This Week at First Nations: November 12, 2021

Honoring the Truth about a 400-Year-Old Tradition

In addition to Native American Heritage Month, November brings the “celebration” of Thanksgiving. As we take the time to be with friends and family on this day, we at First Nations will continue to hold in our hearts the true story of the holiday. Here, the Seattle Times shares that “while the Wampanoags did help the Pilgrims survive, their support was followed by years of a slow, unfolding genocide of their people and the taking of their land.” Join with us in honoring the real history of the Wampanoag Nation and what happened on that first Thanksgiving.


At ʻOMKKCC, all visitors not only learn about the power of kalo as a traditional food, but also gain a sense of family.

Spotlight on First Nations’ Community Partner ‘O Maku’u Ke Kahua Community Center

In further celebration of Native American Heritage Month and the GATHER film being released on Netflix, we’re excited to highlight another aspect of our GATHER Food Sovereignty work: The ‘O Maku’u Ke Kahua Community Center. With support from First Nations, this Native-led non-profit in Hawaii is hosting a new curriculum of workshops designed to help community members invest in their own food systems, feed their families, and thrive. Read their story here.


Thank You, Billy Reid, for Supporting Native Communities

We received word that the fundraiser hosted last weekend by American fashion designer Billy Reid resulted in a nearly $50,000 donation to First Nations in support of the Native Arts Initiative and Native Youth and Culture Fund. The company also highlighted First Nations’ Michael Roberts on their In the Studio platform and provided a forum for Mike to share information with their team members. Thank you, Billy Reid. We are honored to have you as a partner!


How Are Native Americans Faring Economically? While the latest jobs report shows hiring is picking up, one group is again missing from the data. In a new Brookings blog post, First Nations’ Raymond Foxworth joins co-authors Gabriel R. Sanchez and Robert Maxim to explore the state of jobs, the effects of the pandemic, economic stressors, and recommendations for economic improvement for Native Americans, a population that continues to be left out of the discussion when it comes to economic well-being in the United States. Read the full article here.


REMINDER: GATHER Panel Discussion with A-dae Romero-Briones is Next WeekPeninsula Open Space Trust is hosting a free online screening of GATHER, in which participants will have access to the documentary starting November 17 through November 24, 2021. Through the event, participants will also be invited to an online panel discussion, premiering November 17, with First Nations’ A-dae Romero-Briones and Vincent Medina and Louis Trevino of Café Ohlone. Register here.


There’s Still Time to Register for the Next Native Farm to School Webinar

Join speaker Mariah Gladstone to explore the history of Indigenous foods and how they tell the story of resilience and survival. In this special online cooking demo, she’ll also share how to make a sweet and hearty cranberry apple pecan wild rice pilaf. Tune in Thursday, November 18, at 12 pm MT. Register here.


Three-Part Artist Series by Gordon Coons Kicks off Next Week
First Nations artist friend Gordon Coons is hosting a three-part virtual workshop series on Business Strategies for Fine Artists. Join him and American Indian Community Housing Organization for the first installment Thursday, November 18, at 6:30 pm CT. Topics include developing a vision, pricing, scheduling, how to answer purchase requests, making a commitment to your art business, writing an artist bio and artist’s statement, and more.

Register here by November 12, 2021.


Stewarding Native Lands with Support from USDA

As the recipient of three separate USDA grants, First Nations is helping Native communities leverage funding and opportunities to best manage and sustain lands based on Native values. Learn more about these new projects going on now at First Nations:

Advancing Agribusiness and Ecological Stewardship in the Southwest. With support from the Outreach and Assistance for Socially Disadvantaged Farmers and Ranchers and Veteran Farmers and Ranchers Program of the USDA Office of Partnerships and Public Engagement (OPPE), this new project is helping two food-producing organizations increase access to new markets, address soil health, develop business goals, and expand their networks. Read more here.

Native Farmer and Rancher Apprenticeship Network. The USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) has announced an investment of over $50 million to train the “next generation” of farmers and ranchers. As a grantee, First Nations is launching an Apprenticeship Network to provide training, technical assistance, and networking opportunities to two groups of Native American beginning farmers and ranchers to expand business capacity, improve agricultural operations, and strengthen the local and regional food supply chain in Indian Country.

Beginning Farmers and Ranchers in Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota, Wisconsin, Arizona and New Mexico: Learn more and apply here.

Increasing Native Producer and Community Access to Quality Water Resources. Progress continues on this First Nations project to support Native agricultural producers to create, implement and sustain water quality improvement and conservation strategies. Made possible by the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) Conservation Innovation Grant, this project is helping the Lands Operations Department, White Mountain Apache Tribe, and Natural Resource Department, Pueblo of Jemez, improve their water resources. Learn more.


2021 Green 2.0 Transparency Report Card Release

On November 17, 2021, Green 2.0 will release the 2021 NGO & Foundation Transparency Report Card, reflecting data from environmental NGOs on the racial and ethnic diversity of their full-time staff, senior staff, and boards. For the first time ever, data on heads of organizations, retention rates of staff, and diversity and inclusion practices will also be released. Join Green 2.0 next Wednesday at 1 pm ET to hear from experts in the environmental movement on this year’s results and trends. Register here.


Northwest Area Foundation CEO Talks About Investing in Native Communities

At the Northwest Area Foundation, 40% of grant dollars go to Native-led groups. President and CEO Kevin Walker says this commitment is based on the foundation’s approach of engaging with Native communities in a respectful and sustainable way: showing up and building relationships; listening; honoring people’s expertise, values, and lived experience; recognizing assets; doing what you say you’re going to do; and giving instead of taking. Here, Kevin shares more insights about how funders can make the most of their relationships with Native nonprofits and tribal programs.


Land Loss Makes Native Americans More Vulnerable to Climate Change

A first-of-its-kind data set has quantified the history of land dispossession and forced migration in the U.S., and examined its long-term environmental and economic impacts, reports NPR. The article describes how, as a result of the near-total loss of tribal lands, Indigenous people have been forced to live in areas that are, on average, more exposed to climate change hazards like extreme heat and decreased precipitation. Those lands are also less likely to lie over valuable subsurface oil and gas resources. Read more.

Photo credit NPR, Spencer Platt/Getty Images


Search for Bodies Begins at Canada’s Oldest Residential School

“On Tuesday, police and community members at the Six Nations of the Grand River began searching the grounds of the Mohawk Institute – the oldest and longest-running residential school in Canada – as they launched a grim search for the remains of children who many believe were buried here in unmarked graves,” reports The Guardian. The search has also led to renewed calls for the Canadian government to release all documents related to the more than 150,000 Indigenous children who were taken from their families and forced to attend residential schools.

Photo credit The Guardian, Cole Burston, AFP, Getty Images