This Week at First Nations: September 10, 2021

September 10, 2021

First Nations Receives Support from Apple for Advancing Environmental Justice Work

First Nations is honored to be among the many beneficiaries of Apple’s new $30 million commitment toward its Racial Equity and Justice Initiative designed to support “students, innovators, and advocacy organizations that are leading the charge in creating a more inclusive, more just world.” The initiative includes funding to Black-, Hispanic/Latinx-, and Indigenous-led organizations that are grounded in advancing environmental justice, and advocating for communities most impacted by climate change and environmental disparities. Thank you, Apple, for supporting First Nations’ work to promote economic development, safety, and health in Native communities. Read the full release here.


Recognizing Resilience on Native Women’s Equal Pay Day

Native American women earn approximately $0.60 on the dollar of white, non-Hispanic men (based on 2019 data). This week — 251 days into the year on September 8 — we recognized Native Women’s Equal Pay Day, the day Native American women must work into the new year to make what white men made at the end of last year. In this guest blog for the Women’s Foundation of Colorado, First Nations’ Development Officer Marisa Page (Pawnee/Ponca/Comanche) weighs in on the annual event and the perseverance of Native American women.


Reminder: Two First Nations RFPs Open with Deadlines Fast Approaching

Applications are due September 14 for Tribal Stewardship in the Northern Great Plains Grants for work to support sustainable economic opportunities and preserve Native grasslands in North Dakota, South Dakota, and Montana. And, the application deadline is September 30 for Native Agriculture and Food Systems Scholarships for Native college students entering agriculture and food systems fields. Learn more and apply soon here.


Hear the Conversation on Environmental Justice Next Week

On September 15, 2021, First Nations’ President and CEO Michael Roberts will join Green 2.0 and Indigenous environmental leaders to discuss the state of the movement and changes needed to achieve justice and equity. 

Learn more about the Indigenous communities that have been at the forefront of environmental protection, leading movements to protect natural resources for all. Register here!


Spark the Conversation on Native Food Systems!

This week, in celebration of our Nourishing Native Foods & Health Matching Gift Challenge, we’re extending the invitation to watch a film co-produced by First Nations called GATHER. This feature-length documentary film tells the story of Indian resilience and the renaissance of Native food systems. To add to your viewing experience, share the film with your friends, family, school, or workplace and use the discussion questions we’ve created to help facilitate conversation. We hope you will be inspired!


Awareness Builds in Minnesota for Indigenous Foods Producers

This month, a new billboard by First Nations Community Partner American Indian Community Housing Organization (AICHO) was revealed in Duluth, the fourth in a series produced this year through the Support Local Indigenous Foods Producers public messaging campaign. The billboard features David Wise, Fond du Lac Band of Ojibwe direct descendant farmer, gardener, harvester, and Indigenous foodways practitioner who co-owns Native Wise LLC, which is on the Fond du Lac Ojibwe Reservation and part of AICHO’s Indigenous Food & Art Markets and youth programming. The billboard is supported in part by First Nations, Northwest Area Foundation, and Headwaters Foundation for Justice. Congrats AICHO!

Photo credit Ivy Vainio


Innovation and Sustainability Featured at Bow & Arrow Brewing

First Nations is proud to share this story on First Nations’ Board Member Shyla Sheppard, co-founder of the Bow & Arrow Brewing Company in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Shyla and her business partner Missy Begay use traditional Native American ingredients in their brewing process and recycle the spent grain for livestock feed. “What we aim to do is sustainable,” Shyla said. “Native Americans have ­always been innovators, and able to adapt to change. They are the natural stewards of the world.” Read the story here.

Photo credit Minesh Bacrania


The Power to Tax: Learn more September 29th

The power to tax is an essential attribute of Indian sovereignty. Yet tribal governments face legal limitations and practical disincentives to use their tax authority as an economic tool. These constraints weaken tribal economies and hamper tribes’ ability to provide for the needs of their people. This Center for Indian Country Development (CICD) webinar, September 29, 2021, at 12 pm Central, is focused on increasing understanding of tribal taxation policy and its impact on economic opportunity in Indian Country. Learn more and register.