Current Projects

W.K. Kellogg Foundation

With the support of W.K. Kellogg Foundation (WKKF), First Nations continues to work with partners to research and evaluate how to optimize Native community and family local control of, production of, and access to holistic food resources in ways consistent with Native cultures as well as in the context of federal and tribal policies.

Projects advancing with the support of WKKF include:

More Nourishing Native Foods and Health Progress

In 2011, WKKF awarded First Nations $2.88 million over three years (2012-2014) to increase positive outcomes in Native children’s health and economic well-being. WKKF and First Nations partnered to support initiatives aimed at enhancing Native control of local food systems – especially in addressing issues such as food insecurity, food deserts, and health and nutrition – while simultaneously bolstering much-needed economic development in those communities. In 2015, WKKF provided an additional grant of $2.95 million to extend First Nations’ work in the area of Native agriculture and food systems for three years, 2015 through 2017. The 2017 grants were supplemented by additional funding from the Agua Fund for three of the grantees, as noted. Most recently, in 2018, WKKF provided a $1.8 million grant over three years to help Native communities build more equitable food systems to promote the health and well-being of children and families.

2017 Grantees

Akwesasne Task Force on the Environment, Inc., Hogansburg, New York, $35,000

The grant will assist Akwesasne community members by supporting traditional agricultural practices such as planting community gardens, maintaining apple trees, planting strawberries, tapping maple trees, canning and drying produce, sharing Haudenosaunee seeds and knowledge with other nations, and advocating for traditional cultural practices and language.

American Indian Resource Center, Inc., Tahlequah, Oklahoma, $30,000

The funding will help build a sustainable food source (fruits/vegetables) for three tribal communities, with the aim of increasing consumption of healthy foods. Families will be reintroduced to growing/gathering their own foods while making healthier lifestyle choices.

Confederated Tribes and Bands of the Yakama Nation, Toppenish, Washington, $35,000

The Kamiakin’s Garden Program will serve families on or near the Yakama Nation reservation, where there is food insecurity and limited access to healthy food. The effort will cultivate community gardens using the traditional history of the original gardens grown by Chief Kamiakin in the 1840s.

Diné be’ iiná, Inc., Window Rock, Arizona, $27,000 from Agua Fund

The Sheep-to-Table project will help retain and share traditional Navajo foodways. Navajo families will gain an understanding of food sources and how survival skills are embedded in tribal traditions. It will involve gathering, documenting and sharing vanishing knowledge of wild edible plants, cooking techniques, and traditional butchering and shepherding practices.

Flowering Tree Permaculture Institute, Española, New Mexico, $21,000

The grant will support expansion of the Pueblo Food Experience/Kwi-tewah project, an effort that has included building traditional adobe ovens, a traditional bread house, and a women’s ceremonial house. The project is about returning to a diet of original foods for health purposes, while keeping native seeds and traditional crops alive and supporting spiritual and ceremonial life.

Fort Belknap Community Economic Development Corporation, Harlem, Montana, $35,000

The Red Paint Creek Kitchen Project will create a commercial kitchen to increase the food capacity for the Red Paint Creek Trading Post and satisfy the healthy food needs of the Lodge Pole community. The kitchen will allow for locally-grown food preparation and preservation, as well as culinary classes.

Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians, Peshawbestown, Michigan, $35,000

The Edible Forest Project will launch the first phase of planting on at least 20 acres of new, public forest gardens for tribal members and the wider community. A plant nursery and seed bank will be started to offer plants and seeds to tribal members to grow themselves. Free food, water and ecology workshops will be offered.

Indigenous ReGeneration, Valley Center, California, $35,000

The grant will support establishment of an educational outdoor space for Native youth to provide regenerative living concepts. Indigenous ReGeneration, the San Pasqual Education Department and the Ecology Center will operate the space with programming that includes food cultivation, medicinal farming, and culture and eco-village education. The project will also increase access to fresh fruits and vegetables on the reservation.

Laulima Kuha'o, Lanai City, Hawaii, $35,000

The project will help develop Lanai’s food systems and will help address the needs of Native Hawaiian agricultural producers and families by providing access to food though production development and building a Community Mala ‘Ai (food garden).

Ma Ka Hana Ka 'Ike, Hana, Hawaii, $35,000

The Mahele Farm program reclaims ancestral abundance through the community-based production of local, healthy and organic foods, including traditional staple foods such as kalo (taro). The foods are shared according to Native Hawaiian systems of reciprocity, thus decreasing the community’s food insecurity.

