This Week at First Nations: May 7, 2021

Increasing Visibility, Raising Awareness through The Funders Network

First Nations’ Vice President Raymond Foxworth will join voices at the Intermountain West Funders Network 2021 Virtual Convening, May 12 and 13, to engage on critical issues, including racial equity, climate and water management, inclusive economies, and Indigenous communities. Raymond, along with Ben Alexander of Resources Legacy Fund and Jill Ozarski of the Walton Family Foundation, will present Gaining Perspective: Views on the Mountain West from 30,000 Feet, moderated by Paula Randolph of the Babbitt Center for Land and Water Policy at the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy. Registration is open to donors, staff, directors, trustees of public and private foundations, corporate grant-makers, and government funders throughout the Intermountain West and elsewhere. Learn more.

In Case You Missed It: Native Fundraisers Community of Practice Builds Community, Skills, Growth

In the March newsletter, we featured Roberta Eaglehorse-Ortiz (Oglala Lakota/Yomba Shoshone), a member of First Nations’ 2021 Native Fundraisers Community of Practice (NFCoP). Here, she has found a gathering of Native professionals committed to sharing ideas, knowledge, and resources for uncovering funding opportunities, grant-writing, and storytelling. Through regular trainings and cohort sessions, Eaglehorse-Ortiz is again finding the power of community to build capacity in her own organization and further connecting the birth world to the earth world at Wombyn’s Wellness Garden, LLC. Meet Roberta.

Weighing in on Regenerative Agriculture

A-dae Romero-Briones, (Cochiti/Kiowa), First Nations Director of Native Agriculture & Food Systems, is a go-to resource throughout the agriculture community on restorative approaches like regenerative agriculture. Recently, A-dae lent her insights in two publications that present opportunities and challenges of this new (old) practice.

How Regenerative Agriculture Could Sustain Humanity – and Earth

This article at Mic outlines how regenerative agriculture’s focus on revitalizing ecosystems, restoring degraded soil, and increasing biodiversity all help to reverse climate change, and it’s a practice that is rooted in Indigenous knowledge. A-dae adds, “Before modern agriculture, Indigenous communities across the globe practiced forms of regenerative agriculture — even if that wasn’t necessarily the name they used.” She reminds people, “All definitions of regenerative agriculture must include ‘a true history of land and the environment and people’s health that starts prior to [European colonization].’”

Photo credit MIC/Aimee Dilger/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Regenerative Agriculture Needs a Reckoning

In this in-depth article in The Counter, A-dae asserts that there are “disparate groups of people rushing to fix the planet under the banner of ‘regenerative,’” yet many of the ideas may not be in line with Native ways or respectful of Native knowledge. “Indigenous people aren’t smarter or more spiritual than anybody else. … We’ve just had a lot more trial and error across a lot more generations. Now we’re at the point where we have all this experience and knowledge that has been passed on from generation to generation — when we talk about processes and outcomes, our timelines are hundreds of years. When people in regenerative agriculture talk about timelines, they’re talking about seasons.”

JUST CAUSES Benefits 15 Non-Profits, Including First Nations

First Nations is honored to be among the 15 organizations highlighted in a new album by Noel Paul Stookey, better known as the “Paul” of the seminal 1960s folk trio Peter, Paul & Mary. Stookey paired each song in the JUST CAUSES compilation with a designated non-profit organization to benefit from the album’s net proceeds. The title, “JUST CAUSES,” Stookey explains, “indicates that the album contains not only those songs that share a commonality of mutual concern and intent, but also that those concerns are well-founded in a search for justice.” Thank you Noel Paul Stookey!

Reminder: Native Youth Business Plan Competition Open Now

First Nations is collaborating with American Indigenous Business Leaders and The National Center for American Indian Enterprise Development to host a Native Youth Business Plan Competition for Native high school and college students. Selected teams will have the opportunity to compete at the AIBL and RES Conferences on July 19, 2021. Teams will also have the opportunity to attend both conferences and receive additional mentorship prior to the competition. Applications are due by May 20, 2021. Learn more here.

What We’re Watching: Missing but not Forgotten

In recognition of the 2021 National Week of Action for Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls, we tuned in to this interview on Indian Country Today with Mary Kathryn Nagle, counsel for the National Indigenous Women’s Resource Center. Mary reports, “Native women began with the colonial conquest of our nations and violence against our women was a very strategic tactic used to conquer our nations. And unfortunately, because that violence has never been directly addressed, we’re still dealing with it today. Today, we have had progress.”

Bill to Build Monument Honoring Indigenous Tribes in the Sacramento Moves Forward

Native News Online reports, “A bill to replace a toppled statue of Junipero Serra that once stood in Sacramento’s Capitol Park with a monument honoring Indigenous tribes in the Sacramento region won committee approval last week in a unanimous bipartisan vote. Assemblymember James C. Ramos, the first California Native American elected to the California Legislature, introduced the bill, which is titled AB 338. … The bill is sponsored by six tribes in the Sacramento region and whose ancestors lived on the land where California’s capitol is now located, including the Wilton Rancheria, Buena Vista Rancheria of Me-Wuk Indians, Chicken Ranch Rancheria of Me-Wuk Indians, Ione Band of Miwok Indians, Shingle Springs Band of Miwok Indians and the Tuolumne Band of Me-Wuk Indians.”

Photo credit Native News Online

Fellowship Opportunity with Soul Fire Farm

Soul Fire Farm has announced applications are now open for the Braiding Seeds Fellowship. This historic fellowship will provide 10 beginning farmers with a living stipend, professional development opportunities, and mentorship to support their land-based livelihood. Indigenous, Black, and people of color farmers in the northeast and southeast of the United States are eligible. The fellowship will build a strong cohort of mutual support and care among these fellows. Learn more and apply by May 15th.