This Week at First Nations: March 15, 2024

Advancing Conservation Planning on the Navajo Nation

This week, First Nations’ Stewarding Native Lands team was onsite in New Mexico, convening Native farmers and ranchers for a three-day conservation planning workshop in District 14 on the Navajo Nation. Held with support from the USDA Office of Partnerships and Public Engagement, and in collaboration with Red Willow Farm, the training helped land stewards complete conservation plans that will increase their agricultural activity; bolster their sustainable soil, land, and water conservation practices; and preserve natural and agricultural ecosystems in accordance with their tribal or pueblo cultures and Indigenous management practices passed down through the generations.

In this Impact Story from our December 2023 newsletter, Senior Program Officer Leiloni Begaye (Diné) describes the importance of these trainings.

Apply Soon for Grant Support for Traditional Native Arts Programs

First Nations will distribute approximately 15 two-year grants of up to $100,000 each to Native-controlled nonprofits and tribal government programs in the Upper Midwest, Southwest, and Pacific Northwest that have programs in place to support Native artists and the field of traditional Native arts. Learn more and apply by March 27, 2024.

Questions about applying? Access the Q&A webinar held last week, or register here for the encore Q&A webinar, Tuesday, March 19, 2024, at 2 pm MT. 

REMINDER: Grant Support for Advancing Tribal Nature-Based Solutions

First Nations will distribute six Advancing Tribal Nature-Based Solutions grants of up to $200,000 each to support approaches to climate action that are based on community, culture, and nature. Learn more and apply by May 22, 2024.

Questions about applying? Register here for the grant application Q&A webinar, Wednesday, March 20, 2024, at 2 pm MT.

COMING SOON: Exciting Opportunity for Tribal Co-Management and Co-Stewardship

Last month, First Nations’ Stewarding Native Lands webinar, Tribal Co-Management and Co-Stewardship: 101, provided an overview of tribal co-management and co-stewardship, along with considerations for effective implementation.

To further this work, First Nations will be awarding five grants of $75,000 to Tribes looking to establish co-management or co-stewardship structures with federal agencies. Look for more details next week!

Helping California Tribes Respond to Fire and Drought

First Nations’ California Tribal Fund was created to address the unique needs of California-based, California-Native-led nonprofits and tribal programs in controlling and protecting their land, water, food systems, and culture. This work includes supporting California tribal communities in addressing threats of wildfire and drought brought on by climate change.

We’re honored to announce that The California Endowment is continuing its support of the California Tribal Fund with a $250,000 grant to help tribal communities improve disaster response and resilience through fuel reduction, wildfire prevention and education, emergency response, and the strengthening of culture fire practices.

Thank you, The California Endowment!

What We’re Reading: “My Grandfather’s Altar

First Nations is excited to share that the book of 2021 Luce Indigenous Knowledge Fellow Richard Moves Camp has been released. My Grandfather’s Altar: Five Generations of Lakota Holy Men is an oral-literary narrative account of five generations of Lakota religious tradition. Moves Camp is a Lakota healer, tribal historian, and spiritual leader, and the great-great-grandson of Wóptuȟ’a (“Chips”), the holy man remembered for providing Crazy Horse with war medicines of power and protection. Moves Camp writes of how the Lakota remember the descendants of Wóptuȟ’a for their roles in preserving Lakota ceremonial traditions during the official prohibition period (1883–1934), when the U.S. Indian Religious Crimes Code outlawed Indian religious ceremonies with the threat of imprisonment.

Moves Camp will be doing a book signing and meet and greet at the Prairie Edge & Sioux Trading Post, March 23, 2024, in Rapid City, South Dakota. Learn more.

North Coast California Tribes Gather for Native Food Sovereignty Day at Suemeg Village

Last weekend, staff of First Nations’ California Tribal Fund attended an Indigenous Foods & Cultural Gathering hosted by community partners Northern California Tribal Court Coalition, Yurok Tribe, Northern California Indian Development Council, and Save California Salmon. Families came together at Suemeg Village to enjoy cooking demonstrations and tastings of traditional foods like acorn mush and BBQ mussels and eel. They learned about baskets and how to carve salmon cook sticks. The community honored elders, including Bertha Peters (Yurok), one of First Nations’ 2024 Luce Indigenous Knowledge Fellows. Learn more about the Northern California Tribal Court Coalition’s food sovereignty work here.

Congratulations to Lily Gladstone for Groundbreaking Achievements in Media and Film

While there were indeed frustrations that Lily Gladstone didn’t win for Best Actress at the Academy Awards, there were also celebrations for her nomination and for being the first Native person to be nominated for, and to win, Best Actress by both the Screen Actors Guild and the Golden Globes, reports Indian Country Today. We stand with the National Congress of American Indians in congratulating Lily for her spectacular awards season. NCAI writes, “For too long, the narratives of Native peoples, along with our histories and stories, have been largely invisible in this country — no more. Thank you, Lily, and the Native actors, cast, and filmmakers whose efforts have made this milestone possible.” Read more.

Graphic credit NCAI

Sen. Elizabeth Warren Sponsors New Bill for Expanding Rural Tribal Housing Resource

This week, Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Massachusetts) introduced into Congress the “Tribal Rural Housing Access Act,” which calls for the USDA to set aside 5% of its funding under certain Rural Housing Service programs to be used by tribes, tribally designated housing entities, tribal members, and tribal-owned entities, reports Native News Online. The legislation proposes the funds can be used for loan and grant programs, including programs providing technical assistance, money for repair and rehabilitation of rural housing, and the construction of new, multi-family homes for low-income residents. Read more.

Photo credit Native News Online