North Leupp Family Farms, Inc., Leupp, Arizona, $35,000 ($3,000 of that from Agua Fund)

North Leupp Family Farms is a small cooperative with about 100 acres of land cultivated by 30 family farmers. It aims to develop solutions to deficiencies in the community food system, encourage healthy lifestyles, and promote food security. It is developing a business plan for a local food enterprise to aggregate, process, store, market and distribute fresh, locally grown vegetables.

Pueblo of Nambé, Nambé Pueblo, New Mexico, $15,000

The grant will help the Community Farm Project in its continued expansion and field renewal. It will help increase production of healthy and nutritious food for this isolated food desert while also helping revitalize and retain traditional farming knowledge, language and culture.

Tewa Women United, Santa Cruz, New Mexico, $35,000

The Española Healing Foods Oasis project serves northern New Mexico. It will provide opportunities for this distressed area to experience sustainable agriculture while expanding knowledge of the linkages between foods, Native cultures and food justice through community education workshops, forums and mentoring on dry-land farming techniques, water catchment and other topics.

Thunder Valley Community Development Corporation, Porcupine, South Dakota, $30,000 from Agua Fund

The grant supports the Food Sovereignty Initiative that aims to improve food access, nutrition and public health on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation while decreasing the economic burden on low-income families. It will help build out the Sustainable Agriculture Demonstration Center to provide educational opportunities.

Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa Indians, Belcourt, North Dakota, $16,000

The Healthy Foods Healthy Families project aims to address the needs of the Turtle Mountain community by establishing and expanding healthy foods initiatives while exploring new partnerships and economic opportunities in agribusiness.

2016 Grantees

Black Mesa Water Coalition, Flagstaff, Arizona, $12,699

The coalition will map Burnt Corn Valley’s social structure (kinship systems), ecological processes (watershed) and the traditional food-system infrastructure as it affects three chapter communities on the Navajo Nation. It will also engage families and community members in mapping strategies for residents on restoring the health of land and people that will include use of the Diné Philosophy of Sa’aah Naaghai Bek’e Hoozhoon.

California Indian Museum & Culture Center, Santa Rosa, California, $30,000

The “Bi Du Ka Nemay: Advancing Cultural Opportunities for Reclaiming Nutrition” (ACORN) project seeks to increase consumption of acorns by California Indians and others and advance local tribal traditions associated with acorn gathering and processing. Acorns, once a staple food of many California tribes, are no longer part of everyday diets. About 20 Native youth will develop a recipe for an energy bar made of acorn flour and other local, healthy ingredients and determine the needs associated with producing and selling the product commercially.

Crow Tribe of Montana, Crow Agency, Montana, $30,000

The “Crow Nation Youth Farm and Ranch Leadership Program” is a pilot project to serve 10 to 12 youth in junior agriculture production as beginning farmers and ranchers on the Crow reservation. Participants will be mentored by seasoned agricultural leaders and learn about financial literacy, livestock evaluation, conservation management, animal husbandry, marketing, ranch management and related topics.

Diné College, Tsalie, Arizona, $20,190

Diné College will work with local farmers and ranchers to identify barriers in putting land into agricultural development and production. It will also create five traditional organic farms and measure economic, social, legal and cultural impacts of traditional agriculture on Navajo communities. Finally, it will identify core and pragmatic reforms to Navajo Nation land laws that will allow for the diffusion of traditional agriculture across the reservation.

Fond du Lac Tribal and Community College, Cloquet, Minnesota, $23,650

The college will host a number of community engagement efforts to raise awareness of issues related to food, diet, health, agriculture and economy. It will also engage the community in planning next steps of the Fond du Lac Fresh Food Initiative.

Fort Belknap Community Economic Development, Harlem, Montana, $30,000

The “Red Paint Creek Greenhouse Project” will construct a greenhouse to grow fresh produce. It will ensure the residents an opportunity to purchase fresh organic garden vegetables to instill healthy eating and lifestyles. The residents currently have a diet of high-carbohydrate, processed foods found in stores in neighboring communities. The youth of these communities will have the opportunity to practice this life-changing event and promote healthy eating habits.

Hannahville Indian Community, Wilson, Michigan, $29,385

The “Food Sovereignty Phase II” project will improve the facilities, storage space and, thus, food safety for an existing greenhouse and aquaponics facility that produces a variety of herbs, vegetables and fish, some of which is served in the school lunch program and some of which is sold at local farmers’ markets.

