This Week at First Nations: May 27, 2022


Grant Opportunity: Protecting Bering Sea Marine Resources

Due to climate change, overfishing, habitat destruction, pollution, and other threats, Native communities near the Bering Sea are facing hazardous and unpredictable conditions when hunting or fishing traditional foods. To address this problem, First Nations expects to award approximately 10 grants of $50,000 each to eligible organizations working to protect marine resources in the Bering Sea ecoregion.

Take advantage of the deadline extension. Learn more and apply by May 31, 2022, by 8 am MT.

Questions about applying? Access the recording of the Q&A Application Webinar.

A-dae Romero-Briones Asserts Food Waste is Not an Indigenous Concept

At the recent ReFED Food Waste Solutions Summit in Minneapolis, First Nations’ A-dae Romero-Briones said Indigenous farmers express puzzlement when asked why food would be intentionally wasted, knowing that if food is wasted, something must be wrong with the food system.

According to Triple Pundit, farmers, scientists, and business leaders come together at this annual summit to discuss solutions to global food waste. ReFED data reveals that one-third of food in the U.S. goes unsold or uneaten, with one-quarter of it going to waste.

A-dae Also Discusses Decolonizing Regenerative Agriculture in Langscape Magazine

This month, A-dae Romero-Briones was also featured in Terralingua’s Langscape Magazine about the importance of decolonizing regenerative agriculture ― creating systems that are rebirthing a healthy environment ― by acknowledging Indigenous peoples’ land stewardship. She says, “… we have to go back and think about the times before European settlement and contact when there was more of an ecological balance in the environment that was a result of Indigenous practices; that’s the model we’re now trying to regenerate.”

First Native Woman-Owned Brewery Raising Awareness and Advocacy

Bow & Arrow Brewing Co. in Albuquerque, co-founded by First Nations Board Member Shyla Sheppard, is celebrated this week in Eater. Sheppard and co-founder Dr. Missy Begay share how, through brewing, they are advancing awareness and advocacy for Native communities, such as with their launch of Native Land. The collaboration beer, introduced in a campaign last year, has led to multiple brews being created nationwide acknowledging the presence of Native people. Proceeds have been donated to Native American nonprofits, including to First Nations. Congratulations, Shyla, and thank you for all you do for Native communities.

Reminder: Apply by Next Week for Building Climate Resiliency Grants

As the world confronts climate change and its disastrous effects, many institutions now look to Indigenous knowledge and practices. To help Native communities bolster their resources and infrastructure to protect the climate, First Nations is introducing two new grant opportunities for Native-led organizations working in line with the Justice40 initiative to promote climate resiliency in Native communities.

These are separate grants, but tribes and organizations are encouraged to apply for one or both opportunities. Both are due June 1, 2022.

Climate Resiliency in Indian Country Grant. Apply here.

Regional Dialogues on Climate Resiliency Grant. Apply here.

What We’re Listening To: Stolen from Her Tribe, Now She’s Fighting Back

In our ongoing efforts to raise awareness about threats to the Indian Child Welfare Act, we were moved by this new Inspire Podcast, which we learned of through our ongoing research collaboration on racial justice with The Ohio State University. In this episode, Sandy White Hawk, who was adopted by a white family at 18 months, talks about the impact of adoption on Native children and the resulting loss of Native heritage and compass. The podcast highlights research by White Hawk, now with First Nations Repatriation Institute, and Ashley Landers, an assistant professor at Ohio State.

Watch the podcast on Apple or on Spotify.

Save the Date: Conservation and Range Management Field Day

Native agricultural farmers, ranchers, and producers are invited to a special 1.5-day convening, August 19 and 20, 2022, to explore the latest practices and trends in conservation strategies in the Southwest.

Hosted by First Nations, in collaboration with Padres Mesa Demonstration Ranch, this unique field day of learning covers multiple aspects of implementation and sustainability plans, presented by leading experts in conservation, agriculture, and Native food systems. Save the date and stay tuned for more information!

2021 Luce Indigenous Knowledge Fellow Richard Moves Camp is a fifth-generation Lakota healer, Tribal historian, and spiritual leader.

Meet Luce Indigenous Knowledge Fellow Richard Moves Camp

This month, we introduce you to 2021 Luce Indigenous Knowledge fellow Richard Moves Camp, a fifth-generation Oglala Lakota healer. He is the great-great grandson of a holy man who provided Crazy Horse with war medicines for protection.

Moves Camp is a mental health professional who merges both traditional tribal and western modes of healing and wellness. Through the fellowship, he continued to provide mental health counseling on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation and developed a mental-health tool kit for Lakota youth and young adults based on Lakota philosophy. Moves Camp also led the prayers and ceremony for nine Sicangu Lakota children who died at the Carlisle Indian Industrial School. Their remains were finally returned to the Rosebud Sioux Tribe after more than 140 years.

Moves Camps says the fellowship has allowed him, as a spiritual Lakota leader, to continue the traditional healing work passed down to him by five generations of his family. Read his inspiring story here.

Governor Polis Signs Bill to Investigate Histories of Colorado’s Indian Boarding Schools

This week, Colorado Governor Jared Polis signed a bill to establish a research program to investigate the abuse and deaths that occurred at federal Indian boarding schools in Colorado, reports Rocky Mountain PBS.

The signing took place at Fort Lewis College in Durango, which was a military post in the late 19th century before it was transitioned into an Indian Boarding School that operated from 1891 to 1910. The Fort Lewis school is one of the five schools identified through the Department of the Interior’s Federal Indian Boarding School Initiative.

Photo credit Rocky Mountain PBS, Center of Southwest Studies

Indigenous Creators Call for Infrastructure

A new study by the First People’s Fund and NORC examines tensions between the stories Indigenous artists want to tell and the demands of a white-dominated U.S. arts marketplace. Nonprofit Quarterly shares highlights of the study, especially the need for improvements in infrastructure, citing that one-quarter of interview respondents called for more supports for Native-led organizations doing community-based work. The study asserts that a good first step for funders is to identify and work with existing Indigenous organizations to build out the infrastructure that could support creative voices throughout Indian Country.

Photo credit NPQ, Zeke Tucker on Unsplash

Senate Confirms First-Ever Native American Federal Judge in California

In a 51-45 vote, the U.S. Senate has confirmed 48-year-old Sunshine Suzanne Sykes, a member of the Navajo Nation, to a lifetime seat on the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California. This confirmation makes Sykes the state’s first-ever Native American federal judge and fifth Indigenous woman in U.S. history to serve on a federal court. As reported in HuffPost, only seven Native Americans have ever served as federal judges in the 230-year history of the U.S. federal courts.

Photo credit Bill Clark via Getty Images

Indigenous and Alaska Native Women Could Face Escalated Violence if Roe is Repealed

In an interview with The Guardian, Abigail Echo-Hawk, director of the Urban Indian Health Institute, predicted that Indigenous women would experience increased violence if SCOTUS overturns Roe v Wade, the 50-year-old ruling protecting abortion rights. Echo-Hawk says limited resources and support, unsafe abortions, and mental anguish from a forced pregnancy could cause women to suffer if the ruling is repealed. According to the CDC, Indigenous and Black women are also two to three times more likely to die from pregnancy-related causes than white women.

Photo credit The Guardian, Allison Bailey/Rex/Shutterstock