This Week at First Nations: May 24, 2024

May 24, 2024

First Nations Community Partner Hosts California Native Spring Festival

With the support of the Clarence E. Heller Charitable Foundation through First Nations’ California Tribal Fund, Intertribal Friendship House hosted a California Native Spring Festival to highlight and celebrate the talents and traditions of California Native people. At the event, held last month in Oakland, participants enjoyed storytelling workshops, traditional Pomo dancers from Point Arena and Sonoma County, and instruction in basketweaving, jewelry making, and hand games. Traditional foods were served for lunch, including smoked salmon and chia pudding. Intertribal Friendship House was established in 1955 as one of the first urban American Indian community centers in the nation.

First Nations Collaborates to Promote Breastfeeding and Traditional First Foods

First Nations’ A-dae Romero-Briones (Cochiti/Kiowa) was in Washington, D.C., this week for the second meeting of the committee on Understanding Breastfeeding Promotion, Initiation, and Support Across the United States: An Analysis. The committee was convened by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine to bring together experts to leverage available data and literature to conduct a consensus study on policies, programs, and investments to better understand the landscape of breastfeeding across the United States. A-dae said she looks forward to bringing Native perspectives to the meetings, in line with First Nations’ work to uplift breastfeeding and traditional first foods for Indigenous families.

Reminder: Native Youth and Culture Fund Grant Opportunity

The application window for support for Native youth programs is now open. Through the Native Youth and Culture Fund, First Nations will award multiple two-year grants ranging from $20,000 to $60,000 to Native youth programs and projects that focus on increasing youth leadership and providing opportunities for intergenerational transfer of knowledge. Grants will be targeted to three specific funding groups.

Who should apply?

* Native nonprofits nationwide that have youth camp programs
* Native nonprofits nationwide that have youth programs
* Native nonprofits in California that have youth programs

Apply here by June 5, 2024.

Miss the Q&A application webinar? Access the recording and presentation materials here.

Wednesday, May 29, 2024, at 2 pm Mountain Time. Register here.

‘Office Hours’ for Tribal Access to Private Markets for Climate Mitigation or Forest Resilience Grant Opportunity

In collaboration with the U.S. Forest Service, First Nations will co-host informal “office hours” to discuss and answer questions about concepts and proposals for the Tribal Access to Emerging Private Markets for Climate Mitigation or Forest Resilience grant. The grant is designed to address Tribal-led forest resilience, climate mitigation, water quality, and carbon sequestration efforts. Up to $2 million each is earmarked for Tribes to develop forest management plans, establish demonstration sites, and prioritize biodiversity protection. The grant deadline is August 21, 2024.

Thursday, May 30, 2024, at 12 pm Mountain Time. Register here.

Indigenous Stewardship of National Forest Lands in the East Region 

In this second webinar of a new First Nations’ webinar series, Tribal representatives will discuss efforts to support Indigenous stewardship of forest lands in partnership with the U.S. Forest Service in the East Region of the United States. The webinar will feature Alex Bohman, Forest Ecology Program Coordinator for the Great Lakes Indian Fish and Wildlife Commission Biological Services Division, and Tommy Cabe, Forest Resource Specialist for the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians Natural Resource Department. Together, they will present on their collaborative work to steward ancestral lands by restoring traditional values and practices with staff from the U.S. Forest Service.

Comment Now, Adopt Alternative E to Protect Bears Ears National Monument

Right now, a public comment period is open to hear concerns and proposals for the best ways to protect the Bears Ears National Monument in Utah. First Nations encourages people to comment in support of Alternative E, developed by the five Tribal Nations that make up The Bears Ears Commission. Alternative E best honors the monument proclamations and maximizes the use of Traditional Indigenous Knowledge and Traditional Ecological Knowledge by elevating Indigenous peoples’ cultural, traditional, and personal connections to Bears Ears. Learn more and act by June 11, 2024.

Herd of 170 Bison Could Help Store CO2 Equivalent of 43,000 Cars

Research reported in The Guardian last week showed how the reintroduction of bison to Romania’s Tarcu mountains may help mitigate effects of the climate crises. According to the article, “bison influence grassland and forest ecosystems by grazing grasslands evenly, recycling nutrients to fertilise the soil and all of its life, dispersing seeds to enrich the ecosystem, and compacting the soil to prevent stored carbon from being released.” Rewilding of the 170 head in Romania were found to store CO2 emissions, equivalent to removing 43,000 U.S. cars from the road for a year. Read more.

Photo credit Michel Doutemont, The Guardian