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This Week at First Nations: November 5, 2021

Beyond Each November: Our Beauty and Resilience Go On

Since 1990, every sitting president has acknowledged November as National American Indian Heritage Month, a time to celebrate the many contributions of the Indigenous peoples of the United States. At First Nations, we recognize that such celebration was warranted long before the first presidential acknowledgements, and that the celebration should last much longer than a month. Read more in this blog from First Nations’ Development Officer Marisa Page.


GATHER Documentary Comes to NETFLIX

In further celebration of Native American Heritage Month, we’re excited to share that the full-length documentary GATHER, co-produced by First Nations, is now available on NETFLIX. Many of our supporters know GATHER is an intimate portrait of the growing movement among Native Americans to invest in their well-being by reclaiming their identities through food sovereignty. Learn more.


Boeing Pledges Support for Racial Equity in Recognition of Native American Heritage Month

First Nations is honored to receive a grant from Boeing to strengthen Native food banks and food pantries. The grant is part of a $1.8 million investment package by Boeing, announced this week at the start of Native American Heritage Month, to continue its commitment to addressing racial equity with emphasis on Indigenous populations. Thank you, Boeing!


First Nations Partners with Billy Reid to Support Native Communities

First Nations is proud to partner with Billy Reid, an American fashion designer based in Florence, Alabama, that features men’s and women’s clothing and accessories in classic styles and high-quality fabrics. Billy Reid highlighted First Nations’ Michael Roberts on their In the Studio platform and provided a forum for Mike to share information with the Billy Reid team about First Nations and ways to be an ally for Native peoples beyond the celebration of Native American Heritage Month.

Also, through the partnership, Billy Reid is donating a percentage of sales this weekend (November 4 to 7, 2021) in support of First Nations’ programs, including the Native Arts Initiative and Native Youth and Culture Fund. Thank you, Billy Reid!


Thank You, Rothy’s, for Shining a Light on Native American Heritage

The shoe and accessory company with a focus on sustainability and eco-friendly materials, Rothy’s, is celebrating the month by donating $10,000 to support Native communities through First Nations. Rothy’s is also highlighting First Nations in their blog, The Loop, and sharing resources for reading, watching, listening, shopping, and learning during Native American Heritage Month and year-round. Thank you, Rothy’s, for the support and visibility. We value our partnership!


More on GATHER – Plus a Panel Discussion with A-dae Romero-Briones

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


New Grant Opportunity: Breastfeeding and First Foods

First Nations has created a new Breastfeeding and First Foods Grant to reinforce traditional Native food systems, support producers and practitioners of traditional food systems, and communicate the value of traditional foods. Through this opportunity, First Nations will award up to 12 grants averaging $32,000 to support Native American-led breastfeeding and early childhood nutrition work. Learn more and apply by November 30, 2021. Questions about applying? Attend the Q&A application webinar Thursday, November 11, at 11 MT. Register here.


Additional Grant Deadlines Fast Approaching

Final reminder for Native-led nonprofit organizations: Deadlines for two First Nations grant opportunities are next week!

Native Language Immersion Initiative GrantsApply by November 10!

Setting the Table for a Healthy Food System in Indian Country Grants – Apply by November 12!


Next Native Farm to School Webinar: November 18!

In this special cooking demonstration webinar, speaker Mariah Gladstone will dive into the history of Indigenous foods and how they tell the story of resilience and survival. She’ll also share how to make — and how to engage Native students in making — a meal that is perfect for the harvest season: a sweet and hearty cranberry apple pecan wild rice pilaf. Join us Thursday, November 18, at 12 pm MT. Register here.


First Nations Celebrates 10 Years as a Top-Rated 4-Star Charity

First Nations again received a 4-star rating from Charity Navigator, America’s largest independent charity evaluator. With this award, First Nations joins the only 3 percent of charities rated that have earned this top distinction for 10 years in a row. First Nations President and CEO Michael Roberts said the recognition is a testament to the values and practices of the organization’s staff and board. Read more.


Latest AICHO Food Producers Billboard Revealed

The latest “Support Local Indigenous Foods Producers” billboard by First Nations Community Partner American Indian Community Housing Organization (AICHO) went up in October featuring participants from the “Giinawiind Giginitaawigi’gomin: Together We Grow Youth Program.” Throughout the program, 15 Minnesota youth tended to urban garden plots, created value-added products, sold their goods at farmers’ markets, and practiced photography and video skills to document their experiences. Learn more about AICHO here.


Final Workshop on Implementing Indigeneity

Join the Phoenix College Committee on American Indian Initiatives, Programs, and Projects for the final installment in the series of virtual online workshops entitled “Implementing Indigeneity: Co-Creating Institutional Spaces for Indigenous Innovation.” Workshop #3, Applying Indigeneity Across Maricopa, will be held Tuesday, November 16, 2021, from 12 to 4 pm, and includes a panel discussion on consensus building, mediation and reconciliation. Register here.


Exploring the Need for Better Indigenous Food Insecurity Data

This week, Tribal Business News reported that the USDA’s Economic Research Service is pressing the U.S. Census Bureau to provide better data on Indian Country populations. The article shares how “the sample size the Census Bureau collects for Natives is too small for the Economic Research Service to prepare a full-scale report on them, despite anecdotal evidence and scientific research that found some tribal citizens are among the most food insecure people in the nation.” Read more.

Photo credit U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service


Effects of Land Dispossession and Forced Migration on Indigenous Peoples

New findings in Science confirm the ongoing effects of land dispossession (theft) on Native people today, underscoring that the loss of land impacts outcomes for Native communities in terms of health, economies, climate, and more. The research found that “near-total land reduction and forced migration lead to contemporary conditions in which tribal lands experience increased exposure to climate change risks and hazards and diminished economic value.” Read more.


Indigenous Peoples to Get $1.7 Billion in Recognition for Protecting Forests

The Guardian reports that the governments of the UK, US, Germany, Norway and the Netherlands are leading a $1.7 billion funding pledge to reverse forest loss and land degradation by 2030. As part of efforts to champion Indigenous peoples’ rights, the funding will be given directly to Indigenous peoples and communities in recognition of their key role in protecting the planet’s lands and forests. Read more.

Photo credit The Guardian Ueslei Marcelino/Reuters