This Week at First Nations: December 31, 2021

As this year draws to a close, we look back with gratitude for our friends and allies who have supported our commitment to strengthening Native communities and economies. During this last “This Week at First Nations” for 2021, we are happy to share some highlights of the year.

Connecting the Birth World to the Earth World

This year, we introduced you to Roberta Eaglehorse-Ortiz (Oglala Lakota/Yomba Shoshone), an entrepreneur, a convener, and a doer who has cultivated community in everything she’s set out to do. As part of First Nations’ 2021 Native Fundraisers Community of Practice (NFCoP), Roberta found a gathering of Native professionals committed to sharing ideas, knowledge, and resources for uncovering funding opportunities, grant-writing, and storytelling. Through regular trainings and cohort sessions, she found the power of community to build capacity in her own organization and those of all the NFCoP members. Read her story here.

Bringing Fresh Foods to Zuni – From Fruits, to Vegetables, to Meat

When Darrell Tsabetsaye began his vision for a fresh food market on the Zuni Reservation in 1988, there were few options for just what he had in mind: A self-sustaining food resource of fruits, vegetables, and meats that would not require a long drive to Gallup and that would ultimately improve the health and wellness of the Zuni community. After multiple stops and starts, that vision is becoming a reality. Today’s Major Market features a grocery, deli, coffee shop, and bakery, as well as educational resources, healthy eat-and-go meals, and even fresh meat cut to order. In 2021, this market became poised to bring even more benefits to the Zuni community. Read more.

The Code to Better Health

When one thinks of good nutrition and positive health outcomes, one might think of food and access. But an essential component to bringing all these elements together is something people may not consider: Food policy. “Our food code is a map,” says Anita Frederick, president of Tribal Nation Research Group (TNRG).

“Having a better understanding of it is the only way for us to have more intentionality when it comes to food systems and how we handle food.” In 2021, TNRG was able to invest in this roadmap to improve the local food systems and food economy of the Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa community. Read more.

Native Youth Business Plan Competition Fosters Culture, Opens Doors

For Victor Corpuz (Laguna), presenting a business plan before a gathering of Native business leaders and entrepreneurs provided not only a skills-building exercise, but an opportunity to acknowledge and celebrate the ingenuity of Native people. “The competition provides an identity we all need — to feel welcomed, to be supported by the communities that raise us,” he says. Victor’s team was the first-place winner in the university division in the 2021 Business Plan Competition this summer in Las Vegas. Read more.

A Year of Online Education and Engagement

With the ongoing need to shift to virtual formats, First Nations’ technical assistance, knowledge sharing, and trainings continued strong in 2021 with multiple webinars and important content from our staff and community partners. All presentations and recordings are captured in our Knowledge Center. If you missed any this year, access them here.

Presentations include:

  • Native Farm to School Webinar Series
  • Strengthening Indigenous Economies – A Conversation with Carol Anne Hilton
  • Indigenous Leaders on Justice and Transforming the Environmental Movement
  • Land Access in California
  • Leading the Way: Indian Country and COVID-19 Vaccinations
  • Mapping Ecological Stewardship
  • And more

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