In 2017, with the generous support of the Walmart Foundation, First Nations launched the new “Nourishing Native Children: Feeding our Future” grant program, which falls under First Nations’ larger Native American Food Security Project. The project provides grants to Native communities interested in expanding nutrition resources for existing programs that serve American Indian children ages 6-14. Under the program, First Nations awarded 10 grants of $15,000 each. Please see the list of grantees below.
In 2016, the Walmart Foundation awarded First Nations $475,000 to conduct a culturally-based “Nutrition Education for Native American Communities” project that runs through 2017. Grantees under that initiative were announced in early 2017. Please see the list of grantees below.
In 2015, the Walmart Foundation awarded First Nations a grant of $500,000 to support a project aimed at building the organizational and programmatic capacity of Native American tribes and organizations focused on cattle and/or bison ranching. The one-year project also focused on improving their management of natural resources, engaging younger community members in ranching businesses, and/or expanding access to new markets.
The Walmart Foundation has provided significant and frequent support for First Nations’ work in the area of Native agriculture and food systems. In a previous year, the Walmart Foundation granted $500,000 to First Nations to develop or expand locally controlled and locally based food systems in numerous Native American communities while addressing the critical issues of food security, family economic security, and health and nutrition, along with promoting American Indian business entrepreneurship.
Under the 2017 project, First Nations selected 10 tribes and organizations under the “Nourishing Native Childen: Feeding Our Future” project. The effort helps Native American communities continue or expand nutrition resources that serve American Indian children. For many Native children, meals provided by their school, nonprofit service provider, or through a take-home food program (often called “backpack” programs), may be the most consistent and/or nutritionally-balanced food they receive.
The $15,000 grants for the 2017-2018 project went to these recipients:
- Akwesasne Boys & Girls Club, Akwesasne, New York
- Fremont County School District 38, Arapahoe, Wyoming
- Keres Children’s Learning Center (KCLC), Cochiti Pueblo, New Mexico
- Lower Brule Community College, Lower Brule, South Dakota
- Lummi Indian Business Council, Bellingham, Washington
- Moenkopi Developers Corporation, Inc., Tuba City, Arizona
- Red Cliff Band of Lake Superior Chippewa Indians of Wisconsin, Bayfield, Wisconsin
- Rocky Boy Schools District 87 J&L, Box Elder, Montana
- The Center Pole, Garryowen, Montana
- Yankton Sioux Tribe, Wagner, South Dakota
Under the 2016 project, First Nations selected 21 tribes and organizations across 12 states to receive grants to support nutrition education, especially among individuals who receive food under the USDA’s Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations (FDPIR), which is also commonly referred to as the “commodity food” program. Under this project, the FDPIR programs are expanding access to nutrition education programs in Native communities and measuring the effectiveness of education interventions. These grants allow tribes to design or expand culturally- and community-based nutrition education projects that encourage individuals and families to improve their nutrition, healthy habits, plus generally broaden access to nutrition education programs. Because of a variety of issues including inadequate funding, many FDPIR programs do not have the opportunity to provide nutrition education to their constituents. These grants are intended to expand these opportunities through activities such as nutrition workshops, cooking classes/food demonstrations, healthy recipe development, development and dissemination of educational materials, and more. The related online Toolkit of resources can be found here.
The grants for the 2016-2017 project went to these recipients:
- Cherokee Nation, Tahlequah, Oklahoma, $20,000
- Cheyenne & Arapahoe Tribes of Oklahoma, Concho, Oklahoma, $20,000
- Fort Belknap Indian Community, Harlem, Montana, $10,000
- Gila River Indian Community, Sacaton, Arizona, $10,000
- Lummi Nation Service Organization, Bellingham, Washington, $10,000
- Ponca Tribe of Oklahoma, Ponca City, Oklahoma, $10,000
- Red Lake Band of Chippewa Indians, Red Lake, Minnesota, $10,000
- Seminole Nation of Oklahoma, Wewoka, Oklahoma, $20,000
- Seneca Nation of Indians, Irving, New York, $20,000
- South Fork Te-Moak Shoshone Indian Reservation, Spring Creek, Nevada, $10,000
- Spirit Lake Tribe, Fort Totten, North Dakota, $20,000
- Swinomish Indian Tribal Community, La Conner, Washington, $10,000
- Oneida Tribe of Indians of Wisconsin, Oneida, Wisconsin, $20,000
- White Mountain Apache Tribe, Whiteriver, Arizona, $10,000
- Menominee Indian Tribe of Wisconsin, Keshena, Wisconsin, $26,000
- Choctaw Fresh Produce, Philadelphia, Mississippi, $15,000
- Painted Desert Demonstration Project DBA the STAR School, Flagstaff, Arizona, $15,000
- REDCO (Rosebud Economic Development Corporation), Mission, South Dakota, $15,000
- Bishop Paiute Tribe, Bishop, California, $15,000
- Thunder Valley Community Development Corporation, Porcupine, South Dakota, $15,000
- Muckleshoot Indian Tribe, Auburn, Washington, $9,000
Under the 2015 project, First Nations worked with selected Native ranching groups or tribal organizations as primary project partners. They received financial grants that were used for infrastructure improvements, equipment, training or consulting services to advance their operations. They also received instruction on improving herd health, improving land-management practices, and accessing new markets. Further, the project partners along with an additional 10 Native ranchers attended the Third Annual Native Food Sovereignty Summit that First Nations and the Oneida Nation of Wisconsin co-hosted in Green Bay, Wisconsin, in October 2015. This generated significant networking and learning opportunities for the individuals as well as strengthened the capacity of the entire rancher group.