Hopi Foundation, Kykotsmovi Village, Arizona, $1,000

Sponsorship for the “Hopi Agriculture and Food Symposium.”

Ilisagvik College, Barrow, Alaska, $30,000

The Healthy Futures Program, established in 2014, delivers quality, hands-on instruction in nutrition, basic cooking and household budgeting to Iñupiaq residents in seven remote villages of the North Slope Borough. Instructors travel to the villages to provide instruction tailored to participants aged 5 to 25, along with elder involvement. Participants engage in workshops that integrate traditional foods and knowledge, with the aim of addressing high rates of diabetes and obesity in arctic Alaska.

Intertribal Agriculture Council, Billings, Montana, $1,000

Grant to sponsor the Great Lakes Intertribal Food Summit hosted by Gun Lake Pottawatomi Tribe at its Jijak facility.

Keweenaw Bay Ojibwa Housing & Community, L'Anse, Michigan, $30,000

The “Keweenaw Bay Fishers’ Association” project will serve the Keweenaw Bay Indian Community by increasing efficiencies in local fish production, increasing the volume of local tribal-member fish production enough to sustain an eventual fishers’ cooperative, increasing tribal-member control of local fish production and the local fish market, and increasing awareness of and access to locally-caught fresh fish.

Laulima Kuha'o, Lanai City, Hawaii, $10,000

Laulima Kuha’o supports pig farmers on the island of Lanai. It will begin to look at the feasibility of creating a commercial kitchen for joint use by pig farmers. Moreover, it will begin drafting a business plan to examine the feasibility of formalizing a food hub and developing other business materials such as a brand for products, a website, etc. This business will go far in subsidizing the household income of Native Hawaiian pig farmers.

Meskwaki Food Sovereignty Initiative & Local Foods, Tama, Iowa, $27,439

The “Seed to Seed: Healthy Traditional Food Access Through Seed Sovereignty” project supports wellness through food and seed sovereignty activities, and increases the connection and access to traditional foods for the Sac and Fox of the Mississippi in Iowa. The project impacts students and staff at the Meskwaki Settlement School by expanding and supporting the farm-to-school program activities and gardens.

Native Village of Port Heiden, Port Heiden, Alaska, $30,000

The “Meshik Farm Reindeer Sustainability Project” will increase the reindeer population at the tribal/community reindeer farm, helping put the farm on the path to long-term food sustainability for the village. The project will purchase and transport additional reindeer, which over 10 years can increase the herd by more than 500. This project is a cultural, economic and community effort that positively impacts the people and economy, and provides a food source that is gone because they cannot hunt caribou.

Northern California Tribal Court Coalition, Talent, Oregon, $1,500

This grant is a sponsorship to support the “Restoring Balance: A Food Sovereignty Gathering” conference planned by the coalition.

Red Willow Center, Taos, New Mexico, $30,000

The “Growing a Food System at Taos Pueblo – Growing Healthy Kids Initiative” will focus on strengthening partnerships and collaborating with several tribal programs — Community Health, Senior Center and Head Start — as well as a new partnership with the Taos Pueblo Day School on creating a healthy community food system at Taos Pueblo. This will include planning, planting, growing, harvesting, preparing and educating the community on how to grow food, which foods to grow, and healthy meal planning, and developing a healthy meal plan for school students, building a school garden, and developing an age-appropriate science curriculum based on traditional and modern methods of farming and healthy eating and cooking. It also includes building a community compost, new wheelchair-accessible raised-beds at the Senior Center and a new water catchment/irrigation system..

Tyonek Tribal Conservation District, Anchorage, Alaska, $28,000

The “Developing Food Systems for Alaska Native Villages” project will involve outreach, training and technical assistance to Alaska Native farmers and ranchers in 13 Native villages to primarily enhance food security by increasing knowledge, skills and tools available to them. The effort will demonstrate sustainable agricultural practices, planning, and business and operational processes to support local food production and increase access to healthy and fresh foods, while linking with traditional customs and economic opportunities.

Waimea Hawaiian Homesteaders' Association, Kamuela, Hawaii, $30,000

The “Waimea Nui Inc. Farmers’ Market” will serve the region’s agricultural lessees under the Hawaiian Homes Commission Act, specifically 43 families who have participated, completed and are now farming in the association’s “Farming for the Working Class” program. The new farmers’ market will service the entire Waimea Community of 15,000, of which 6,000 are Native Hawaiians, while bringing additional income to the Native community.

