This Week at First Nations: July 8, 2022

First Nations’ Raymond Foxworth Discusses Innovation and Indigenous Resistance

In the latest episode of Dreaming in Color, Raymond Foxworth, Ph.D., talks about his experience growing up in a matrilineal society, land preservation as part of his family heritage, and the struggles of dealing with white dominant institutions. The episode addresses the current state of Indigenous land rights and the pressure of representation to honor the legacy and sacrifice of past generations. Listen to the episode here.

First Nations Invests in Allyship and Increasing Connections with Native Food Funders

Last week marked the completion of the Indigenous Food Systems Community of Practice (IFSCoP), a highly collaborative project from Sustainable Agriculture and Food Systems Funders, Melvin Consulting, and First Nations. The agriculture funders concluded the one-year project with a walking tour of the wetlands and medicine wheel of Haskell Indian Nations University. There, they had a chance to be in community with Native students and teachers and reflect on ways they can continue to be strong advocates, be in good relationship, and invest in Native communities. Earlier in the week, the group attended the 20th Annual SAFSF Forum in Kansas City, where several participants visited the Prairie Band Potawatomi Nation and the Iowa Tribe of Kansas and Nebraska for a Food Sovereignty and Health in Tribal Communities site visit.

Bringing High-Quality Beef to the Crow Creek Sioux Tribe

The Crow Creek Sioux Tribe was one of six rural Native American communities that received funding under First Nations’ Forging Last-Mile Protein Supply Chains in Indian Country project. With this support, they developed a long-term, strategic solution that included the construction of a brand-new 2,600-square-foot meat processing plant. Hunkpati Processors officially opened last fall, providing tribal members with a steady supply of high-quality, locally produced beef, buffalo meat, and wild game. It has also provided a much-needed morale boost for the tribe. Read the Impact Story.

2022 Tribal Energy Plan Grant is Now Open!

The Tribal Solar Accelerator Fund is releasing the RFP and application for the new Tribal Energy Plan Grant program designed to help tribal communities quickly and efficiently triage the known practical and impactful strategies to reduce greenhouse gas, reduce energy costs, and operate more sustainably. Applicants may apply for funding up to $25,000 for up to one year, and grants can be used to compensate the planning team for their time, contract the services of consultants or other third-party experts, and cover the costs of public meetings and other methods soliciting public input. Learn more.

America’s Original Sin Continues: The Fight Over Native Children

An opinion piece in HuffPost explores how the mission to overturn the Indian Child Welfare Act is another attempt to demolish the foundation of tribes, assimilate Native peoples, and destroy any obligation the federal government had to Native communities. The writer asserts that the real aim behind the upcoming Brackeen v. Haaland case is to push conservative agendas throughout the country: “They want to test their political theories in a field that lacks visibility, when and where they think no one will be looking. And if they’re successful in their attack here, they’ll move to the next target.” Read more.

Photo credit HuffPost, Getty Images

One Thousand Acres Returned to Onondaga Nation

Last week, 1,000 acres of ancestral homeland in the Tully Valley in Central New York were returned to the Onondaga Nation in one of the largest transfers from a state to an Indigenous nation, reports Native News Online. On Instagram, U.S. Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland wrote, “It’s a great day for locally led conservation and for the Onondaga people who have inhabited the area for centuries. As the original stewards of the land, the Onondaga Nation will use Indigenous knowledge to manage the area’s wildlife and habitat.” Read more.

1,200-year-old Canoe Serving as a Bridge for Tribal Relations

The Green Bay (Wisconsin) Press Gazette shared this week how the Wisconsin Historical Society discovered a 1,200-year-old dugout canoe that was buried under sediment at the bottom of Lake Mendota, the ancestral homeland of the Ho-Chunk Nation. Because relations between state archeologists and tribal officials had been strained over the years, the researchers first reached out to tribal partners. From there, state and tribal officials worked together to excavate and preserve the canoe and celebrate the discovery. Read more.

Photo credit Wisconsin Historical Society