This Week at First Nations: June 11, 2021

Strengthening Native Resilience in California in the Wake of the Pandemic

First Nations this week announced the awarding of $550,000 in grants to 30 Native-led California organizations to help them continue vital programs and services that have been compromised due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Through this funding, the 30 selected organizations will be able to continue work to reduce the disproportionate burden of COVID-19 among California Native populations and create and disseminate more “place-based” pandemic outreach and education resources that are grounded in California tribal culture.

This round of awards is provided by Together Toward Health, a program of the Public Health Institute, through funding from a group of philanthropic organizations. Read the press release!

Apply Now to Be a 2022 Luce Indigenous Knowledge Fellow

Through the Luce Indigenous Knowledge Fellowship, First Nations is awarding 10 fellowships of $75,000 each to 10 outstanding Native knowledge holders and knowledge makers engaged in meaningful work that benefits Indigenous people and communities. The fellowship is open to both emerging and experienced leaders and thinkers from a wide variety of fields, and applications are due July 13, 2021. Questions about the process? Register for one or both of these upcoming Q&A webinars: June 15 and July 1.

Reminder: Western U.S. Tribes Act by June 24!

Pandemic relief and response support is being provided through the Western COVID-19 Response Grant, made possible through the May & Stanley Smith Charitable Trust. If you are a Native organization serving adults and transitioning youth with disabilities, elders, foster youth, and veterans and military families — and you are located in Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Texas, Utah, Washington, and Wyoming – apply before June 24!

For an overview of the application process and requirements, attend this free Q&A session, June 15. Register here!

Now Hiring: Director of Programs, Stewarding Native Lands

First Nations is hiring a director-level position to guide the direction and strategy of the emerging Stewarding Native Lands Program. The Director of Programs will work to advocate on behalf of Tribal communities and engage in critical conversation and research to advance Tribal ecological stewardship and natural resources management in Indian Country.

Check out this position, plus additional career opportunities, here.

Six New Grants Awarded Toward Protein Supply Chain Work

With support from the Keepseagle Endowment and funding from Ronald W. Naito Foundation, First Nations’ Forging Last-Mile Protein Supply Chains in Indian Country pilot project is making it possible for six rural Native American communities to increase access to locally produced, sustainably managed meat, translating into improved food systems and greater food sovereignty. The six community partners for 2021 have now been announced. Learn more about them here!

Reba Jo Teran, Eastern Shoshone

2021 Luce Indigenous Knowledge Fellow Reba Jo Teran in the News!

During her Fellowship year, Reba will finalize and register the Eastern Shoshone font and complete an Eastern Shoshone dictionary, and will help speakers of the 64 Shoshone bands reference their words and remember lost words. Her important work, along with an interview by First Nations President & CEO Mike Roberts, was featured recently on Wyoming News.

Watch the story here!

What We’re Reading: Cash Back

The new report, “Cash Back: A Yellowhead Institute Red Paper,” released by Circle on Philanthropy and Aboriginal Peoples in Canada (The Circle), is about restitution from the perspective of stolen wealth, looking at how the dispossession of Indigenous lands created a dependency on the state due to the loss of economic livelihood.

Researchers report, “Restoring Indigenous economies requires focusing on the perspectives of those most impacted by colonization and the attacks on Indigenous livelihoods. … It means holding up the mirror to a beastly self-destructive world and guiding it forward through the fire.” Download the report!

Keystone Xl Pipeline Project Abandoned

NPR reports, “The company behind the controversial Keystone XL oil pipeline said Wednesday it’s officially terminating the project. TC Energy already had suspended construction in January when President Biden revoked a key cross-border presidential permit. The announcement ends a more than decade-long battle that came to signify the debate over whether fossil fuels should be left in the ground to address climate change.”

Read the full article here.

Photo credit NPR, Al Nash/Bureau of Land Management via AP

Native American Tribe in Maine Buys Back Island

The Passamaquoddy Tribe with a grant from conservation charities — raised $355,000 and bought their island back. The reclaiming of Pine Island is the latest successful “land back” attempt by US indigenous groups following the loss of 1.5 billion acres since 1776, resulting in poverty, violence and cultural apartheid, reports The Guardian.

Photo credit The Guardian, Alice Hutton

Rainbow Fiber Co-Op Helps Sustain a Way of Life

First Nations Community Partner Rainbow Fiber Co-Op is a Diné-led and shepherd-owned agricultural co-operative established to improve the financial sustainability and equitable market outcomes for three of the largest flocks of Navajo-Churro sheep remaining on the Navajo reservation. Navajo Times reports how the organization is upholding the price of wool by taking over the production of a value-added product, high-quality yarn.

Photo credit Navajo Times, courtesy of Nikyle Begay

Tribal Resilience & Indigenous Planning Virtual Workshop on Asset Mapping

Attention all tribal officials and tribal employees, especially environmental directors and staff: The Kansas State University Tribal Technical Assistance to Brownfields Program and Partners for the Asset Mapping virtual workshop, will present a new workshop exploring asset mapping in indigenous communities, which is a tool used to build collaboration related to important places and elements of the community. The Asset Mapping virtual workshop will take place over two days.

Educational Session: Thursday, June 17, 2021, 1 to 3 pm Central (Register here)
Hands-on Session: Thursday, June 24, 2021, 1 to 3 pm Central (Register here)

Global Indigenous Youth Forum 2021

The Global Indigenous Youth Caucus and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) are coordinating the “Global Indigenous Youth Forum 2021” taking place June 16 to 18, 2021. Held as a contribution to the 2021 UN Food Systems Summit, the Forum will gather Indigenous youth from around the world to discuss their views on the future of our food systems and share policy recommendations and perspectives before the UN Food Systems Summit. Native youth: Learn more and sign up for the Global Consultations here.