Wiyot Tribe, Loleta, California, $29,393

The “Wiyot Tribe Healthy and Traditional Food Systems Initiative” (Table Bluff Reservation Healthy and Traditional Food Systems Initiative) is a multifaceted approach to secure greater food sovereignty and sustainability within the Wiyot tribal community. It involves the development of the tribe’s community and traditional gardens, creation of a food pantry and distribution program, food education workshops, and the reclamation of traditional plant- and marine-harvesting practices.

White Earth Reservation Tribal Council, White Earth, Minnesota, $23,651

White Earth will build a greenhouse and expand outreach and branding for its mobile market. It will also be working across tribal departments and organizations to form a food sovereignty working group to build consensus across the tribe for food sovereignty work. Finally, the tribe will be mapping community needs around food access and developing plans to meet these needs in at least eight communities.”

2015 Grantees

Cheyenne River Youth Project, Winyan Toka Win (Leading Lady) Garden, Eagle Butte, South Dakota, $25,000

The Winyan Toka Win Garden is a community garden planted and harvested by tribal youth. Fruits and vegetables from the garden are transformed into healthy, nutritious meals and snacks for local children and teens and sold at the community farmers’ market.

Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma, Food Distribution Hoop House, Durant, Oklahoma, $26,000

The Choctaw Nation’s food-distribution program will construct a new hoop house to produce fresh fruits, vegetables and herbs that will be distributed to 1,000 low-income families. The food produced in the hoop house will be distributed through the Choctaw Nation’s Nutritional Education Program.

Northwest Indian College, Grow Our Own, Bellingham, Washington, $20, 262

This project is focused on developing and implementing traditional food curriculum for K-12 students. Tribal college interns will work with tribal elders to design the curriculum that emphasizes traditional knowledge, environmental values and service learning.

Oneida Tribe of Indians of Wisconsin, Youth Entrepreneurs in Agriculture, Oneida, Wisconsin, $25,000

This project is an experiential learning model that emphasizes agricultural entrepreneurship among tribal youth. This project, rooted in partnership, will allow the Oneida Nation to formalize a youth agricultural entrepreneurship curriculum and share it with teachers and students on the Lac Courte Oreilles reservation.

Pueblo of Pojoaque, Tewa Farms’ Crop Expansion Project, Santa Fe, New Mexico, $24,500

This grant will support the expansion of the tribe’s existing farm. It will allow the tribe to purchase and install two new hoop houses, a heated greenhouse and milling machine that will allow the farm to operate year-round, significantly improving community health and nutrition.

Ramah Navajo School Board, Inc., Wild Food Orchard, Pine Hill, New Mexico, $14,192

This project is a permaculture model for young entrepreneurs. During the school year, middle school students will plant, grow, harvest and sell wild pine nuts. This project is intended to teach students the basics of agriculture and business.

Red Willow Center, Growing Community Food Systems, Taos, New Mexico, $26,000

This grant will allow the expansion of several existing projects in the Pueblo of Taos. This will include expansion of a greenhouse, farmers’ market and food-distribution program. This project seeks to increase access to fresh, healthy foods by designing and implementing two new tribal food-service programs for tribal youth and elders.

Thunder Valley Community Development Corporation, Porcupine, South Dakota, $18,091

The Food Sovereignty Initiative is a new project that will serve the Oglala Lakota Nation. The organization will assemble and coordinate a Lakota Food Sovereignty Coalition, continue the successful community garden program, as well as launch community education workshops targeting families and youth to encourage the development of a sustainable agriculture demonstration farm and an aquaponics greenhouse.

2014 Grantees

Bay Mills Community College, Brimley, MI, $37,500

The grant will support the Waishkey Bay Farm 4-H Club and Youth Farm Stand. Waishkey Bay Farm is a sustainable farm and orchard located in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. The club’s purpose is to recruit tribal youth to help grow, harvest and market fruits and vegetables.

Choctaw Fresh Produce, Choctaw, MS, $37,500

The grant will be used to expand a small community garden. Food from the garden will be sold at the casino restaurant. Additionally, project organizers plan to sell surplus fruits and vegetables throughout the community via a mobile farmers’ market. The project aims to increase access to healthy food on the reservation while creating jobs and stimulating economic development.

