This Week at First Nations: April 28, 2023

Indigenous Data Sovereignty and Indigenous Evaluation: Improving Philanthropic Practice

Indigenous peoples have been some of the most studied groups around the globe. But in most cases, research and evaluation studies have been extractive and predatory and continue to frame Indigenous life and communities through a deficient-based lens.

new First Nations report, released this week, highlights ways to improve data and research practices, especially in philanthropy, by following principles and practices of Indigenous data sovereignty and Indigenous evaluation. Access the report here!

‘We Have to Include the People Who Have Been Displaced’

Food is a connection point for understanding the way the world works and maintaining relationships with one another, the Earth, and everything around us. On a new episode of Food Lab Talk with Michiel Bakker, First Nations’ A-dae Romero-Briones discusses the similarities and differences between Indigenous food systems and Western food systems, and the importance of relationships in helping address complex systemic challenges. Listen to the conversation here.

Take Action for Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls

Monday marks the start of National Week of Action for Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women. Native women and girls are being murdered at 10 times the national average ─ and more than 80% have experienced violence. Take action next week with activities and virtual events hosted by the National Indigenous Women’s Resource Center. And watch for a blog post on National Day of Action, May 5, by First Nations Development Officer Marisa Page. Let’s join together in saying “Enough is enough. No more stolen sisters.”

Also next week: Join us in wearing red in solidarity with Indigenous women and families and all those helping to end violence in our communities.

Congratulations to Kendall Tallmadge – We Will Miss You!

It is bittersweet that we announce that First Nations’ Kendall Tallmadge is leaving First Nations to take a position as a program administrator at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian (NMAI). Kendall joined First Nations as a program officer in May 2014, and was ultimately promoted to senior program officer overseeing multiple projects, including the Native Language Immersion Initiative, Luce Indigenous Knowledge Fellowship, and Native Youth Business Plan Competition.

We will miss Kendall and we value the commitment and dedication she has brought to First Nations. She has been an asset to the Strengthening Tribal and Community Institutions program and the entire organization, and we have no doubt that she will become an immediate asset to NMAI. Thank you, Kendall!

More Resources Available for Celebrating Native Nonprofit Day!

Leading up to the second annual Native Nonprofit Day on Friday, May 19, 2023, Native Ways Federation is inviting donors to an information webinar. Learn about Native communities, the importance of Native-led organizations, and how to join in uplifting and supporting Native-led nonprofits on Native Nonprofit Day and beyond. Register here for “What Donors Need to Know About Native-Led Nonprofits,” Wednesday, May 3, 2023, at 1 pm Eastern.

Meet 2022 Luce Indigenous Knowledge Fellow Ryan Hill

When Ryan Hill (Yuchi/Muscogee/Cherokee) first heard his Native language, Yuchi, he felt an instant connection to it. “The sounds of Yuchi called out to me. It turned something on and made me want to pursue it,” he recalls. Over the last 10 years, Hill has made a significant contribution to keeping the language alive as a Yuchi language teacher. As a Luce fellow, Hill tapped into his gift as a video producer to create a series of Yuchi language videos to help grow the pool of Yuchi speakers of every age.

Learn more about Hill’s Yuchi language work here.

Native Youth: Apply Soon for National Environmental Summer Youth Practicum

Led by the Native American Fish and Wildlife Society, the 2023 National Native American Environmental Awareness Summer Youth Practicum will be held this summer July 15 to 22, 2023, in Colorado. The program is designed to provide Native American students (incoming 10th – 12th grade) an opportunity to gain hands-on and in-lecture experience in the interdisciplinary components of natural resource management and Indigenous knowledge. Learn more and apply here by Friday, May 5, 2023.

Deadline Approaching for Solve’s 2023 Indigenous Communities Fellowship

How are Indigenous innovators in the US and Canada building upon traditional knowledge and technology to meet the social, environmental, and economic goals of their communities? Through the Indigenous Communities Fellowship, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Solve initiative is seeking innovators who are supporting community-based solutions that strengthen sustainable energy sovereignty and climate resilience, support Indigenous-owned businesses, promote economic opportunity in Indigenous communities, and more. Learn more and apply here by May 9, 2023.

Senators Push Universities, Museums to ‘Expeditiously Return’ Native Ancestors

Writing to leaders of the University of California-Berkeley, Harvard University, Illinois State Museum, Indiana University, and Ohio History Connection, a bipartisan group of 13 U.S. senators requests action for the failure to “expeditiously return” cultural items and ancestral remains of Native Americans pursuant to the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act of 1990. They write, “Delayed repatriation is delayed justice for Native peoples. For too long, Native ancestral remains and cultural items have been unconscionably denied their journey home by institutions, desecrated by scientific study, publicly displayed as specimens, left to collect dust on a shelf, or simply thrown in a box and forgotten in a museum storeroom.” Read the letter here.

Photo credit Native News Online, Senate Committee on Indian Affairs

Indigenous Communities Fear Toxic Leaks from Canada Oil Industry

Recent leaks from tailings ponds at oil sands operations in Canada have led to contaminated water and further distrust among Native communities. In one of the latest leaks, Calgary-based Imperial Oil discovered discolored water near its Kearl Oil Sands project, which was later found to contain toxic contaminants, including arsenic. The company notified Alberta’s energy regulator, but failed to notify the federal government and nearby Indigenous communities. The Guardian shares how environmental justice in Canada remains elusive. Read more.

Photo credit The Guardian, Bloomberg/Getty Images