This Week at First Nations: January 7, 2022

Thank You, Friends and Supporters!

First Nations’ 2021 year-end campaign for our Stewarding Native Lands program has come to an end, and the outpouring of support received was astounding. Thanks to so many generous donors, First Nations will be able to invest more than $747,000 in this program to help even more Native communities preserve sacred sites, promote environmental justice, and protect our world for generations to come. Thank you all!

New California Grant Opportunity: Access Ancestral Lands

The application window for First Nations’ Access to Ancestral Lands grants is now open! Through this California Tribal Fund opportunity, First Nations will award 12 to 15 grants averaging $35,000 to California-based tribes or tribally-controlled non-profit organizations to strengthen California-based Indigenous stewardship and protect ancestral lands. Learn more and apply by January 31, 2022.

Questions about applying? Q&A webinar sessions will be held January 14 and 24. Register here.

Two First Nations Grant Deadlines Fast Approaching! Act Now!

Gather Food Sovereignty Grants. First Nations will again award grants averaging $32,000 for programs and services that focus on developing Tribal Food Sovereignty. Learn more and apply by January 13, 2022.

First Nations’ New Apprenticeship Network. Beginning Farmers and Ranchers in Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota, Wisconsin, Arizona and New Mexico: Get training, technical assistance, and networking opportunities. Learn more and apply by January 14, 2022.

Applauding Native Leaders Among the “Philanthropy 100”

Unboxed Philanthropy Advisors’ “Philanthropy 100” is a list of people, non-profit organizations, foundations, and corporations that are making a positive difference through philanthropy, which the organization describes as a love of humankind and the desire to promote the welfare of others. Among the Native individuals and organizations featured on this year’s list are Native Americans in Philanthropy (number 69); Native Ways Federation (number 70); Nick Tilsen, president and CEO of NDN Collective (number 89); and First Nations’ Michael Roberts (number 86). Learn more about the leaders in each of the four categories.

Financial Education Keeps Native Communities Protected

Financial scams are continually evolving, and many are targeted at Native communities. To help individuals identify threats and stay protected, First Nations partners with the FINRA Investor Education Foundation to provide hands-on financial trainings, including a recent in-person session at the Lakota Nations Education Conference. In December, First Nations’ programs consultant, Shawn Spruce, also facilitated Scam Alert!, an interactive workshop featuring tips and resources for combating fraud. To bring a financial education session to your community, contact Shawn at

Paid Internship Opportunities in the Organic Sector

Attention: Indigenous students. First Nations is happy to share that National Organic Coalition and four other organic organizations (Organic Seed Alliance, IFOAM North America, Accredited Certifiers Association, and International Organic Inspectors Association) have developed paid internships this spring for college students interested in learning more about career opportunities in the organic sector. All internships have January 2022 application deadlines, and students are welcome to apply for more than one. Read the descriptions here.

Timber Company Returns Waterfront Washington Property to Tribe

Oregon Public Broadcasting reports that Port Blakely Companies, a family-owned company with timber operations in the U.S. and New Zealand, has returned at no cost two miles of waterfront and 125 acres of tidelands on Little Skookum Inlet in Mason County to the Squaxin Island Tribe. The article describes how the return of the shoreline restores the tribe’s direct access to Puget Sound and some of the most productive shellfish beds in the region. Read more.

As Miners Chase Clean-Energy Minerals Tribes Fear a Repeat of the Past

Idaho mining company, Perpetua Resources, is proposing a large open-pit gold mine, which aims to produce 115 million pounds of antimony, an element used to make high-capacity liquid-metal batteries, reports The New York Times. According to the article, the company’s clean-energy public relations campaign is the newest threat to the Nez Perce, and environmental groups have warned that the mine could damage huge swaths of fish habitat. Read more.

Photo credit Tamir Kalifa / The New York Times

Indigenous Groups Team Up with Conservationists

The Guardian reports how environmental organizations and tribes have been coming together to protect the natural world, especially by way of land transfers. Examples include the return of over a dozen acres in Oregon to the Clatsop-Nehalem Confederated Tribes, more than 1,000 acres in California to the Esselen Tribe of Monterey County, and thousands of acres of wildlife rangeland in Washington state to the Colville Tribes. The article describes how the land transfers both protect ecologically vital spaces and help to right historic injustices. Read more.

Photo credit The Guardian, Gregg Brekke/ZUMA Press Wire/REX/Shutterstock