This Week at First Nations: January 12, 2024

First Nations Closed Monday in Honor of Martin Luther King Jr.

First Nations’ offices will be closed Monday, January 15, 2024, in observance of Martin Luther King Jr. Day.

We stand with the nation in honoring this leader in the American civil rights movement, and we celebrate his legacy of advocacy and his unwavering call for justice for all peoples, including Native Americans.

Registration Open for 2024 National Tribal Leaders Climate Summit

First Nations is happy to share that registration is open for the 2024 National Tribal Leaders Climate Summit, designed to engage tribal leaders, citizens, staff, youth, and collaborators in conversation about navigating the cultural, economic, and social challenges of climate change. Presented in partnership with Affiliated Tribes of Northwest Indians (ATNI), the conference will be held at the Muckleshoot Casino Resort in Auburn, Washington, April 15 to 17, 2024. Learn more and register here.

ATNI is a community partner through First Nations’ Climate Change and Environmental Justice project’s focus on Regional Dialogues on Climate Resiliency, which wrapped up last month. Listen to first-hand accounts of the project here.

Conservation Planning Builds Skills and Opportunities for Native Land Stewardship 

Another feature of the December 2023 Indian Giver was on First Nations’ Conservation Planning Sessions. In this story, Senior Program Officer Leiloni Begaye (Diné) describes the comprehensive five-day, hands-on sessions and how they’re guiding land stewards in developing conservation plans and improving participation in USDA programs. She also shares how place-based learning is helping land stewards nurture the ecosystems of the Southwest and foster relationships with their sacred homelands. Read the story here.

REMINDER to Food Funders: Apply Now for Indigenous Food Systems Community of Practice

Food funders looking to interact, learn, and build relationships with Native American practitioners, organizations, and communities offering food systems solutions are encouraged to apply for the 2024 Indigenous Food Systems Community of Practice. This second cohort of the community of practice is developed in collaboration with Sustainable Agriculture and Food Systems Funders (SAFSF), and provides an opportunity to share and sharpen skills and strategies for investing in Indigenous partners who are leading sustainable agriculture and food systems work in Indian Country. Learn more and apply here by February 12, 2024.

Lily Gladstone Wins Golden Globe for ‘Best Actress in a Motion Picture’

Actress Lily Gladstone (Blackfeet/Nimíipuu) made history Sunday night by becoming the first Indigenous person to win a Golden Globe. She won the award for “Best Performance for an Actress in a Motion Picture” for her role as Mollie Burkhard in “Killers of the Flower Moon.” She began her acceptance speech in Blackfeet, then referenced how Native languages used to be produced by having Native actors say their lines in English and running them backward. She concluded, “This is for every little rez kid, every little urban kid, every little Native kid who has a dream, who is seeing themselves represented and our stories told by ourselves in our own words with tremendous allies and tremendous trust with and from each other. Thank you all so much.” Read more.

Photo credit Entertainment Weekly, CBS

Reintroduction of Bison on the Wind River Reservation

Last Thursday, the Eastern Shoshone Tribe released 10 bison onto the Wind River Reservation in Wyoming as part of an intertribal effort to uphold the cultural significance of bison and promote biodiversity essential for climate resiliency. Progress toward reintroducing bison to the Wind River Reservation began in 2016, and has brought the bison population from 12 on 300 acres, to 100 on 2,000 acres, reports Wyoming News Now. In this video, Jason Baldes (Eastern Shoshone) shares that bison “are important culturally to the tribes here, and they should exist on the land the way the one above intended.”

Native American-Led Projects Get $4.5 Million from the National Endowment for the Humanities

Roughly $4.5 million in grants have been awarded to more than 20 Native American-led humanities projects, as part of a new round of funding from the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH), reports Native News Online. Funded projects include Iñupiaq Public History Project, an intergenerational knowledge-sharing effort in Taos, New Mexico, and construction of the Tomaquag Indian Memorial Museum in Exeter, Rhode Island. The Native American projects are among the overall 260 humanities projects across the country that received grants from NEH, totally $33.8 million.