This Week at First Nations: December 23, 2022

‘Philanthropy’s Role in Reinforcing Settler Colonialism’ on CEP Most-Read List

This week, the Center for Effective Philanthropy published a list of its top 10 most-read blog posts of 2022, providing a “snapshot” of the questions and issues surrounding the state of philanthropy today. Among the posts featured is “Philanthropy’s Role in Reinforcing Settler Colonialism” by First Nations’ Raymond Foxworth, Ph.D., who writes, “What is needed for the sector is a radical transformation in how they view the history of economic and political development in this country. The sector needs to acknowledge that the United States is a settler colonial country and recognize that still today Indigenous peoples must fight for survival under conditions of settler colonialism.” See the full list.

First Nations Joins Voices at Intertribal Agriculture Council Conference

First Nations’ Program Officer Leiloni Begaye and representatives from First Nations’ community partner Natural Resource Department, Pueblo of Jemez, joined hundreds of attendees at the annual conference of the Intertribal Agriculture Council in Las Vegas. With the theme, “We Belong Here,” this year’s conference highlighted the decades of success the organization has had in addressing systemic inequities and barriers that Native producers experience in U.S. agriculture. Through presentations and sessions, participants came together to unite Native voices, advocate for tribal-friendly policies and redefine and rebuild our sovereign tribal food systems.

Download a PDF of this report here.

Indigenous-Led Approaches to Protecting Marine Resources in the Bering Sea

Alaska Native communities have been faced with, at best, exclusion from fishery decision-making processes, and at worse, the direct criminalization of their traditional subsistence practices. But Indigenous communities and Native-led organizations in the Bering Sea are taking action to advocate for their rights. This report from First Nations’ Stewarding Native Lands Senior Program Officer Emilie Ellis explores how Alaska Native communities are asserting their tribal sovereignty, providing community-based trainings, and carrying out coalition-based approaches to counteract these injustices. Read more.

More Grants Awarded to Uplift Traditional First Foods

Through our Indigenous Breastfeeding, Birth Work, and First Foods project launched in January 2022, First Nations supports Native communities in expanding and strengthening what is considered to be part of the Native food sovereignty movement: Breastfeeding and first foods. The project helps remove barriers to access and uplift traditional first foods for young Indigenous families to create a vibrant Indigenous food system and reconnect families to cultural and spiritual aspects of birth. With support from the Keepseagle Endowment Fund and Kellogg Foundation, First Nations has awarded 17 Breastfeeding & First Foods grants. Learn about our Round 2 community partners.

First Nations’ Staff Take on the Colder Boulder!

First Nations’ staff runners came together again for another wellness opportunity – a chilly 5K run/walk this month in Boulder, Colorado. Donor Relations Manager Kelly Connor; Senior Program Officer Kendall Tallmadge (Ho-Chunk); Director of our Strengthening Tribal and Community Institutions Program Catherine Bryan (Navajo); and Program Officer Brickman House (Oneida Nation of Wisconsin) enjoyed the fresh air and spending time together outside the office.

Congratulations, First Nations’ runners!

Northern Plains Tribes Bring Back Their Wild ‘Relatives’

Efforts are progressing on the Great Plains where tribes are helping reintroduce swift foxes and black-footed ferrets across the area, including on the reservation of First Nations community partner, Fort Belknap. AP reports how tribal members are committed to rebuilding Native species with deep cultural significance to restore balance between humans and the natural world. First Nations’ Director of Programs, Stewarding Native Lands, Shaun Grassel, Ph.D., is quoted in the article, citing that ferrets have been reintroduced to seven reservations on the Northern Plains and two tribal sites in the Southwest, while swift foxes have been returned to four reservations. Read more.

‘A Soul Wound’: a First Nation Built Its Culture Around Salmon. Now They Have to Fly It In Frozen

A story in The Guardian this month explores the effect of overfishing and climate change on the Chinook population in the Yukon River, as numbers of the salmon have fallen from 450,000 to fewer than 12,000. The article shares how Yukon First Nations are grieving. Little Salmon Carmacks Chief Nicole Tom, “We have traditional teachings about not dragging nets, or messing with salmon, or having fish farms, and that speaks to what is happening in the ocean. It’s against traditional law.” Read more.

Tribal, Federal Leaders Cheer Klamath River Dam Removals

Earlier this month, tribal, state and federal officials applauded a plan for the largest dam removal in U.S. history along the Klamath River near the California-Oregon line. Channel 3 News in Sacramento reports the announcement is not just a landmark moment for tribes, but also the environment. The project involves removing four large hydroelectric dams from the river, helping the water to flow more freely and allowing several aquatic species, including salmon, to thrive. Read more.