This Week at First Nations: March 8, 2024

Honoring Women Today and Every Day

Justice for Native people and communities cannot exist without justice for Native women. On International Women’s Day and every day, we stand against the intersection of colonialism and gendered violence that contributes to the crisis of Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women (MMIW), impacts on traditional birth practices, pay inequality, and more.

In honor of this day, we amplify this message through art, showcasing two images from First Nations’ Justice Through the Eyes of Native Artists project. Tara Evonne Trudell’s “Anaġoptan” (“to listen” in Dakota) is a megaphone sculpted from handmade paper beads created from the pages of one of the first MMIW reports released in 2018. She writes, “The porcupine needles at the mouth are a reminder of the danger and courage it takes to speak and be heard.”

And, Native artist Jackie Fawn tells the story of her piece, “Rooted With My Ancestors,” sharing, “The sun rises over a boy singing to his mother. She braids his hair with hands that hold secrets and burdens he won’t experience. She wears red to honor murdered and missing Indigenous relatives. He wears orange to honor Native youth taken too soon. The roots of a tree stump, cut in the name of progress, remain. Life grows from the wet wood. A basket of salmonberries sparkles like nourishing salmon eggs. This illustration depicts justice for our ancestors, as we are still here, honoring our roots so the next generation won’t have to make the difficult strides we do as parents and relatives.”

Apply Now: Grant Support for Advancing Tribal Nature-Based Solutions

First Nations is now accepting applications for support for projects that employ and monitor approaches that are based on community, culture, and nature. First Nations will distribute six Advancing Tribal Nature-Based Solutions grants of up to $200,000 each, as part of the second project under our new Stewarding Native Lands Climate Initiative, which was created to support climate action that addresses adaptation and disaster preparation. The new project will provide tribes and Native nonprofits with resources to support climate action through the application of nature-based solutions based on Native knowledge. Learn more and apply here.

REMINDER: Build Capacity for Traditional Native Arts

Through our Native Arts Initiative (NAI), 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 existing programs in place to support Native artists and the field of traditional Native arts. Selected community partners will receive direct grants and technical assistance and training to lead Native-led arts and cultural hubs, and preserve and advance traditional Native arts and the intergenerational sharing of artistic skills and knowledge.

Learn more about the application, selection criteria, or guidelines. Click here to access the NAI Q&A Webinar held this week, and to register for our encore NAI Q&A Webinar on Tuesday, March 19, 2024, at 2 pm MT.

Learn more about the RFP and apply here by March 27.

In Case You Missed It: Access Co-Management and Co-Stewardship Webinar Presentation

Last week, First Nations hosted a Stewarding Native Lands webinar: Tribal Co-Management and Co-Stewardship: 101, featuring guest speakers Monte Mills and Martin Nie. The webinar provided a brief history of tribal co-management and co-stewardship and an overview of opportunities available under various federal authorities, considerations for capacity-building, and pathways for effective implementation. Access the recording and presentation materials here to learn more about strengthening agreements to protect tribal values and interests.

‘Invisible No More’ Noted as a Top-Five Science Pick

This week in Nature, a weekly international journal publishing peer-reviewed research in all fields of science and technology, writer Andrew Robinson shared his picks for the best science books. Among them is “Invisible No More: Voices from Native America,” First Nations and Nonprofit Quarterly’s groundbreaking collection of insights by Native American leaders on philanthropy, climate justice, and economics.

In “The enigmas of language and immunology, and other reads: Books in brief,” Robinson cites from the book, writing “Often, Native Americans have been treated as vestiges of the past, not living people.” Read more.

Land Co-Management Agreements Now Online

This week, the Native American Rights Fund (NARF) announced the release of the Sovereign-to-Sovereign Cooperative Agreements (S2S), a new, free, online resource at the University of Washington Law Library. First Nations is honored to have contributed to the repository, which houses co-management and co-stewardship agreements that tribal nations and U.S. government agencies are forging to create new ways to collaboratively care for land. NARF reports that the concept of “co-stewardship” is novel, and a consolidated repository of information was needed to help agencies and tribes determine how best to use them, if at all. Read more.

The Native American School That’s Decolonizing Foodways

The Guardian this week features Umoⁿhoⁿ Nation, one of the many Indigenous-focused schools across the country in which administrators and educators are introducing healthy, culturally relevant foods into their lunches and other culinary initiatives. The article discusses the challenges and opportunities of these schools, including the focus on Native farm to school programs. First Nations’ Senior Program Officer Richard Elm-Hill (Oneida) contributes to the article, noting that it can be an uphill battle to incorporate traditional ingredients into schools, but farm to school programs — along with after-school programs and sporting events — are other ways Native communities are giving kids access to traditional foods. Read the article here.