For 38 years, First Nations Development Institute (First Nations), a Native-led 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, has worked to strengthen American Indian economies to support healthy Native communities by investing in and creating innovative institutions and models that strengthen asset control and support economic development for American Indian people and their communities. First Nations began its national grantmaking program in 1993. Through year-end 2018, First Nations has successfully managed 1,575 grants totaling more than $32.8 million to tribal and community institutions across Indian Country. For more information, visit www.firstnations.org.
First Nations recognizes that Native food systems are important assets to Native communities. As a result, First Nations has long supported Native communities as they fortify traditional food systems, seek to increase access healthy and fresh foods, increase awareness of and involvement with where food comes from, and expand knowledge of the linkages between foods, Native cultures and/or contribute to tribal economic growth and development of entrepreneurially related food ventures.
First Nations Development Institute (First Nations) is now accepting applications under our Native Agricultural and Food Systems Initiative (NAFSI). First Nations expects to award 18-20 grants averaging $30,000 to organizations in Native communities with the goal of growing and/or expanding programs that serve or directly collaborate with Native American farmers and ranchers. In sum, the goal of these grants is to provide much-needed grant assistance to grow or expand programmatic and other services to organizations in Native communities that serve Native farmers and ranchers. Organizations that are collaborations of Native Farmers and Ranchers, and/or cohorts of Native farmers and Ranchers that have not been formalized as a nonprofit are encouraged to apply through a fiscal sponsor.
Grant support is made possible through the Native American Agriculture Fast Track Fund (NAAFTF). The Keepseagle settlement was the result of a class-action lawsuit that sought to hold the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) accountable for discrimination against Native American farmers and ranchers in USDA loan servicing, processing, outreach, and technical assistance. As part of the settlement process, the Native American Agriculture Fast Track Fund (NAAFTF) awarded funds to a select number of organizations to support agricultural, business assistance, or advocacy services to Native Americans. For more information on the Keepseagle Settlement, please visit the following website: https://nativeamericanagriculturefund.org/history/ With support from the Native American Agriculture Fast Track Fund (NAAFTF), First Nations will be awarding grants totaling $647,000.
The grant period for this funding opportunity will commence March 1, 2020 and end February 28, 2021.