This Week at First Nations: November 3, 2023

Celebrating Native American Heritage Month with a Focus on Native Artists

As part of First Nations’ intensive examination of Native truth and justice, this year we invited Native artists to submit artwork or artistic productions that depict or reflect Native justice in their communities. In celebration of Native American Heritage Month, we invite viewers to the “Justice Through the Eyes of Native Artists” virtual gallery.

Each week during November we’ll highlight a couple of the artists featured in the gallery, linking directly to their pieces and profiles. We start with Hadassah GreenSky, of Waganakising Odawa (Little Traverse Bay Bands), who shares that justice to her means giving a spotlight to the Native voice, “specifically the dreams and the medicine people, the ones who know the old ways.”

Also featured is Jackie Fawn (Yurok/Washoe/Filipina), whose art has been recognized in Indigenous spaces by vivid depictions of warrior women defending the land and people against modern-day colonialism.

Step into the gallery and watch for more highlights during Native American Heritage Month.

First Nations’ Annual Report Out Now

First Nations’ Board of Directors is proud to present our 2022 Annual Report. Themed “Native Values, Native Voices,” the report reflects on how our values — our cultures, our traditions, and our lifeways — continue to anchor us, and how those values are lifted up by elevating stories of our Native community partners and investing in their important work. Also captured in the report are highlights of the year across our program areas, along with features of our community partners, Luce Indigenous Knowledge Fellows, and project participants.

Download the 2022 Annual Report here.

Happy Halloween From First Nations!

This week we were happy to bring together staff in our Longmont, Colorado, office to take a few hours to celebrate the season. We shared treats, conversation, and some light-hearted competition through the annual costume contest with prizes for creativity, scare factor, humor, and family and pet engagement.

Congratulations to the winners and thank you to everyone who joined the fun!

Next Application Support Webinar Happening Next Tuesday

First Nations is providing technical assistance webinars for applying for the USDA Community Forest Program (CFP). The CFP webinar will be Tuesday, November 7, 2023, 12 to 1:30 pm Mountain Time, where representatives from the USDA Forest Service will provide tips and answer questions. Register here!

If you missed this week’s webinar on the Landscape Scale Restoration Program, access the recording and materials here. You are also encouraged to come Tuesday for more information. Questions? Contact Brett Treadway at btreadway@first​

Celebrate Native American Heritage Month in Style – Exclusive Offer for Our Supporters!

First Nations is proud to partner with Locklear Thomas, a Native-owned lifestyle brand, this Native American Heritage Month. We’re offering our supporters early access to a beautiful 100% silk scarf, which features the White Buffalo — a symbol of hope, and vibrant colors which pay homage to the Native American Medicine Wheel. With every purchase during the month of November, Locklear Thomas will donate $5 to First Nations. Join us in making a meaningful difference. Purchase your scarf today here.

Examining Native Justice: Week 3 Installment of First Nations Essay Series 

First Nations convened 16 Native thought leaders to explore the question of “What is Native justice?” and share frameworks for achieving Native justice through the knowledge and traditions that have guided Indigenous people since time immemorial.

This week’s installment features Charmaine White Face, the current spokesperson for the 1894 Sioux Nation Treaty Council. In her essay, she explores the differences between tribal and settler definitions of justice and asserts that true justice extends beyond the physical realm, and addresses the emotional, mental, and spiritual well-being of the community, as well.

Read the next installment and all the essays here.

‘Killers of the Flower Moon’: Why Osage People Are Still Fighting

The film “Killers of the Flower Moon” came out last month, telling the story of what came to be known as the Reign of Terror, which resulted in the deaths of as many as 200 Osage people. The Guardian shares how, “While the Osage are appreciative of Scorsese and Leonardo DiCaprio bringing the 1920s Terror to the screen, they want the world to know that their story doesn’t end when the movie credits roll.” Read the full article here.

Photo credit IMDb

Climate Impacts Bering Sea Marine Resources

A recent article, published by Popular Mechanics, outlines the reasons behind the mysterious disappearance of snow crabs from the Bering Sea observed between 2018 and 2021. A two-year heat wave that began in 2018 severely impacted snow crab populations due to warmer water temperatures and competition. The warming water increased the crabs’ caloric needs and caused other marine animals to move into the area, which depleted the crabs’ food supply and directly impacted predation of the crab species.

As Native communities in the Bering Sea region address the impacts of climate change on marine resources, First Nations — through our Protecting Bering Sea Marine Resources project — is continuing to provide financial support and technical assistance to ensure they have the tools and platform to protect the species and systems essential to their cultural and subsistence lifeways.

Photo credit Bloomberg Creative Photos – Getty Images