This Week at First Nations: May 19, 2023

Pendleton Woolen Mills Pattern Drives Support for Native Communities

This week, Pendleton Woolen Mills announced that a portion of sales from products that incorporate the Chief Joseph pattern will go to nonprofits that support Native communities. As one of the initial organizations to benefit from the annual commitment led by Pendleton, First Nations will receive support for our Native Language Immersion Initiative. First Nations President and CEO Mike Roberts said the partnership will raise valuable support and awareness surrounding Native language retention. Thank you, Pendleton Woolen Mills!


President Joe Biden talks with children who attended a Rose Garden reception celebrating historic conservation efforts Thursday, May 11, 2023, in the Oval Office of the White House. (Official White House Photo by Adam Schultz)

Celebrating EPA Protections for Bristol Bay

Last week, tribal leaders, Bristol Bay residents, advocates, and stakeholders were invited to the White House to celebrate momentous conservation wins for Bristol Bay. President Biden called on authority under the Clean Water Act to block development of the open-pit gold and copper mine Pebble Mine. First Nations community partner United Tribes of Bristol Bay and Bristol Bay youth and friends were at the ceremony, where UTBB Executive Director Alannah Hurley called the historic victory profound. “This is everything our people have been fighting for,” she said.


Why Is Giving to Native-Led Nonprofits Important?

Native Nonprofit Day is today! First Nations continues to encourage all our friends and allies to spread the word about the great work being done in Native communities and the importance of giving to Native-led nonprofits. In this new video, First Nations’ President and CEO Mike Roberts explains that by investing in Native-led nonprofits, we can support solutions that are created and designed by Native communities themselves. Watch the video here, and join us in celebration of the second annual Native Nonprofit Day! #NativeNonprofitDay 


Luce Fellow’s Film to Be Showcased at Film Festivals This Month

Following the success of The Healer Stones of Kapaemahu, First Nations’ 2021 Luce Indigenous Knowledge Fellow Hinaleimoana Wong-Kalu has produced a new animated short film, Aikane. Telling the story of a valiant island warrior who falls into a mysterious underwater world, the film interlaces elements of Hawaiian moolelo with myths, legends, and histories of other cultures. The film is being showcased at multiple screenings, including the Seattle International Film Festival, May 20, 2023, and Animayo in the Canary Islands, May 28, 2023. Congratulations, Hina!


GATHER Screening in Portland a Success

First Nations thanks the Portland Oregon Women Entrepreneur Roundtable for hosting a screening of our James Beard Award-Winning Film, GATHER, this month in Portland. At the event, Chef Nephi Craig (featured in the film) and First Nations’ President and CEO Mike Roberts discussed food sovereignty and how different tribes and Native-led projects and programs are protecting Native food systems.   

Attendee Lindsay Early (Comanche) said, “The quote, ‘Before organic food was trendy, we just called it food,’ stood out to me. The film reminded me of the importance of our relationship to the land, empowered me to advocate for tribal food sovereignty, and reminded me of the love, care, and generational health that goes into feeding our families.”


First Nations Staff Attends AFP ICON 2023

As part of First Nations’ commitment to best practices in philanthropy and charitable giving, staff spent time in New Orleans last week at the annual ICON conference of the Association of Fundraising Professionals. First Nations’ resource development team members Jona Charette, Marisa Page, and Kelly Connor said the gathering of over 3,600 fundraisers in one place was a great opportunity to gain new knowledge and tools and explore topics in donor engagement and philanthropic justice. Kelly attended as a Colorado AFP Chapter’s 2023 Chamberlain Scholar and Marisa attended as a Blackbaud Diversity Scholarship recipient.


Reminder for California Tribes: Deadline Approaching for Food Sovereignty Funding

First Nations expects to award 10 to 12 grants averaging $40,000 to California-based tribes or tribally-controlled non-profit organizations through the California Tribal Fund’s Food Sovereignty and Local Control of Food Systems grant opportunity. The deadline to apply is Wednesday, May 31, 2023. Miss the Q&A webinar on the application process? Access the recording and presentation materials here.


Green 2.0 Seeks Environmental Experts of Color

In response to the immense need to increase the diversity of environmental experts appearing before state and legislative bodies, Green 2.0 is creating an Environmental Experts of Color Database, which will offer an expansive set of authorities on environmental and environmental justice topics. The organization hopes the database will be a tool to create a much-needed, more representative set of perspectives on vital environmental issues. First Nations encourages Native leaders in the environmental movement to be a part of this key public database by providing basic information about yourself and your areas of expertise on the form here.


Attention Native Artists: Fellowship Open for Applications

The Wyoming Arts Council is again offering the Native Art Fellowship, providing two unrestricted awards of $3,000 to Native artists based in Wyoming who are working in any artistic discipline or medium. This fellowship is designed to raise the profiles of Native artists in Wyoming and celebrate their artistry. Applications are being accepted through June 9, 2023. Learn more and apply.