Columbia River Inter-Tribal Fish Commission, Portland, OR, $28,125

The grant will assist tribal fishers as they build new relationships with tribes to develop and expand market opportunities for salmon products. The project aims to increase opportunities for the fishers of the Columbia River tribes.

Diné Community Advocacy Alliance, Gallup, NM, $20,300

The funds will be used to help the alliance support the Healthy Diné Nation Act and Junk Food Tax, which was vetoed by the Navajo Nation president in February 2014. The act seeks to impose a 2 percent sales tax on sugar-sweetened beverages and junk food, and eliminate sales tax on fresh fruits and vegetables.

Lac Courte Oreilles Ojibwa Community College, Hayward, WI, $37,500

The grant will be used to build capacity and expand the college’s Sustainable Agriculture Research Station (LSARS). LSARS will increase healthy food access by providing a mobile farmers’ market, online and telephone food-ordering service, and EBT-SNAP purchases.

Lakota Ranch Beginning Farmer/Rancher Program, Kyle, SD, $37,500

The grant will be used to establish an active gardening club on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation. Fruits and vegetables harvested will be sold at a local farmers’ market to promote healthier food choices.

Ponca Tribe of Oklahoma, Ponca City, OK, $28,125

The funding will build capacity and expand the local community greenhouse. The goal is to produce twice as many fruits and vegetables in the expanded greenhouse. Additionally, the funds will be used to host weekly diabetes health education and cooking classes.

Pueblo of Nambe, Nambe Pueblo, NM, $28,125

The Community Farm Project will focus on expanding to create more traditional meals with locally grown, highly nutritious food items. Nambe Pueblo is a food desert with issues of access and affordability of fresh, local produce. The farm can expand with eventual creation of a marketplace on pueblo land, instituting practices such as composting and seed saving, and working to revitalize Indigenous crops, harvesting wild plants, and raising hormone-free, locally slaughtered meats.

Sac and Fox Tribe of the Mississippi in Iowa, Tama, IA, $37,500

The grant will build capacity and expand the Meskwaki Grower’s Cooperative. The food co-op launched in 2013 and needs to expand to include a greenhouse, seed-saving program and food-preservation workshops, as well as increasing co-op membership.

Sust’ainable Molokai, Kaunakakai, HI, $37,500

The grant will be used to launch the Molokai Food Hub, which will give the Native Hawaiian farming community better access and control over its local food system. The Food Hub will help accurately manage orders and monitor product quality.

Taos County Economic Development Corporation, Taos, NM, $37, 500

The organization will lead and coordinate the Native Food Sovereignty Alliance (NAFSA), including coordinating board meetings, proactively recruiting and growing the membership base, and moving the organization toward achieving its 501(c)(3) nonprofit, tax-exempt status. The organization will also coordinate development of a three-year strategic plan and a priority list of policy areas to be addressed.

Waimea Hawaiian Homesteaders' Association, Kamuela, HI, $32,825

The grant will continue to fund the “Farming for the Working class” project and will enable another 10 Native Hawaiian homestead families to start actively farming their fallow land. The program consists of hands-on farm training, paired with classroom-based learning and business training.

2013 Grantees

Big Pine Paiute Tribe of Owens Valley, Big Pine, California – Sustainable Food System Development Project

The tribe will create a permaculture demonstration garden and an organic seed bank on the Big Pine Indian Reservation, with the purpose of increasing availability of locally grown food as well as knowledge of sustainable gardening practices and native plants. The project will provide entrepreneurship opportunities through a farmers market, and will supply tools and equipment for the community garden and greenhouse.

Hunkpati Investments, Inc., Fort Thompson, South Dakota – Crow Creek Fresh Food Initiative

Due to low incomes, a general reliance on the federal food program, and a lack of affordable access to fresh fruits and vegetables in the area, Hunkpati aims to create a self-sufficient food economy on the Crow Creek Reservation through projects that support local fresh food production and local food entrepreneurs and increase the number of tribal youth familiar with food production and entrepreneurial opportunities. It will also work on developing value-added food products and a fresh-food financing product.

Lac Courte Oreilles Ojibwa Community College, Hayward, Wisconsin – Increasing Food Security

Fish have been a traditionally significant source of protein for the Ojibwa people. Due to mercury and other contaminants, there are restrictions in the diets of children, childbearing women and those with other health issues. The group will seek methods to raise fish in safe and environmentally sound ways, and investigate tribal chicken and egg production as an expanded protein source.

