Our Programs

Nourishing Native Foods & Health

Program Overview

First Nations Development Institute recognizes that accessing healthy food is a challenge for many Native American children and families. Without access to healthy food, a nutritious diet and good health are out of reach. To increase access to healthy food, we support tribes and Native communities as they build sustainable food systems that improve health, strengthen food security and increase their control over Native agriculture and food systems. First Nations provides this assistance in the form of financial and technical support, including training materials, to projects that address agriculture and food sectors in Native communities.

Learn more about the importance of Native food systems through these Nourishing Native Foods & Health Resources.

Current Projects

Native Food Pantry Initiative

In 2020, First Nations created the Food Pantry Initiative, an initiative that aims to provide Native American communities, organizations, and…

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Native Agriculture & Food Systems Scholarships

Many farmers, ranchers, herders, and others are retiring without qualified replacements trained to take their place. According to the USDA,…

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Native Farm to School

Native Farm to School is a food sovereignty project under First Nations' Nourishing Native Foods & Health program. We provide…

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GATHER Food Sovereignty Project

First Nations believes that reclaiming control over local food systems is an important step toward ensuring the long-lasting health and…

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Indigenous Food Systems Community of Practice

The goal of First Nations’ Indigenous Food Systems Community of Practice is to foster more equitable practices by philanthropic institutions,…

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Indigenous Breastfeeding, Birth Work, and First Foods

Linked to the Native food sovereignty movement, the practice of breast/chest-feeding not only improves health outcomes for infants and children,…

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Forging Last-Mile Protein Supply Chains in Indian Country

To strengthen local meat supply chain infrastructures, First Nations is providing financial support and technical assistance and resources to help…

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Fertile Ground Advocacy Campaign / Policy Innovation Fund

As part of the Nourishing Native Foods & Health Program, First Nations’ Fertile Ground Advocacy Campaign supports Native American-led efforts…

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Keepseagle Fast-Track Grant Program

In 2018 First Nations launched a new grant program to support Native American farmers and ranchers. This grant program is…

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Changing Native Food Economies

Welcome to First Nations' Changing Native Food Economies In Native communities, the way food is produced, distributed, and consumed plays…

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Western COVID-19 Response Grant

Indigenous communities continue to respond to challenges surrounding COVID-19, in terms of budgets, demands on staff, and resources overall. With…

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Bringing Fresh Foods to Zuni – From Fruits, to Vegetables, to Meat

Today’s Major Market features a grocery, deli, coffee shop, and bakery, as well as educational resources, healthy eat and go meals, and even fresh meat cut to order. And now, with support from First Nations, this market is poised to bring even more benefits to the Zuni community.

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Oneida Nation Trains More Butchers to Fortify Its Protein Supply Chain

The Oneida Nation has welcomed eight new butcher apprentices. A plumber, a physical therapist, and other tribal members of all ages and walks of life came together for a cumulative eight-day training ― both online and onsite ― to learn how to safely and respectfully process meat to feed the Oneida community.

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Hunkpati Processors Bring Local, High-Quality Beef to the Crow Creek Sioux Tribe

The Crow Creek Sioux Tribal Council created the Pandemic Food Sovereignty Project. This long-term, strategic program included the purchase of two large greenhouses to grow fruits, herbs, and vegetables, and most important, the construction of a brand-new 2,600-square-foot meat processing plant on the existing 7,100-acre Crow Creek Tribal Ranch.

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Guided to Learn, Inspired to Thrive

With support from First Nations’ 2021 Gather Food Sovereignty Grant, the O Makuʻu Ke Kahua Community Center is hosting a new curriculum of workshops designed to help community members invest in their own food systems, feed their families, and thrive through challenges.

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Recommended Reading, Listening, and Viewing

Nourishing Native Foods & Health Resources

Our Nourishing Native Foods & Health Supporters