This Week at First Nations: May 31, 2024

May 31, 2024

Support Continues to Strengthen Native Food Systems

First Nations has announced the names of more community partners that have been awarded grants through our Setting the Table for a Healthy Food System in Indian Country project, which supports work to build the organizational and program capacity of tribal food pantries and food banks, thus boosting control, cultural responsiveness, and infrastructure of community food systems. Made possible with support from General Motors, grants of $15,000 each were awarded to six Native-led organizations to continue investment in their Native food systems work. Read more.

Making Land Back a Reality: An Urban Indigenous Land Trust Rises in California

In an interview with Nonprofit Quarterly, Corrina Gould, tribal spokesperson for the Confederated Villages of Lisjan, describes the development of Sogorea Te’ Land Trust, the first urban Indigenous women-led land trust in the country. She talks about the decades of education and organizing needed to establish the trust, the trust’s connection with the land back movement, and the growing awareness in the Bay Area of returning land to its rightful place.

Sogorea Te’ Land Trust is a community partner through the Access to Ancestral Lands project of First Nations’ California Tribal Fund.

Photo credit Nonprofit Quarterly, Wendy Kenin,

Deadline Next Week for Native Youth and Culture Fund Grant Opportunity

The application window for support for Native youth programs closes next week. Through the Native Youth and Culture Fund, First Nations will award multiple two-year grants ranging from $20,000 to $60,000 each 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.

Meet Luce Indigenous Knowledge Fellow Michon Eben

The Reno-Sparks Indian Colony (RSIC) has a real advocate in tribal member Michon Eben. She wears two hats as RSIC’s cultural resource manager and the designated representative of the Tribal Historic Preservation Office for the Paiute, Shoshone, and Washoe people. Her lifelong work has been to educate and empower RSIC about its precious cultural assets and the critical need to protect them ― especially from the destructive mining industry. “We can make a difference if we rise together with one, strong voice,” says Eben.

Read more about Eben’s mission to help change federal mining laws in place since 1872.

Navajo Nation Approves Proposed Water Rights Settlement

Last week, the 25th Navajo Nation Council’s Naabik’íyáti’ Committee unanimously approved Legislation No. 0109-24, the Northeastern Arizona Indian Water Rights Settlement Agreement, which seeks to settle the Navajo Nation’s claims to water rights to all Colorado River water in Arizona. In a press release, legislation sponsor Speaker Crystalyne Curley noted that the settlement will have a profound impact on Navajo investments in essential infrastructure projects, such as roads, housing, education, and healthcare. Through the settlement, the Navajo Nation affirms and quantifies its enforceable rights to water in Arizona and to secure funding to build much-needed water delivery infrastructure on the Navajo Nation. Read the press release.

Washington Tribes Get $39 Million to Restore Salmon Habitat

The National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) announced that $39.4 million in funding will go to nine projects in the state of Washington to remove fish passage barriers and allow more salmon to return to their natural spawning grounds, reports Native News Online. All nine projects will be led by, or completed in partnership with, tribes and will help recover habitats for endangered migratory fish and support the sustainability of commercial, recreational, and tribal fisheries. Learn more about the nine tribes, which include First Nations’ community partners Tulalip Tribes, Port Gamble S’Klallam Tribe, and Yakama Nation.

Photo credit Native News Online