September 15, 2023

Apply Now for Strengthening Native Programs & Feeding Families Grant

First Nations is working to ensure that Native nonprofits and tribal programs have resources for the long-term and immediate distribution of food to Native people. Through the Strengthening Native Programs & Feeding Families Grant, First Nations expects to award grants to 12 tribes or Native-run nonprofits or Native community groups that are addressing food insecurity through food distribution. Grants will average $10,000 annually over a four-year period.

The deadline to apply is October 6, 2023. Learn more.

Questions about the interview process? Attend First Nations’ Q&A webinar, Wednesday, September 20, at 2 pm Mountain Time. Register here.

2023/2024 GATHER Food Sovereignty Grantees Announced

First Nations has long supported Native communities and organizations in fortifying traditional food systems, increasing access to healthy foods, and expanding knowledge of the link between food, Native cultures, and tribal economic growth. As part of this focus, First Nations’ GATHER Food Sovereignty Grants support work that contributes to a vision of Native food systems that are self-directed, well-resourced, and supported by community policies and systems.

We’re happy to showcase the 13 community partners receiving GATHER grants for 2023/2024. These organizations are amazing examples of the incredible work being done throughout Indian Country in enacting Tribal Food Sovereignty. Read about the partners here.

Spotlight on Tribal Climate Camps of Affiliated Tribes of Northwest Indians

Affiliated Tribes of Northwest Indians (ATNI) recently finished the latest of 70 Tribal Climate Camps designed to build connections among tribal participants leading to greater inclusion of tribal perspectives in discussions about climate change. The Associated Press featured the latest camp, which brought together 28 tribes and intertribal organizations in Port Angeles, Washington, to share insights on cultural practices and how to make the most of newly available federal funds to add climate staff, restore habitats, and reduce carbon emissions. ATNI is a First Nations community partner through the Climate Change and Environmental Justice project’s Regional Dialogues on Climate Resiliency grants.

Photo credit AP photo/Linsey Wasson

Congratulations to First Nations’ Brett Treadway

First Nations is excited to share that Stewarding Native Lands Program Associate, Brett Treadway, is one of 25 individuals selected from over 50 applicants for the Fall 2023 Indigenous Leadership Academy (ILA) Cohort through Arizona State University’s American Indian Policy Institute. The academy works with emerging Indigenous leaders to expand their knowledge, skills, and networks to address long-term issues faced throughout Indian Country. The program is designed to inspire and motivate participants in ways to execute strategies and lead change. During his time in the cohort, Brett will be working to expand his knowledge and skills to elevate and amplify practices around Indigenous stewardship and co-management. Congratulations, Brett!

Native American Group to Digitize 20,000 Archival Pages Linked to Quaker-Run Boarding Schools

The National Native American Boarding School Healing Coalition, known as NABS, will digitize 20,000 archival pages related to Native American Boarding Schools operated by the Quakers. The Associated Press reports that for decades these documents have been largely understudied due to limited access. In making them available to scholars and non-specialists through a public database, NABS hopes to increase understanding of the conditions that children experienced at these schools, as well as how many children went missing or died. Read more.

Photo credit AP, Quaker and Special Collections, Haverford College via AP

Lower Sioux Community Explores Reconciliation Through an ‘Honor’ Tax

In this report on MPR News, attorney Jessica Intermill talks about the creation of the Mni Sota Makoce Honor Tax, which allows people “who live on, work, on and visit traditionally Dakota land” to make payments directly to the Lower Sioux Community, a federally recognized tribal nation in Minnesota. Unlike a donation, the tax is similar to a property tax or a rent payment in that the tax is paid to a sovereign nation, which allocates the funds according to their priorities. Through the voluntary tax, it is hoped Minnesotans might “learn the history of U.S. treatymaking and broken treaty promises.” Listen to the story here.

Photo credit Ben Hovland, MPR News

Rescuing Native Remains From the Traditions of Golden State Plunder

Last week, tribal leaders from throughout California attended a hearing at the California State Legislature, where “frustrated lawmakers grilled California State University administrators about their failure to return approximately 700,000 Indigenous human remains, funerary items, and artifacts back to their tribes,” reports The Nation. The failure of the university is in defiance of the federal Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act (NAGPRA) passed in 1990, and the similar California-specific act (CalNAGPRA) passed in 2001. A report found that of the 21 California campuses with NAGPRA collections, more than half have not repatriated any remains or cultural items to tribes. Read more.

Photo credit The Nation, Ben Margot/AP