Southwest Tour, L.E.A.D. & Food Summit: Don’t Miss These Events!

 

Here at First Nations Development Institute (First Nations), we have three events coming up in September and October that you don’t want to miss.

First is our 35th Anniversary Southwest Tour, Sept. 13-18, which will be based out of Santa Fe, New Mexico. Local experts and community leaders will personally escort you on a special journey to experience the spirit of Indian Country as they share their work related to sustainable farming initiatives, leadership development, and language and cultural revitalization efforts. You’ll learn about the innovative solutions created at the grassroots level to address the health, economic and other challenges tribal communities are facing that result in real and lasting change. The tour includes visits to the American Indian Pueblos of Cochiti, Nambé, and Pojoaque plus many other innovative projects.

During this event, you’ll meet the people who are working to inspire, educate and continue the rich cultures and traditions of the Indigenous people of the Southwest. You’ll see first-hand how First Nations is supporting homegrown solutions to community needs. Find full information here: www.firstnations.org/2015tour

Second, our 20th Annual L.E.A.D. Institute Conference is Sept. 22-24, also in Santa Fe. This event can give a real boost to your career in Native nonprofit or tribal work. This year it’s at the Hilton Buffalo Thunder Resort & Casino. This is a great conference for Native American nonprofit professionals, Native Americans interested in launching or expanding nonprofit and/or philanthropic organizations, tribal leaders and those who work in tribal organizations, tribal economic development professionals, and anyone interested in Native American food sovereignty, Native nonprofits and/or philanthropy. Attendance at this annual event is required for many of First Nations’ grantees, but each year we open up a limited number of seats to the general public.

Find full information here: www.FirstNations.org/2015LEAD

Third is the Native Food Sovereignty Summit Oct. 26-29 in Green Bay, Wisconsin. First Nations and the Oneida Nation of Wisconsin again are co-hosting this third annual summit at the Radisson Green Bay Hotel and Conference Center. This national event is where Native American communities come together to learn from one another in order to promote Native health, wellness and food sovereignty.

This year’s event will feature three tracks: Applied Agriculture, Community Outreach, and Products to Market. Native farmers, ranchers, gardeners, businesses, policymakers and other practitioners from around the U.S. will share information, program models and tools to meet growing and marketing challenges, as well as provide inspiration, mentoring and networking opportunities. This conference sold out the last two years, so be sure to guarantee your attendance by registering now.

Find full information here: www.firstnations.org/summit

Woodland Indian Art Gains Capacity & Elevates “Status”

As a cultural asset for Native communities, art has been an integral part of sustaining Native nations, their cultures, their languages and their traditional beliefs, thereby shaping community and family ties and cultural pride. First Nations Development Institute (First Nations) believes the continuing development of Native American art is an indispensable component of Native community economic development and the retention of Native cultures.

In 2014, First Nations launched the Native Arts Capacity Building Initiative (NACBI) to significantly increase the organizational, managerial and programmatic capacity of Native organizations and tribal government art programs. NACBI provides direct grants, technical assistance and training to Native organizations and tribal government art programs so they can continue to carry out essential work for Native American arts and artists.

NACBI is supported by the Margaret A. Cargill Foundation along with contributions from tribal, corporate and individual supporters. In October 2014, First Nations awarded six $30,000 grants to Native art capacity programs in Minnesota, Wisconsin, North Dakota and South Dakota.

Woodland Indian Art, Inc. (WIA), a community organization located on the Oneida Tribe of Indians of Wisconsin’s reservation, is one of six inaugural grantees. WIA promotes and educates the public about the unique artistic styles of Native Americans in the upper midwest and northeastern regions of the United States.

For eight years, WIA has existed as a volunteer-driven organization, with no full-time employees on its staff. Since there was no full-time management staff, it was often difficult to coordinate activities of volunteers and obtain much-needed funds for volunteer activities. Even so, WIA volunteers continued to grow the organization and move forward.

NACBI has enabled WIA to formalize its organization, achieve 501(c)(3) status and launch new marketing and fundraising campaigns to increase revenue to support and expand WIA’s activities. “We know that a diversity of funding is the key to becoming a sustainable organization,” said WIA Board President Rae Skenadore.

Achieving 501(c)(3) status has enabled WIA to diversify and expand its funding base. For example, the new status has enabled it to request funding from the Oneida Community Fund. WIA has leveraged those funds by submitting a proposal that doubled Oneida’s donation with matching funds from Wisconsin Public Radio.

These funds allowed WIA to reach its target market and increase awareness of its upcoming event: The 2015 Woodland Indian Art Show & Market. WIA secured more than $10,000 in promotion and marketing services to help increase awareness of the event.

