December 2, 2022

Support Indigenous Communities on Colorado Gives Day

As a nonprofit organization headquartered in Colorado, we’re excited to celebrate Colorado Gives Day, the state’s largest 24-hour giving event. On or before December 6, 2022, First Nations is encouraging people to support Indigenous-led nonprofits and initiatives in Colorado and to celebrate the work of nonprofits nationwide. For a list of First Nations’ community partners in the state and across the country, access our grantmaking directory here. You can also contribute directly to First Nations here.


Thank You to GLDN Jewelry for Investing in Native Communities

Again this year, First Nations was honored to partner with GLDN Jewelry in raising awareness and support for the mission of First Nations and the work of our Community Partners. GLDN donated a portion of proceeds from both their Thanksgiving and Black Friday sales events. The support will go to First Nations’ overall investment in the culture, economies, youth, and future of Native communities! Thank you, GLDN. We value your continued support!


“We Are the Stars” Now Available

First Nations is proud to share news of the release of “We Are the Stars: Colonizing and Decolonizing the Oceti Sakowin Literary Tradition.” The book is written by former First Nations’ communications associate Sarah Hernandez, Ph.D. (Sicangu Lakota), who is now an assistant professor at the University of New Mexico and the legacy and literature officer of the Oak Lake Writers Society, First Nations’ partner in our #NativeReads campaign.

Sarah’s book reconstructs a genealogy of Oceti Sakowin (Dakota) literature and explores the linkages between settler colonialism, literature, nationalism, and gender through an analysis of tribal and settler colonial narratives about women and land. Order the book here.


Image of X̱ʼunei Lance Twitchell.

Luce Indigenous Knowledge Fellow Nominated for Emmy

Congratulations to 2020 Luce Indigenous Knowledge Fellow X’unei Lance Twitchell who has been nominated for an Emmy award for his work as a writer and advisor on the animated PBS Kids program, “Molly of Denali.” According to University of Alaska Southeast, where Twitchell is a professor of Alaska Native languages, Twitchell was nominated by the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences for the first annual Children’s & Family Emmy® Awards, to be presented December 10. “Molly of Denali” is the first nationally distributed children’s show in the United States to feature a lead character who is Alaska Native. Congratulations, X’unei!


What We’re Watching: California Needs to Burn

In California and many areas of the country, there’s a fire-suppression culture, which – combined with logging and climate change – has led to catastrophic wildfires. A new video at The Washington Post, “California Needs to Burn. Native Women are Leading the Way,” features a group of women from the Karuk Tribe in Northern California who are reviving the practice of prescribed burning to help re-balance the landscape and “bring us back to where we need to be.” Watch the video.

Photo credit Alice Li/The Washington Post


Biden Vows Protections for Nevada’s Spirit Mountain

This week at the White House Tribal Nations Summit, President Biden pledged to protect Spirit Mountain in Nevada and the surrounding wilderness area. The mountain known as “Avi Kwa Ame” in the Mojave language is rich in cultural resources and sacred to Native American tribes. While the news is encouraging to Native communities and environmentalist groups, the announcement stops short of declaring the area as a national monument, which would prevent the development of about 450,000 acres around the mountain, reports The Hill. Read more.


Call for Fellows: 2022 Brave Heart Fellowship

The Center for Native American Youth at the Aspen Institute has announced a call for applicants for the inaugural Brave Heart Fellowship. This fellowship, based in the Midwest region of the United States, uplifts youth voices while addressing the representation gap and inequities facing Indigenous peoples in the fight for climate justice. The Brave Heart Fellowship is for self-identified Native American and Indigenous youth, ages 18-24 years old, living in one of the following states: Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota, or Wisconsin. Learn more and apply by December 16, 2022.


Bison Proliferate as Native American Tribes Reclaim Stewardship

Bison populations are increasing as tribes work together to reestablish herds after European settlers and short-sighted conservation efforts rendered the wildlife almost extinct. The Guardian reports that roughly 82 tribes across the U.S. now have more than 20,000 bison in 65 herds – a number that is growing, thanks to the Native Americans working to reclaim stewardship of the animal and return bison on a scale rivaling herds that once roamed the Great Plains by the tens of millions. Read more.

Salon discusses the impact that the increase in bison populations is having on local cattle, ranchers, and lands. According to the article, bison management plans must “balance growth with a slew of complications: a nasty bacterial disease, cattle ranchers and politicians in Montana, and the bison’s very own nature to wander.”

Photo credit The Guardian, Matthew Brown/AP


Scholarship Opportunity Available Through NCIDC

The Northern California Indian Development Council has launched a scholarship program to support Native people in obtaining education or training to reach their full potential. Students who are American Indian, Alaskan Native, or Native Hawaiian students/trainees who live in California or are members of California tribes may be eligible to apply. Scholarships are awarded based on merit and funding availability. Learn more and apply.