This Week at First Nations: March 10, 2023

First Nations VP Takes on New Role to Support Indigenous Knowledge Leaders

This week, First Nations announced that Raymond Foxworth, Ph.D., First Nations’ Vice President of Grantmaking, Development, and Communications, will embark on a new chapter in his career, bringing further benefit to Indian Country and its resilience and vitality. Beginning April 3, 2023, Raymond will join the Henry Luce Foundation as the Program Director for Indigenous Knowledge. In this role, he will lead initiatives to support Native knowledge keepers who seek to preserve and perpetuate their nations’ cultures and cultural, intellectual, and policy systems. Congratulations, Raymond. Read more.

During Women’s History Month and International Women’s Day this past Wednesday, First Nations is taking the time to acknowledge and commend Indigenous matriarchs. We recognize that one month — or one day — is not long enough, as women should be revered every day. Yet, in the spirit of March’s celebrations, we send a special thanks to our mothers, grandmothers, aunties, sisters, cousins, and ancestors who have made our world possible. In these proclaimed 31 days of “Celebrating Women Who Tell Our Stories,” we appreciate the brilliance of our heroic women and share a few of their stories in our latest blog post.

Congratulations to the 2023 Castanea Fellows

The Castanea Fellowship has announced its 2023 Fellows, selected for their work in transforming the way we eat, fish, and farm. Among the 24 fellows is Roberto Nutlouis, who is also a member of First Nations’ Native Farmer and Rancher Apprenticeship Network. The 30-month apprenticeship is designed to support beginning farmers and ranchers in capacity building and agricultural management. Roberto helps lead projects for the Navajo Nation surrounding environmental justice, climate justice, and food sovereignty. Congratulations to Roberto and all the Castanea Fellows. Read more.

People of Red Mountain Raise Awareness to Protect Sacred Lands

People of Red Mountain are getting the word out to tribal members about a proposed $1.3 billion open-pit lithium mine on sacred land stewarded by the Paiute Shoshone people since time immemorial. With support from First Nations, the organization is launching a multi-pronged communications plan to educate communities directly affected by the mine, which will come at a great environmental and spiritual cost to the tribe, whose reservation border is only 15 miles from the proposed mining site. Read more.

Interior Department Announces Significant Action to Restore Bison Populations

Several new steps will be taken to restore wild and healthy populations of American bison and the prairie grassland ecosystem, according to a press release from the U.S. Department of the Interior. Through a new Secretary’s Order and over $25 million from the Inflation Reduction Act, the department will empower its bureaus and partners to use the best available science and Indigenous knowledge to help restore bison across the country. Read more.

Alaska’s Fisheries Are Collapsing: This Congresswoman Is Taking on the Industry She Says Is to Blame

Trawl boats in the Bering Sea are scooping up millions of pounds of marine species they do not actually want. Meanwhile Alaskan halibut, crab, and salmon fisheries are closing as fish populations rapidly decline, reports Politico. Rep. Mary Peltola, the first Alaska Native to serve in the U.S. House of Representatives, is addressing the inequities with proposed legislation to alter the balance of power between the trawl industry and the smaller commercial operators and subsistence fishermen in Alaska. The bill would also add two tribal seats to the council and enable the federal government to further reduce bycatch quotas. Read more.

Photo credit Politico Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call via AP

Funding Opportunity from Campbell Foundation

First Nations is happy to share that The Campbell Foundation is offering grants up to $25,000 to nonprofit groups for any subject areas, types of programs, and geographies. 501(c)3 organizations that are not current or previous recipients of a Campbell Foundation grant are eligible. Apply here by April 28, 2023.