Northwest Indian College, Bellingham, Washington – Muckleshoot Food Sovereignty Project

The project will address the difficulties they have in accessing traditional and local healthy foods due to a variety of reasons. It will foster initiatives that support community members in overcoming and addressing these barriers, such as developing gardens, providing food-related educational opportunities, creating a food sovereignty plan, and using community kitchen policies to create healthier, traditionally-based meals.

Oneida Tribe of Indians of Wisconsin, Oneida, Wisconsin – Oneida Youth Food System Entrepreneur Project

The effort will provide youth with opportunities to learn about food systems and business, with the goal that more youth will develop business skills while becoming interested in agriculture and food industry careers. It will focus on creating a system where youth educate other youth on healthy local food, creating a sustainable youth business for website development, and increasing youth experience with technology and economics by providing incentives to participate in the program. With adult supervision and specialized curriculum, it will teach business management and financial record-keeping associated with the purchasing, processing and profits from selling agricultural products.

Ponca Tribe of Oklahoma, Ponca City, Oklahoma – Egg Production for Us, by Us.

As another step toward tribal food sovereignty, the [Ponca Tribe will develop a chicken flock and egg-laying operation to provide the tribal store with fresh eggs. The reservation is considered a food desert and does not have access to fresh, quality eggs even at the nearest store, or even adequate transportation to that store for many tribal members.

Pueblo of Nambe, Nambe Pueblo, New Mexico – Nambe Pueblo Community Farm

The pueblo will expand its community farm to increase the output and diversity of the fresh, local foods produced there, with the goal of moving toward fiscal sustainability. The farm’s original intent was to combat food insecurity by providing free food, but with increased production it can also sell products to external markets while creating new youth jobs and a healthy business enterprise. Additionally, Nambe will explore developing its own brand and creating value-added products.

San Carlos Apache Tribe, San Carlos, Arizona – Traditional Western Apache Diet Project

To address several social issues and diet-relate diseases, and to build knowledge of nutrition, the tribe will create a detailed description and nutritional analysis of its pre-reservation Western Apache diet, work to retain valuable traditional knowledge and use it to inform strategies aimed at maintaining physical health and ecologically sustainable lifestyles, and make this knowledge available for community members to leverage in order to build health-related programs and businesses in Apache communities.

Taos County Economic Development Corporation, Taos, New Mexico – Native Food Sovereignty Alliance

The corporation is receiving continued funding for it to be the lead coordinator/organizer of a new Native American Food Security and Food Systems Alliance. The purpose of the alliance is to build a national Native movement and voice on Native food security and food-system control. This will include developing a collaborative group of Native leaders who are concerned with Native food security, hunger and nutrition issues.

Waimea Hawaiian Homesteaders' Association Inc., Kamuela, Hawaii – Farming for the Working Class

Hawaiian homesteaders are qualified Native Hawaiians with land allotments for agricultural, residential or pastoral use. Only five of 150 agricultural lots in the Waimea homestead were being farmed when the program began. The goal is to empower numerous additional families with the resources they need to begin farming their fallow land and growing fresh produce for themselves and the community. The program consists of hands-on farm/greenhouse training, paired with classroom-based learning and business training. Creating additional farms will allow the community to reach the scale needed to access larger local markets.

Diné Community Advocate Alliance on the Navajo Nation – Junk Food Tax Act Campaign

Diné Community Advocate Alliance (DCAA) was awarded $12,500 to support their efforts to advocate for the Navajo Nation Junk Food Tax Act of 2013. DCAA is a grassroots organization formed by 70 healthcare professionals and community leaders across the Navajo Nation to combat chronic diet-related diseases, including obesity, diabetes and heart disease. DCAA used the grant to launch a major campaign to increase public awareness of the Navajo Nation Junk Food Tax Act. The proposed act seeks to impose a 2 percent sales tax on sugar-sweetened beverages and junk food, and eliminate sales tax on fresh fruits and vegetables. The revenue generated would be used to help fund various health and wellness projects.

2012 Grantees

Columbia River Inter-Tribal Fish Commission, Portland, Oregon - $44,403

The four treaty tribes (Nez Perce, Umatilla, Warms Springs and Yakama) have long used the river as an integral part of tribal culture, diet and economy. However, tribal fishermen have been at the bottom of the fish-marketing chain and have not shared in its full economic value. This project will improve that by developing an entrepreneurial program to teach proper food handling and harvest safety practices along with business and marketing strategies. The commission’s latest publication is Tribal Fisher’s Handbook: Improving the Quality and Safety of Tribally Harvested Salmon through Sanitation and Proper Handling. You can view a PDF of it here.

