This Week at First Nations: September 9, 2022

Native College Students: Apply Now for Food & Agriculture Scholarship

To encourage more Native American, Alaska Native, and Native Hawaiian college students to enter agriculture and food systems fields so that they can better assist their communities with food systems efforts, First Nations will award 20 to 25 $1,000 to $1,500 scholarships to Native college students majoring in agriculture and agriculture-related fields. The application window for scholarships for the 2022-2023 academic year is now open. Apply here by October 18, 2022.

Protect Our Indian Children

From a very young age, Indigenous peoples are taught that family is sacred. The Indian Child Welfare Act of 1978 recognizes the important role family plays in the health and well-being of Native children, but now this legislation is at risk of being overturned. In this new First Nations blog post, Development Officer Marisa Page looks at how efforts to repeal ICWA are just the latest battle in an ongoing war to take our future from us. Read the post here.

Thank You, Friends and Supporters!

First Nations’ Native Youth and Culture Fund summer campaign has come to an end, and, thanks to support from across our community, we exceeded the match goal and raised over $159,000. This means — with the matching grant — a total of over $309,000 will be able to go toward Native youth-serving programs and projects this fall.

Thank you to all who contributed! Together we are increasing opportunities for Native youth to engage in culturally significant programs that foster a sense of purpose and place.

Applying for Funding for Landscape Scale Restoration? First Nations Can Help

The U.S. Forest Service’s Landscape Scale Restoration competitive grant opportunity for federally recognized tribes and Alaska Native corporations/villages is now open. The grant program promotes collaborative, science-based restoration of priority forest landscapes that cross multiple jurisdictions and address large-scale issues such as wildfire risk reduction, watershed protection and restoration, and invasive species management, among other activities.

Tribes and Native-led organizations interested in this funding opportunity can access technical assistance on the application process through First Nations. Contact Emilie Ellis at for more information.

Reminder: 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.

What We’re Watching: Yurok Chief Judge on ‘Gutsy’ Women

The Chief Justice of First Nations’ community partner Yurok Tribe and her court team will be featured in the eight-part docuseries Gutsy, debuting tonight on Apple TV+. Created by Hillary Clinton and Chelsea Clinton, the docuseries offers engaging conversations with many of the most influential women of the 21st century. Yurok Chief Judge Abby Abinanti, the first Native American woman admitted to the State Bar of California, will be showcased in the episode “Gutsy Women Seek Justice.”

10,245 Indigenous Remains Reported at the University of Alabama

Native News Online reports that the University of Alabama indicated in a federal notice published by the National Park Service that the school has more than 10,000 Native American human remains – the largest number of Native American human remains ever reported in such a notice. It is said to be the first step in returning the ancestors and their burial items to their lineal descendants across seven Muskogean language-speaking tribes, which have been seeking their ancestors’ return for more than a decade. Read more.

Chippewa Tribe Gets 1,500 Acres of Lake Superior Land Back in NW Wisconsin

The Red Cliff Band of Lake Superior Chippewa this summer finalized the return of more than 1,500 acres of land along the shoreline of Lake Superior in Northwest Wisconsin from Bayfield County, reports Native News Online. Efforts to restore the tribe to its original boundaries have been underway since 2000, and now, the Red Cliff Reservation totals roughly 15,000 acres. Chairman Boyd said that the tribe’s next task is to begin the process of putting reclaimed lands into federal trust land status, which would exempt them from taxation by local and state governments. Read more.

Colorado River Basin Tribes Work to Protect Their Water Rights

Amid historic drought in the Colorado River Basin and federal calls for cuts to water withdrawals, the Gila River Indian Community and the Colorado River Indian Tribes are evaluating their voluntary water contributions to Lake Mead, a crucial water supply for the region. High Country News, via Indian Country Today, reports the tribes and all those in the region are facing difficult choices and working to ensure they have a void during ongoing water management negotiations. Read more.

We’re Dwindling Like the Salmon: The Indigenous Nations Fighting for Water Rights

A coalition of Indigenous nations, frontline communities, and environmentalists is coming together hoping to secure both water rights and civil rights in California’s Bay-Delta. The Guardian reports that while state leaders have believed voluntary agreements and negotiations between the board, water districts, and senior rights holders have been successful, key stakeholders, including environmental groups, Indigenous nations, and fishing industry representatives, have been missing from the agreements. The state’s strategy, advocates say, “continues to build on the systemic racism baked into the water rights system itself, which historically barred access to Indigenous people and communities of color.” Read more.

Photo credit Gabrielle Canon, The Guardian