This Week at First Nations: July 22, 2022

First Nations Awards Grants to Support Native American-Led Food Pantries and Food Banks

As part of a broad initiative to address food insecurity in Indian Country and strengthen the capacity of tribal food pantries and banks, First Nations has awarded grants to 13 Native-led organizations and tribes. The Setting the Table for a Healthy Food System in Indian Country Grants, made possible with support from the Walmart Foundation, is providing an average of $35,000 to Native food programs in nine states: Arkansas, Arizona, Hawaii, Montana, North Dakota, Nevada, New Mexico, South Dakota, and Wisconsin. Read the press release here.

First Nations Weighs in on Building Public Trust in Health Emergencies

At the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine public workshop this spring, Raymond Foxworth, Ph.D., joined discussions on building public trust in Public Health Emergency Preparedness and Response (PHEPR), notably in regard to COVID-19. In his session, Raymond and co-panelists examined how diverse demographic groups interact with PHEPR science and the impact it has on trust and confidence, and explored the social contexts in which misinformation can take root. Get more information and resources here, and download the newly released Proceedings of a Workshop—In Brief here.

Reaching Educators at NAGSA Summer Conference

First Nations’ Financial Education consultant Shawn Spruce was in Ignacio, Colorado, last week at the Sky Ute Resort for the Native American Grant School Association Summer Conference. Shawn talked to NAGSA members and conference participants at the First Nations booth, and led a presentation on the importance of financial education. Comprised of five schools in the Navajo Nation, NAGSA was established to bring together grant-funded schools across Native reservations to provide support to one another and plan the upcoming school year.

Now Hiring: Multiple Positions at First Nations

Join the team at First Nations and help strengthen Native communities and economies. We are currently seeking talented professionals for multiple positions, including a Program Officer for our California Tribal Fund, Program Associate for our Stewarding Native Lands program, and Receptionist and Director of Administration and Operations in our Longmont office.

Learn more about open positions as well as the benefits and perks of working for First Nations.

What We’re Reading: Native Americans Fight for Items Looted at Wounded Knee

This week, an article published in the Washington Post and shared by Stars and Stripes described how as many as 200 artifacts, stolen from the bodies of Lakota men, women, and children slaughtered during the Wounded Knee massacre in South Dakota, have ended up in a museum in a rural town 70 miles from Boston. Manny Iron Hawk, an enrolled member of the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe, said they believe their ancestors are in limbo. According to the article, he said their items and objects need to be brought back “so we can do the proper ceremony and their spirits can take that journey to the other side. They need to come home.” Read more.

Photo credit Nikki Kahn, The Washington Post

Jim Thorpe’s Olympic Wins Fully Reinstated

After 110 years, Olympian Jim Thorpe (Sac and Fox and Potawatomi) was reinstated last week as the sole champion of the 1912 Olympic decathlon and pentathlon, according to Bright Path Strong (BPS), a nonprofit advocating for this outcome since 2020. In 1913, the International Olympic Committee revoked Thorpe’s wins after learning he played minor league baseball prior to the games, violating Olympic rules around amateur sports.

“We’re so grateful this nearly 110-year-old injustice has finally been corrected, and there’s no confusion about the most remarkable athlete in history,” said BPS Co-Founder Nedra Darling (Prairie Band Potawatomi Nation).

Photo credit Bright Path Strong

Native, Award-Winning Kombucha Founder Gives Back to Native Communities

At the recent Sustainable Agriculture and Food Systems Funders forum, First Nations staff were happy to partake in Morning Light Kombucha. This featured vendor was launched by Melinda Williamson (Prairie Band Potawatomi Nation), who was diagnosed with an autoimmune disorder in 2010 and discovered her symptoms improved after drinking kombucha. After years of making her own concoction, she launched her company in 2016 and donates 10% of sales to Native organizations, communities, and advocacy groups. She recently was named the 2022 Pow Wow Pitch Gathering of Nations Winner, and is now advancing to the finals.

Photo credit Pow Wow Pitch

Supreme Court’s Attack on Tribal Sovereignty, Explained

This month the U.S. Supreme Court sided with the state of Oklahoma, finding that state governments have the legal jurisdiction to prosecute non-Native citizens for crimes committed against Native citizens on sovereign tribal lands, reports High Country News. Reporters shared insights from four federal Indian law experts on what this “shocking disregard for centuries of prior precedent” means for Native communities. Read the article here.