Diné College, Tsaile, Arizona - $44,959

The project will address the lack of access to healthy, affordable and traditional foods in the region directly around the college and revitalize traditional food systems by establishing a regional food policy and a farmers market, and conducting public education about Navajo food-system issues and agriculture.

Hunkpati Investments, Inc., Fort Thompson, South Dakota - $45,000

The initiative will provide fresh vegetables, gardening and entrepreneurial education, and youth employment on the Crow Creek Reservation. A planned community garden will have 10 personal plots for community members, leaving the rest for communal gardening. The project will facilitate community-wide farmers markets, provide nutrition and gardening education via the Boys and Girls Club, and will provide work for teens by hiring them to care for the garden and run the farmers markets.

Inupiat Community of the Arctic Slope, Barrow Alaska - $44,660

Provide locally grown vegetables, herbs and edible flowers by using innovative technology to grow organic produce hydroponically with Tower Gardens® and LED lights, thus eliminating the need for soil and, during the winter, sunlight. The produce will allow Arctic Slope natives to improve their diets and long-term health. Currently available plant-based foods are prohibitively expensive. The project also will allow the school system to take advantage of a farm-to-school program.

Northwest Indian College, Bellingham, Washington - $43,703

The Swinomish Indian Tribal Community is committed to strengthening its food systems to improve the health of members through increased access to fresh produce. The recently established Swinomish Food Sovereignty Committee is developing a long-term food system plan. This project will complete a community garden space; provide education on gardening, food harvesting and preparation; and offer support and materials for home container gardens.

Oglala Sioux Parks and Recreation Authority, Kyle - South Dakota, $45,000

This project makes a traditional food source, buffalo, readily available to Oglala Lakota tribal members who otherwise would not have access to the meat. There is no outlet to purchase it on the Pine Ridge Reservation unless a tribal member purchases a bison hunt, which is limited and expensive for low-income families. The opportunity to buy processed buffalo meat allows tribal members to purchase just what they need instead of paying the cost of a hunt and the processing of hundreds of pounds of meat at a time. It will be available at tribal farmers market sites and transported in a mobile freezer truck to rural areas.

The Oneida Tribe of Indians of Wisconsin, Oneida - Wisconsin, $34,861

The project will improve traditional food security through enhanced food-preservation processes of organic heirloom white corn (a culturally important tribal food), which will prevent crop loss due to mold, pests and insects. This project will address improvements in white corn harvesting, storage, shelling and the processing of products.

Painted Desert Demonstration Project (doing business as The STAR School), Flagstaff, Arizona - $44,334

The k-8 STAR School adjacent to the Navajo Nation will partner with the Navajo community of Sandsprings Farm on recently partitioned Hopi lands to pilot the first farm-to-school project in northern Arizona as a model for Navajo and Hopi schools and farms. They will collaborate to research and document state and federal requirements, certify the farm to supply public school meals, strengthen school gardens, prepare and disseminate a farm-to-school procedure manual, and mentor additional Navajo and Hopi initiatives.

Taos County Economic Development Corporation, Taos, New Mexico - $45,000

Taos County Economic Development Corporation will be the lead coordinator of a new Native American Food Security and Food Systems Alliance. The purpose of the Alliance will be to build a national Native movement and voice on Native food security and food system control. This will include developing a collaborative group of Native leaders who are concerned with Native food security, hunger and nutrition issues.

Waimea Hawaiian Homesteaders’ Association, Inc., Kamuela, Hawaii - $45,000

The “Farming for the Working Class” program enables Native Hawaiian homesteaders to actively begin farming fallow land. It consists of hands-on training, classroom learning and business training. Wow Farm, a successful farming enterprise, developed a highly productive greenhouse. That system will be taught to participants, allowing them to grow healthy crops that provide additional income along with fresh produce.

About the W.K. Kellogg Foundation

The W.K. Kellogg Foundation, founded in 1930 by breakfast cereal pioneer Will Keith Kellogg, is among the largest philanthropic foundations in the United States. Based in Battle Creek, Mich., WKKF works nationally and internationally, and engages with communities in priority places in across the U.S., Mexico and Haiti to create conditions that propel vulnerable children to realize their full potential in school, work and life. For more information, visit