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This Week at First Nations: July 30, 2021

July 30, 2021

Free Technical Assistance from First Nations in August

Join First Nations for three informative webinars coming up soon! Participation is free – see details and registration info below.

  • Tribal Stewardship in the Northern Great Plains – Part 1, Wednesday, August 4, 12 pm, MDT – Hear from The Center Pole and Lower Brule Sioux Tribe about models, best practices, and strategies that generate Tribal opportunities through ecological stewardship. Register here.
  • Conservation Planning Guide for Native American Ranchers, Thursday, August 5, 12:30 pm, MDT – Native American Ranchers: Get insights on how to develop conservation plans to address natural resource concerns and increase opportunities to participate in USDA programs. Register here.
  • Mid-Year Market Update, Monday, August 9, 1 pm, MDT – Hear from First Nations programs consultant Shawn Spruce for a thorough analysis of current economic trends and what they mean for your money. Register here.

Grant Opportunities from First Nations

Native Youth and Culture Fund – Proposals are now being accepted for programs that focus on youth and that support the perpetuation of traditional ecological knowledge, spirituality, and the intergenerational transfer of knowledge systems. The deadline to apply is August 19. Questions about the process? Access the recorded Q&A webinar here.

NEW: Strengthening Native Programs & Feeding Families Grant – Through the Food Pantry Initiative, First Nations expects to award 12 Strengthening Native Programs & Feeding Families Grants averaging $10,000 each annually over four years. Learn more and apply by August 17.


Increasing COVID-19 Vaccination Rates for Native Communities

Native Americans have higher COVID-19 vaccination rates than other racial and ethnic groups, but there is still a large segment of the Native American population that is not vaccinated and does not want to get the vaccine. First Nations’ Raymond Foxworth, PhD, joins Gabriel R. Sanchez in exploring “Pathways Toward Increasing Vaccination Rates for Native Communities,” in this Health Affairs blog.


News from Luce Indigenous Knowledge Fellow Charles Auliʻi Mitchell

Artwork by 2021 Luce Indigenous Knowledge Fellow Charles Auliʻi Mitchell will be showcased starting next week in the exhibit “Hoʻopuka: To EmergeThe Love of Hula” at the Downtown Art Center in Honolulu, Hawaii. Mitchell named the show “Hoʻopuka,” as it means “to emerge.” The multi-artist showcase of art in various mediums was inspired by Hawaiʻi’s native dance and will let the “artists who love hula emerge.” Congratulations Auliʻi Mitchell!


In Case You Missed It: Matching Gift Challenge is On!

This week, First Nations launched the Matching Gift Challenge to invest in grassroots efforts to reclaim local food systems. From now until September 30, 2021, any gift made in support of our Nourishing Native Foods & Health program will be doubled, thanks to a generous donor who provided a grant to match the first $150,000 in donations. Stay tuned throughout the next several weeks for updates!


What We’re Watching: Spotlight on Dakota Wicohan Youth Regalia

First Nations’ community partner Dakota Wicohan launched a Youth Regalia Project in 2019 with support from our Native Youth and Culture Fund. The project set out to recruit and train young women from the Upper and Lower Sioux communities of Minnesota to design and construct their own Dakota dance regalia, as part of its overall mission to preserve Dakota lifeways for future generations. We are honored to share this Pioneer PBS video highlighting their important work.

Reminder: Applications for First Nations’ Native Youth and Culture Fund are being accepted now. Learn more.


Indian Sports Mascots Don’t Just Mock Native Culture. They Erase It.

Why is it important that the Cleveland Indians changed their name? A perspective in The Washington Post describes how “Mythological Indians are a misrepresentation, a kind of media static that prevents other Americans from seeing real Native people as contemporary human beings who live, work and play alongside us and who make important contributions to American society. Mascots trivialize aspects of Native culture, such as feathers and body paint, that are sacred. And of course, through merchandising, mascots enable others to profit from American Indian-themed imagery.”

Photo credit Patrick Semansky/AP


Three Ways to Invest in Indigenous Foodways to Impact Food Security

Walter Schindler, Forbes Councils Member and chairman and CEO of Transformation, LLC, shares how “Indigenous knowledge and traditional food systems model the principles and practices necessary to ensure prosperity for future generations. Impact investors and companies can learn from Indigenous people and their practices to have a more substantial impact on food security goals.” In this article, he describes three essential processes companies can incorporate from Indigenous food systems.

Photo credit Forbes/Getty


Indigenous Americans Demand a Reckoning with Brutal Colonial History

The Guardian reports that “Indigenous people are pushing for a region-wide reckoning with colonialism’s bitter legacy of massacre and cultural erasure.” Further, the article explores how, while contexts and histories vary, “a common experience of marginalization, poverty and low life expectancy has prompted many Indigenous people to draw parallels across colonial borders.”

Photo credit: Daniel Garzon Herazo/NuPhoto/Rex/Shutterstock


Navigating the American Rescue Plan

The American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) presents an opportunity for the 574 federally recognized tribal nations to use their rights of sovereignty and self-government to strengthen their communities. As the tribes take on the challenges presented by the Act, the Ash Center’s Harvard Project on American Indian Economic Development is hosting a series designed to help tribes learn from each other and from a wide array of guest experts. Register here for the Wednesday, August 4, webinar on “Investing in Your Tribes’ Infrastructure.”