This Week at First Nations: March 3, 2023

First Nations Announces 2023 Cohort of Luce Indigenous Knowledge Fellows

This week, First Nations announced the 10 outstanding Indigenous leaders selected for the 2023 Cohort of the Luce Indigenous Knowledge Fellowship. Conceived and facilitated by First Nations and The Henry Luce Foundation, the fellowship – now in its fourth year – is designed to identify, support, and convene Native American knowledge holders and knowledge makers who embody exceptional creativity and progressive and critical thinking, and who have the potential to significantly move forward their fields in ways that will ultimately lead to broad, transformative impacts for Native communities and beyond. Meet the new fellows here.

Calling All Acoma Tribal Youth: Register Now for Conservation Planning Training

First Nations, in collaboration with Ancestral Lands, is hosting a 1.5-day Conservation Planning Train-the-Trainer workshop, “Advancing Native Ecological Stewardship.” Training will be April 12 to 13, 2023, in Acoma, New Mexico, and participants will receive training on First Nations’ Stewarding Native Lands Conservation Planning Guide and corresponding curriculum, empowering them to conduct conservation practices in their communities. Youth ages 17 to 30, located in the Pueblo of Acoma, are invited to register. Register now – participation is limited to the first eligible 15 people who apply.

First Nations Celebrates Women’s History Month

This year’s Women’s History Month is themed “Celebrating Women Who Tell Our Stories.” As we begin our journey into this important month, First Nations honors our storytellers – our mothers, grandmothers, sisters, aunties, daughters, and all those who uphold the sacredness of women everywhere.

During the next few weeks, we will take time to tell stories and acknowledge and uplift Indigenous women’s voices and highlight their many contributions throughout history. Stay tuned!

Bringing GATHER to the Classroom: New Viewing Guide Available

The Center for Ecoliteracy has developed a GATHER Viewing Guide that explores four short films excerpted from the feature-length documentary, each following a different Native American nation and its efforts to reclaim their ancestral food systems. These films help students understand the ways that U.S. federal policies have systematically distanced Native people from their traditional lands, their agricultural, hunting, and gathering practices, and their foods — as well as their ways of interacting with the environment. Access the Viewing Guide here.

What We’re Listening To: A Reporter’s Memory of Wounded Knee Occupation

Fifty years after Native American activists seized and occupied Wounded Knee, sparking the movement for Indigenous rights across the U.S., NPR shares an interview with journalist Kevin McKiernan, who covered the occupation as a rookie reporter. McKiernan describes how the image most people had of the occupation was of violence and guns. But the real story, in his mind, were the religious ceremonies that took place inside Wounded Knee. “This became a kind of laboratory for the hundreds who came there, in getting their religion back, learning some of their language, which led to a revival … And these are two components of what I would look at as a core identity, language and religion.” Listen and read more.

Photo credit NPR, AFP/AFP via Getty Images

Kansas Research Shows Reintroducing Bison Doubles Plant Diversity

Research published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science indicate that reintroducing bison to roam the tallgrass prairie gradually doubled plant diversity and improved resilience to extreme drought, reports Successful Farming. The gains were among the largest recorded globally in terms of species richness on grazing grasslands. The lead researcher states, “The resilience we found in the bison grasslands is also consistent with the idea that diversity promotes ecological resilience. … And this resilience will only become more important if our climate becomes more extreme.” Read more.

Photo credit Successful Farming, NRCS

Register Now for Northwest Tribal Clean Energy Summit This Summer

The 2023 Northwest Tribal Clean Energy Summit, sponsored in part by First Nations, will convene tribes to learn, share information, and advance tribal clean energy initiatives in the Pacific Northwest. Tribal leaders, citizens, staff, youth, and collaborators are invited to join the conversation about navigating the cultural, economic, and social challenges of implementing clean energy projects. The summit will be held June 13 to 15, 2023, at the Tulalip Resort and Casino in Tulalip, Washington. Learn more and register here.