This Week at First Nations: April 9, 2021

2021 Native Youth Business Plan Competition Open Now!

For the second year, the Native Youth Business Plan Competition is making it possible for Native youth to develop skills, cultivate new ideas, and connect with Native leaders for support in turning those ideas into businesses. The 2021 event is a collaboration among First Nations, American Indigenous Business Leaders, and The National Center for American Indian Enterprise Development. Students in high school or college are encouraged to apply. Gain experience plus a chance to win cash prizes! Learn more!

Indigenous Foodways as Self-Care

Tune in next Monday, April 12, 2021, at 6:30 Central when GATHER star Nephi Craig will present on how to use Indigenous food and cooking as tools for self-care. Hosted by the Buder Center for American Indian Studies at Washington University in Saint Louis’ annual Hunt. Fish. Gather program, this presentation is free and open to all!

Learn more and register here.

Thank You to the Hearst Foundations

The Hearst Foundations have awarded a $200,000 grant to First Nations to support Native agriculture producers in creating, implementing, and sustaining water quality improvement and conservation strategies. Used over two years to help meet a required match for USDA Community Innovation Grant funding, the grant will make it possible for First Nations to partner with a tribal community-based livestock association and a tribal natural resource department to regain control of water quality and watershed management through community-focused conservation planning and practices. Thank you, Hearst Foundations!

A Valued Commitment to Native-led Groups

First Nations is honored to work with Northwest Area Foundation, a philanthropic foundation that each year awards at least 40% of grants and program-related investments to Native-led organizations. In this blog series, President and CEO Kevin Walker describes the intensive commitment to Indian Country: “When we interact with the Native-led organizations and Native leaders we know, we see Innovators. Changemakers. Culture bearers. Shapers of a self-determined future. Too often, the narrative dwells on deficits and trauma. But we see so much strength.” Read more.

What We’re Listening to: Stimulus Check Advice

With nearly 160 million Americans getting a $1,400 stimulus payment from the government, Native America Calling’s recent podcast discusses the best uses of the funds. Financial advisors, including George Moody (Nez Perce) and First Nations’ programs consultant Shawn Spruce (Laguna Pueblo), share advice on how to manage money through these tough economic times. Listen to the podcast here.

Shout Out to Hank Green

Hank Green is a New York Times best-selling author and a “science communicator, video creator, and entrepreneur.” Now, through his TikTok channel, he’s raised almost $36,000 in support of the mission of First Nations.

We thank Hank Green and his amazing followers for investing in Native communities and strengthening Native economies. Watch the video here.


Strategies for Protecting Your Art Webinar

Attention Native artists: In this webinar hosted by the Institute of American Indian Arts, Cherokee attorney Tahlina Nofire-Blakestad will teach participants how to utilize protective measures to help ensure their work and the work of other Native artists are not misused or misrepresented. Mark your calendars for May 7, 2021, at Noon Mountain. The cost is $9. Learn more here.

Progress in Navajo Nation in Taming Virus

The New York Times reports, “The Navajo Nation, which once had one of the worst coronavirus case rates in the United States, recently reached an extraordinary milestone: zero cases and zero deaths in a 24-hour period. The nation, which has over 300,000 enrolled members, is averaging about 11 new cases a day, far below its peak of 250 in late November.”

Photo credit Micah Garen/Getty Images

Fracking Brings Pollution, Not Wealth, to Navajo Land

“Navajo Nation members received ‘a pittance’ for access to their land. Then came the spills and fires,” reports The Guardian in recounting multiple accidents on Native lands related to oil and gas extraction, including oil spills, fires, blowouts and gas releases. Also explored: Why Native residents are often the last to know when incidents occur.

 Photo credit The Guardian/Jerry Redfern