This Week at First Nations: September 2, 2022

September 2, 2022

Grants Awarded to Protect Bering Sea Marine Resources

Due to climate change, along with additional threats like overfishing, habitat destruction, poaching, bottom-sea trawling, and pollution, Alaska Native communities in the Bering Sea ecoregion are facing more hazardous and unpredictable conditions when hunting or fishing traditional foods. In response, First Nations is providing grants of $50,000 each to organizations in Native communities that are working to protect marine resources in the Bering Sea to sustain their communities and people. Learn about the 2022 community partners here.

Showcasing the Origins and Strength of Native Food Systems

Native food leaders are creating a powerful voice for Indigenous food systems as part of Food Tank’s Nourishing America Tour. Richard Elm-Hill, (Oneida Nations of Wisconsin), a First Nations lead program officer; Artees Vannett, COO of Grey Snow Management Solutions, LLC, an Iowa Tribe of Kansas and Nebraska’s economic development; and Elsie Dubray, (Cheyenne River Sioux), a Stanford University student and one of the Native food producers featured in First Nations’ GATHER film were among the presenters at the August 24, 2022, event. Together they shared how the responsible and sustainable food models that everyone’s now talking about have actually been here all along, since time immemorial.

Join Us for ‘Indigenous Voices in the Outdoors’ on September 14

By cultivating outdoor experiences through an Indigenous lens, Native-led organizations are supporting thriving Indigenous communities and advocating for Indigenous rights. In this new webinar, co-hosted by ReThink Outside, Blue Sky Funders Forum, and First Nations, speakers from First Nations community partners Native American Fish & Wildlife Society and Ancestral Lands Conservation Corps, and from Indigenous Women Hike and Native Women Running, will discuss ways Native communities are promoting equitable access to the outdoors. All are welcome, Wednesday, September 14, 2022, at 12 pm MT. Register here.

Investing for the Future: Next Training Coming Up Soon

The next Investing for the Future Train-the-Trainer Workshop will be held September 20 and 21, 2022, at the Wind Creek Casino and Hotel in Atmore, Alabama. The two-day investor education certification workshop offers in-depth instruction on the Investing for the Future curriculum, workbook, and related training materials. As part of the Building Native Communities curriculum series, Investing for the Future provides culturally applicable resources and tools for financial education trainers, financial advisors, and others to teach interactive investing classes and workshops. Space is limited – Register here.

What We’re Reading: Cornell University and the Morrill Act of 1862

In this essay, a professor assesses the response of Cornell University, one of the 52 land-grant universities created through the Morrill Land-Grant Act, in the context of other land-grant institutions and “the emerging national conversation concerning the imperative of redress for all manner of inequities associated with the historical financing of American higher education.”

Among the land-grant institutions highlighted is The Ohio State University, which is leading a racial justice call to “Step Out” of comfort zones and “Step Up” to the responsibilities that come with the “massive transfer of wealth from tribal nations to the university and to address challenging questions with regard to Ohio State’s relationship to contemporary Indigenous communities.” First Nations has been part of the Ohio State research team, which seeks to address the “original sin” of the nation’s first public universities, how schools like The Ohio State University came to be, and how the stealing of these lands has continued to marginalize Native people.

Help us Protect the Indian Child Welfare Act

First Nations believes that Native youth represent the future of Native communities, and that their health and well-being determine the future health and well-being of communities overall. First Nations also understands the importance of family, and we stand with the many Native nonprofits, states, tribes, Congress people, and agencies supporting the effort to ensure that the Indian Child Welfare Act is not overturned. We hope you join us. Learn more about ICWA, and look for our blog post next week by First Nations Development Officer Marisa Page.

Recognizing Contributions of Indigenous Peoples in the Workforce

First Nations’ offices will be closed on Monday, September 5, 2022, in recognition of Labor Day and the important contributions of Native workers to the strength, prosperity, and well-being of our country. Labor and employment law in Indian Country remains a critical battleground for tribal sovereignty. As we acknowledge this day, we’re happy to share that the new edition of “Labor and Employment Law in Indian Country, 2022 Edition” has been released. Turtle Talk calls the publication “a must-read for anyone involved in Indian affairs today:” Read more here.

Reminder: Tune in for “A New Road to Funding Racial Justice and Equity”

You’re invited to join First Nations’ Mike Roberts and other leaders for a conversation on building powerful, resilient nonprofits that advance racial justice and equity in the U.S. today. Hosted by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation and the Fidelity Charitable Trustees’ Initiative, this webinar discussion will explore how funders currently approach Latinx, African American, and Native American communities, and how to advance philanthropy in each one.

The webinar is September 13, 2022, at 10 am MT. Learn more and register.

Democrat Mary Peltola Wins Special U.S. House Election

The Anchorage Daily News reports this week that Democrat Mary Peltola is the apparent winner of Alaska’s special U.S. House race. She is set to become the first Alaska Native in Congress, after votes were tabulated Wednesday in the state’s first ranked choice election. Peltola, a Yup’ik former state lawmaker from Bethel, is now slated to be the first woman to hold Alaska’s lone U.S. House seat. Read more.

Photo credit Marc Lester/Anchorage Daily News

Hawaii Seeking End To Conflict Over Astronomy On Sacred Mountain

A new state law in Hawaii mandates Mauna Kea, a mountain sacred to Native Hawaiians, must be protected for future generations and that science must be balanced with culture and the environment, reports HuffPost. The law is in response to protests that began three years ago to block construction of a state-of-the-art observatory. The new governing body, the Mauna Kea Stewardship and Oversite Authority, will give Native Hawaiian cultural experts a voting seat, instead of only an advisory one, to protect a site of great spiritual importance and seek a feasible management solution that will be more inclusive of Indigenous and culturally significant lands. Read more.

Photo credit HuffPost, Alex Ratson via Getty Images

National Tribal Broadband Summit Coming Up

The Department of the Interior and its federal agency partners are bringing together tribal broadband industry experts to discuss how to make the best use of Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL), Federal Broadband Connectivity Grant funds for Tribes, and how to plan for the future of wireless networks and digital economies on Tribal Lands. The annual National Tribal Broadband Summit is part of ongoing efforts to close the digital divide and build on an all-of-government approach to uplift tribal sovereignty in the digital arena. This year’s event is September 13, 20, and 27, 2022. Register here.