people and communities in either reservation and/or urban settings. Apply by May 26, 2022.

Introducing New Guide for Strengthening Protein Supply Chains in Indian Country

First Nations, in partnership with the Indigenous Food and Agriculture Initiative at the University of Arkansas, this week released a new resource publication that provides fundamental information on meat supply chains, including related policies, certifications and codes. The publication highlights successful models in Native communities, and describes how interested communities can develop their own butchering facilities.

It is our hope that this resource can support the strengthening of protein supply chains across Indian Country. Download it here!

Questions about applying? Check out our Q&A application webinars.

Advancing Native Food Systems: Spotlight on Tewa Women United

With support from a First Nations GATHER Food Sovereignty Grant, Community Partner Tewa Women United is working to provide healthy and local foods for families. It distributed 15 garden beds to women and families in and around the Española area and surrounding tribal communities, and partnered with MoGro Mobile Grocery to distribute 25 MoGro packages to families in tribal communities. The organization also hosted an online panel on Pueblo Women in Farming, creating space for Pueblo women farmers to talk openly, lovingly, and strategically on their work within and outside their community. Congratulations, Tewa Women United!

Tackling Underinvestment in Native Communities

This week, Inside Philanthropy featured the Native American Fund for Health Equity, a new fund led by First Nations with support from the Colorado Health Foundation. The fund is designed to address the underinvestment of philanthropy in Native-led nonprofits in Colorado and raise awareness about Native issues. The mechanics of how the fund operates will be identified by an advisory committee that is being assembled now. “We really do want this to be a community-led and designed process, and to be fueled by Indigenous values,” said First Nations’ Raymond Foxworth. Access the article from our homepage.

How to Get Involved in Native Nonprofit Day

Native Ways Federation is launching its first-ever Native Nonprofit Day on May 20, 2022! This giving initiative is aimed at increasing support for Native-led organizations nationwide. Individuals and foundations are welcome to help advocate for Native nonprofits. And, Native-controlled organizations are invited to dedicate May to raising awareness of this day on social media using #NativeNonprofitDay, #GiveNative, and #SupportNativeLed. Learn more here!

Northern Cheyenne Nonprofit Makes Powerful Push for Economic Development

We’re happy to share this news of successes happening for the people of the Northern Cheyenne Reservation, including First Nations’ own Jona Charette. The Billings Gazette reports how the Native-run nonprofit People’s Partner for Community Development has made strides toward economic development for the Northern Cheyenne community with the opening of Warrior Grocery in Ashland, PIVA Radio in Lame Deer, a mobile meat-processing unit, and a coming-soon federal credit union. Read more.

Photo credit Amy Lynn Nelson Billings Gazette

FBI Opposes Clemency for Peltier

In 1977, Leonard Peltier, a Native American rights activist, was convicted of murdering two FBI agents during a shoot-out on the Pine Ridge Reservation. The Huff Post reports when they contacted the federal Office of the Pardon Attorney for a clemency update, the FBI responded in a rare statement, firmly opposing Peltier’s release. Yet, in 1980, Peltier’s legal team discovered the FBI intentionally withheld evidence of Peltier’s innocence. Human rights efforts to release the 77-year-old Peltier have been championed by many dignitaries, including Pope Francis, Nelson Mandela, Mother Teresa, Coretta Scott King, and the Dalai Lama. Read more.

Photo credit Steven Senne/Associated Press

Condors Return, Thanks to the Yurok Tribe

The endangered California condor, the largest flying bird in North America, will soon fly over Northern California again after an absence of more than a century, reports The Guardian. With a 2008 federal grant, the Yurok Tribe designed and built the condor release management facility and has been working toward this momentous day ever since.

“The Yurok people have upheld a sacred responsibility to maintain balance in the natural world,” said Joseph L. James, Yurok chairman. “Condor reintroduction is a real-life manifestation of our cultural commitment to restore and protect the planet for future generations.”

Photo credit Marcio José Sánchez, Associated Press

Traditional Crops Growing Again on Acoma Pueblo Land

The Acoma Pueblo in New Mexico, the oldest continually inhabited community in North America, has reintroduced resilient, traditional crops to tribal lands ─ such as blue corn and amaranth, an ancient grain ─ to help combat increasing food insecurity due to climate change. According to The Guardian, the nonprofit group Ancestral Lands has helped the Acoma community create a bank of 57 arid-adapted seeds native to the region.

“The industrialized food system has failed us,” said the group’s program director. “We need to restore our food system and ecological knowledge that has supported us since the beginning.”

Photo credit Sharon Chischilly, The Guardian