This Week at First Nations: June 14, 2024

June 14, 2024

First Nations Presents at 2024 Birth Equity Funders Summit

First Nations’ A-dae Romero-Briones (Cochiti/Kiowa) joined colleagues in raising awareness for equitable birth outcomes at the Funders for Birth Justice and Equity’s 2024 Birth Equity Funders Summit this week in Chicago. In the session, “Sovereignty from First Breath,” A-dae and co-presenters, Yuki Davis, Helena Jacobs, and Zintkala Mahpiya Win Blackowl, discussed the importance of uplifting traditional first foods for Indigenous families in line with the critical role food plays in Native culture, lifeways, health, and future.

First Nations’ Indigenous Breastfeeding, Birth Work, and First Foods project launched in January 2022 to support lactating parents and ensure babies grow up with a taste for and connection to traditional foods.

Tribal Stewardship on a Landscape Scale

Last week the U.S. Forest Service announced nearly $1.5 million of funding support for selected 2024 Tribal Landscape Scale Restoration projects. The Landscape Scale Restoration program (LSRP) is a federal funding opportunity designed to advance land management across jurisdictions, ultimately reducing the risk of wildfires, protecting habitat, and/or improving ecosystems for culturally significant plant and animal species.

Of the five tribal projects selected, four are focusing on the reintroduction of cultural burning to reduce fire risk, promote plant biodiversity, and protect cultural resources. These tribes are advancing their values-centered stewardship goals in a way that will have a lasting impact on community, culture, and the environment. Congratulations to the awardees!

First Nations has resources to support tribal applications to the LSRP. Learn more!

Bringing Conservation Training to the Great Plains

In May, First Nations’ Stewarding Native Lands team was in Rapid City, South Dakota, providing hands-on technical assistance in developing conservation plans for their operations. Fifteen Native land stewards took part in in-the-field and classroom training, and left with next steps to finalize their plans and pursue further funding opportunities to make their lands as healthy and productive as possible.

More information on future conservation trainings is coming soon.

Office Hours: Tribal Access to Private Markets for Climate Mitigation & Forest Resilience Grant Opportunity

In our role as a Community Navigator with the U.S. Forest Service, First Nations is joining the USFS and the National Indian Carbon Coalition to host informal “Office Hours” to discuss ideas and answer questions related to the Tribal Access to Emerging Private Markets for Forest Resilience or Climate Mitigation opportunity. The opportunity is designed to address Tribal-led forest resilience, climate mitigation, water quality, and carbon sequestration efforts. Up to $2 million per project is earmarked for Tribes to develop forest management plans, establish demonstration sites, and prioritize biodiversity protection. The grant deadline is August 21, 2024.

Office Hours will be held:
* June 26, 2024, at 1 pm MT: Register here.
* July 17, 2024, at 1 pm MT: Register here.

Apply Now for Native Agriculture and Food Systems Scholarships

First Nations will award 20 to 25 scholarships, from $1,000 to $1,500, to Native college/university students majoring in agriculture and food systems fields. Scholarships support Native American, Alaska Native, and Native Hawaiian students to better assist their communities.

The application window for scholarships for the 2024-2025 academic year is now open. Apply here by July 11, 2024!

First Nations Hiring for Several Positions 

Join First Nations in advancing our mission to uplift and sustain the lifeways and economies of Native communities through advocacy, financial support, and knowledge sharing. We’re excited to share the following career opportunities:

* Director of Human Resources – New!
* Communications Associate – New!
* Program Officer, Stewarding Native Lands
* Development Officer (Technical)

* Lead Grants Development Officer

Learn more and apply here.

Celebrating our LGBTQ2S+ Relatives and Community Members

As PRIDE Month continues this June, First Nations is happy to share resources to show support and improve health, happiness, and wellbeing in Native communities.

WeRNative is a comprehensive health resource for Native youth, by Native youth. Housed at the Northwest Portland Area Indian Health Board, the organization provides information on relationships, dating, mental resilience, identity and Native Pride, and more. Learn more!

White Buffalo Calf Born at Yellowstone National Park

A white buffalo calf – a powerful symbol of spirituality and hope – was born at Yellowstone National Park last week. Native News Online reports how white bison are exceedingly rare; only about one in every 10 million bison in North American is white. The white bison has spiritual significance for many tribes, including the Lakota, Cherokee, Sioux, and Mandan. Read more.

Photo credit Native News Online, Erin Braaten Instagram

Supreme Court Sides with Native American Tribes in Health Care Funding Dispute with Government

In a 5-4 decision, the U.S. Supreme Court sided with Native American tribes, calling for the government to cover the overhead costs incurred by two tribes in taking over their own health care programs. The Associated Press reports that Adam Unikowsky, attorney for the Northern Arapaho Tribe, said “the decision puts tribes on equal footing with IHS on health care and will ‘promote tribal sovereignty and provide resources for health care in under-served communities.’” Read more.

Photo credit AP, Mariam Zuhaib, File