This Week at First Nations: January 6, 2023

New First Nations Funding Opportunity for Native Artists

In support of our work to explore what justice looks like or means from the perspectives of Native artists and Native community partners, First Nations is seeking to partner with 8 to 10 artists who are actively engaged in the creation of meaningful work that depicts or reflects Native justice in their communities. Selected artists will receive a stipend of $4,000 that includes the purchase of one artistic production and supports the artist’s participation in the broader Native justice movement. Learn more and apply here by Wednesday, February 1, 2023.


Six Questions from Inside Philanthropy

Last month, Mike Scutari at Inside Philanthropy sat down with First Nations President and CEO Michael Roberts to talk about the history of First Nations and his thoughts on the current state of philanthropy – why there are reasons to be optimistic, but there is still room for improvement. Mike also discusses the advice he’s received that has helped make First Nations a resilient and trusted organization. “We sweat the small stuff and make sure all of our back office works really well — on time, on budget, no drama,” he says. Read the full interview here.


Now Hiring at First Nations

Start a new year investing in Native communities. Reminder: We are currently seeking a Grants Development Officer to support First Nations’ development team in coordinating grant-writing, gathering data, monitoring development activities, and tracking initiatives and impact. Learn more and apply here.


In Case You Missed It: Our December 2022 Indian Giver is Out!

The latest issue of First Nations’ quarterly newsletter was emailed last week. The issue features a profile on one of our 2021 Luce Indigenous Knowledge Fellows, as well as highlights from community partners, the Yuchi Language Project, People of Red Mountain, and the Tongva Community. Access the full issue here!


Colorado Launches New Alert System to Help Find Missing Indigenous People

Colorado’s new Missing Indigenous Person Alert (MIPA) was activated for the first time last week in response to a missing Indigenous teen in Denver, reports CNN. The Colorado Bureau of Investigation launched the system last month as a result of new legislation to expand the investigation of cases of missing and murdered Indigenous people. While the MIPA is a step in the right direction, Indigenous advocates note that more timely action is still needed. Read more.

Photo credit Hyoung Chang/MediaNews Group/The Denver Post via Getty Images


This is What’s at Risk with Climate Change in Alaska

Climate change is transforming the Arctic, putting Native communities at risk. In this NPR Morning Edition episode, sponsored by the Schmidt Family Foundation, Jackie Qataliña Schaeffer describes the drastic changes experienced in her coastal community of Kotzebue and how finding solutions to climate change requires a shift in how we look at and interact with the planet. She says it is a lesson that can be learned from Indigenous people who have survived, and continue to survive, amid ever-accumulating crises. Listen to the audio interview here.

Photo credit Prisma Bildagentur/Universal Images Group via Getty Images


Harvard’s Peabody Museum Keeping Native Remains is Just One Attack on the Rights of Indigenous Children

As the first members of their Indigenous nations to attend Harvard Law and Harvard Medical Schools, Samantha Maltais and Victor Anthony Lopez-Carmen explore the lingering presence of colonization across Harvard University, including how remains of 900 Native ancestors have been held captive by Harvard University’s Peabody Museum since the 1930s. In an op-ed piece in Teen Vogue, the writers assert how “these truths exist to remind us this institution was not built for students like us.” They encourage action that “addresses the erasure of Native Americans and Alaska Natives at the university and the burdens they carry as a consequence.” Read more.


A Reservation School Graduates 100% of Students 

A new cultural program at the Isanti Community School in Niobrara, Nebraska, on the Santee Reservation is being credited for boosting student attendance and helping the school achieve a 100% graduation rate for two consecutive years. The Flatwater Free Press reports that the cultural program, which immerses students in the tribe’s language, history and customs for up to an hour each school day, has resulted in improved student enthusiasm and performance. Read more.

Photo credit Tim Trudell for the Flatwater Free Press


Great Lakes Indigenous Farming Conference: Save the Date and Call for Presentations

The 20th Annual Great Lakes Indigenous Farming Conference, presented by the White Earth Land Recovery Project, will be held March 9 to 12, 2023, at Sugar Lake Lodge in Cohasset, Minnesota. With the theme “Adapting, Changing, Evolving in New Times for a Better Tomorrow in Farming,” the conference will feature three tracks: Sustainable Agriculture, A Bright Future for a Better Tomorrow, and Culture & Food Demonstrations. Proposals for presentations are being accepted now. Learn more.