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This Week at First Nations: September 24, 2021

Today is California Native American Day

In honor of California Native American Day, First Nations is happy to highlight a few recent grantees through our California Tribal Fund. We thank Together Toward Health, a program of the Public Health Institute, for their support of these community partners. Learn more about these grantees and their successes in keeping their communities safe during these unpresented times:

Malki Museum “COVID-19 Resiliency Project”
* Tubatulabals of Kern Valley “COVID-19 Recovery and Resilience”
* Ione Band of Miwok Indians “Elder Emergency Services Program”
* Native American Pathways “COVID-19 Wellness”


Luce Indigenous Knowledge Fellow Continues Sharing Talent, Wisdom

First Nations is happy to share that 2020 Luce Indigenous Knowledge Fellow X̱unei Lance Twitchell has been awarded a fellowship from the Rasmuson Foundation “to realize a longtime dream — to bring a true story to life, about how Native boarding schools systematically tried to kill indigenous languages,” reports KTOO Twitchell is set to work on a screenplay – written in Lingít – about two boys who ran away from their boarding school, a story Twitchell learned about from a surviving member of the boys’ family. Read more about Twitchell’s project.


First Nations Spotlighted at Women in Agribusiness Summit

First Nations is honored to be one of the organizations highlighted this week at the 10th annual Women in Agribusiness Summit as an organization “committed to providing opportunities in agriculture for diverse populations.” We appreciate the opportunity to share information about our Nourishing Native Foods & Health program and our work to build sustainable food systems that improve health, strengthen food security, and increase control over Native agriculture and food systems.


In Case You Missed It: Second NPQ Article Released This Week

First Nations is teaming up with Nonprofit Quarterly for a series of articles on Indigenous economic justice and ways that philanthropy might more effectively support this work. In this week’s release, Rewriting the Rules: Putting Trust Lands to Work for Native American Benefit, Lakota Vogel (Cheyenne River Sioux) uses the soap dispenser story to explore the structural inequities experienced in Indian Country when it comes to accessing capital.


Remaking the Economy: Economic Justice in Indian Country

As part of the Remaking the Economy series, First Nations and NPQ are bringing together series authors Heather Fleming (Navajo), Vanessa Roanhorse (Navajo), and Lakota Vogel (Cheyenne River Sioux), on Thursday, October 14, at 12 pm MDT, to discuss their work and the challenges they face. One question they’ll address: How do Native economic values differ from those typically espoused in U.S. discourse? Register here.


Join Us for a Conversation with Indigenomics Author Carol Anne Hilton

On Wednesday, October 6, 2021, First Nations President & CEO Michael Roberts will sit down with Carol Anne Hilton, founder of The Indigenomics Institute and the Global Center of Indigenomics, for a conversation on strengthening Indigenous economies. The author of Indigenomics: Taking a Seat at the Economic Table, Carol Anne will talk about the current economic landscape and what has to be done to create a new model of development, one that advances Indigenous self-determination, collective well-being, and reconciliation. Sign up here.


First Americans Museum Opens in Oklahoma

The First Americans Museum opened in Oklahoma City last weekend representing the 39 tribes in Oklahoma, reports Indian Country Today. The museum was created to share the state’s brutal history with Indigenous people, and how Indigenous people were forced from their homes to “Indian Territory” more than a century ago. Oklahoma, whose name comes from two Choctaw words – “Okla” and “Homma” meaning Red People – is home to some of the largest tribes in the U.S., including Cherokee Nation and Choctaw Nation.

More good news: One of First Nations’ Luce Indigenous Knowledge Fellowship Advisory Committee members, heather ahtone, is a senior curator at the museum.

Photo credit Indian Country Today, First Americans Museum


Race and the Environment in America

In this “Deep Dive,” Axios explores “The Toll of Environmental Racism” detailing that “study after study shows communities of color are exposed to more air and water pollution, lead poisoning and toxic waste than more affluent, white neighborhoods.” The article sites a slew of examples, including the hundreds of abandoned uranium mines on the Navajo Nation in Utah, Arizona and New Mexico that have polluted water supplies, harmed sheep and caused cancer. Read more.

Photo credit Axios, Gail Fisher/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images


Wisconsin Tribes Sue State for Treaty Violations Over Wolf Hunt

Six Ojibwe tribes have filed a lawsuit in the Western District of Wisconsin against the state for its planned November wolf hunt, claiming the proposed hunt violates the tribes’ treaty rights. A press release from 50 Earthjustice, which represents the tribal nations, cites the “Wisconsin’s Natural Resource Board approved a quota of 300 wolves for the upcoming November hunt, more than double the quota of 130 proposed by the Department of Natural Resources — a recommendation that is also considered by experts to be too high and not supported by scientific data and analysis.”

Photo credit 50 Earthjustice, Nagel Photography/Shutterstock