December 3, 2021

Celebrating a Year of Resilience, Relationships and Adaptability

First Nations’ 2020 Annual Report is out! With the theme of our 40th anniversary, Honoring Indigenous Knowledge, the report looks back at the successes of our Community Partners, and looks ahead with optimism for all they are achieving for Native culture, youth, land, and assets.

Also showcased are the artwork of First Nations artist friend Gordon Coons, highlights of 40 years of Honoring Indigenous Knowledge, and the impact of First Nations’ COVID-19 Emergency Response Fund. Download the publication here.

Applications Now Open for Gather Food Sovereignty Grants

First Nations recognizes that Native food systems are important assets to Native communities. In further celebration of the GATHER Film being released on Netflix – we continue to support work contributing to strong and sustainable Native food systems. With generous support from NoVo Foundation, First Nations will again award grants averaging $32,000 for programs and services that focus on developing Tribal Food Sovereignty. Learn more and apply by January 13, 2022.

Questions about applying? Check out the first of two Application Q&A Webinars next week, December 9, 2021. Register here.

Two New Farm to School Webinars, Starting Next Week

Join us Wednesday, December 8, 2021, when Makoce Agriculture Development Founder and President Nick Hernandez will discuss the importance of developing our own Indigenous local food education curricula and the value it will bring to the next seven generations of local food system educators, producers, and stewards. Register here. Plus, tune in the following week to learn about farm to school successes at the Red Cloud Indian School Farm. Learn more.

The Myths Erasing Indigenous People in the US

This week, producers at AJ+ – a digital news and storytelling project – sat down with First Nations’ Michael Roberts to talk about the impacts that myths and false stereotypes that are perpetuated in the media, history books, and curriculums have on Indigenous people. While there has been some progress, Mike explained, there is still much work to be done to dismantle false, racist narratives. Watch the interview here.

A Look at Food Insecurity on Native Reservations as Part of a History of Discrimination

First Nations’ A-dae Romero-Briones shared insights this week with Teen Vogue, explaining how the best solution to Native food insecurity is allowing communities to reinvest in their own sovereignty and self-sufficiency. “I don’t think it’s a matter of giving us the tools to be self-sufficient because sovereignty implies that we already have those tools. It’s just removing the barriers that keep us from using those tools — and those are policies and frameworks that limit our ability to practice our traditional food systems.” Read the full article here.

Shout Out to GLDN Jewelry for Investing in Native Communities

First Nations was honored to again 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, and spread the word about the GATHER Film and the Native Reads campaign with their friends and customers. Thank you, Gldn. We value your support!

Welcome Children: Come to a Virtual Food Sovereignty Conference Next Week

First Nations’ Community Partner Keres Children’s Learning Center’s Elementary Class is presenting a Food Sovereignty Conference planned for and by children. One of the objectives is to center the voices of the Indigenous children of Cochiti and provide a platform to share their learning.

The all-day online event will be held Tuesday, December 7, 2021, and keynote speakers, panels, and presentations will highlight the importance of food sovereignty. All children are welcome to attend! Learn more and register here.

Why Protecting Tribal Rights is Key to Fighting Climate Change

Native American tribes are uniquely vulnerable to climate crisis, and seeking consent of tribes when building new mines, pipelines, highways, and other infrastructure is key to empowering tribes to mitigate the impacts of climate change. In this article by Yale Environment 360, Fawn Sharp, president of the National Congress of American Indians, talks about why protecting tribal sovereignty is critical. She says, “We stand on the shoulders of so many of our ancestors and generations that have gone before us. And while we have multi-generational trauma … we also have multi-generational strength and resilience, and wisdom, and teachings.” Read the full article here.

Rare Black-Footed Ferret Turns Up in a Colorado Garage

The Guardian reports how a Colorado man had a “surprise encounter” with one of the rarest mammals in North America, which he found hiding in his garage. The unexpected visitor was a black-footed ferret, one of only 370 that are still live in the wild. The article caught our attention because the rare mammals were thought to have knowledge of underground medicines, and Native peoples would often use ferret pelts in regalia or medicine bundles. Moreover, First Nations’ Community Partner Lower Brule Sioux Tribe is working to restore endangered black-footed ferrets as part of their conservation plan. Watch the video here.

Photo credit The Guardian, David Zalubowski/AP