During the past six months, WIA has also developed a new fundraising campaign to increase its presence through mailings, social media and email marketing. New board members and interns from the College of Menominee Nation led the campaign. “By participating in this campaign, a whole new generation is learning how to participate in and be successful in the Native nonprofit sector,” noted Skenadore.

The success of this campaign has allowed WIA to expand the Woodland Indian Art Show & Market from a small event to a large-scale festival that includes an art competition with performing artists, classes and demonstrations. The newly expanded festival will be held June 12-14 at the Radisson Hotel & Conference Center in Green Bay, Wisconsin.

As an organization that is approaching its ninth annual event, WIA’s current success reiterates the importance of consistent funding and institutional support for Native American arts and artists. “NACBI has allowed us to move one more step forward in achieving our vision of becoming a trusted, internationally-recognized organization,” said WIA Board Treasurer Loretta Webster. “It has helped jolt us to the next level.”

By Sarah Hernandez, First Nations Program Coordinator

Native Food Sovereignty Summit Coming Up!

Registration continues for the Second Annual Native Food Sovereignty Summit that will be held at the Radisson Hotel & Conference Center in Green Bay, Wisconsin, April 14-17, 2014. First Nations is a proud co-sponsor of this important event along with the Oneida Tribe of Indians of Wisconsin, the Intertribal Agriculture Council and Northeast Wisconsin Technical College.

Last year’s conference was fully booked — sold out! — and got rave reviews, so register now to ensure you have a seat at this one. Online registration and information is at this link: http://www.firstnations.org/conferences/2014/food/summit.html

We’ll see  you in Green Bay next month!

Native Food Sovereignty Summit is April 14-17

Registration is open for the Second Annual Native Food Sovereignty Summit that will be held at the Radisson Hotel & Conference Center in Green Bay, Wisconsin, April 14-17, 2014.

Once again, First Nations is a proud co-sponsor of this important event. Our co-sponsors are the Oneida Tribe of Indians of Wisconsin, the Intertribal Agriculture Council and Northeast Wisconsin Technical College.

Last year’s conference was fully booked and got rave reviews, so register early to ensure you have a seat at this one. Online registration and information is at this link: http://www.firstnations.org/conferences/2014/food/summit.html

Last year's conference was sold out

There will be two training tracks: Track 1 is Applied Agriculture, and Track 2 is Outreach.  Attendees can attend sessions in just one track, or they can customize their experience by selecting from any of the sessions. There are also two optional Field Working Sessions on Thursday, April 17 from 1 to 5 p.m., which will be held at the Oneida Farm, Tsyunhehkwa and the cannery.

Also check the website if you are interested in becoming a vendor or sponsor, or if you want to showcase any traditional foods from other tribes and regions, or want to share samples of your packaging, marketing materials or products.

Native Food Sovereignty Summit is a Hit

More than 250 people from all over the U.S. – representing tribes, Native organizations and businesses, food producers and others – packed the Food Sovereignty Summit held in mid-April in Green Bay, Wisconsin.  Registration for the conference had to be discontinued well ahead of the event because attendee capacity had been reached.

The summit was sponsored by First Nations, the Oneida Nation, the Intertribal Agriculture Council and Northeast Wisconsin Technical College. It was held April 15-18, 2013, at the Radisson Hotel & Conference Center.

Winona LaDuke, executive director of Honor the Earth and White Earth Land Recovery Project

“We were extremely happy with the turnout – which was actually beyond capacity limits – because it showed very strongly that Native food sovereignty is a significant and rapidly growing issue in Indian Country,” said Raymond Foxworth, First Nations senior program officer and the leader of First Nations’ Native Agriculture and Food Systems Initiative.  “It was an impressive coming together of some of the top minds, visionaries and operators in Native food systems work.”

The professional tracks at the conference included Sustainable Agricultural Practices, Community Outreach and Development, and Business Management, Finance and Marketing. Attendees had the option of attending sessions in just one track, or customizing their experience by selecting from any of the sessions. Attendees and presenters shared experiences about food security, food policy, best practices, resources, farm-to-school programs, organic farming, permaculture, entrepreneurship, biofuels, equipment, animal diseases and other issues.  Besides the general and breakout sessions, the event featured networking events, educational films, and tours of the Oneida Nation integrated

Michael E. Roberts, president First Nations Development Institute

food system’s cannery, orchard, bison herd, farm, warehouse and retail store.

Food sovereignty is an important issue because Native communities are struggling to fight food-related disease and regain health and good nutrition through traditional diets, regain or retain cultural and agricultural traditions and practices, and stimulate economic development by developing and controlling food systems in their tribes and communities.

“We are pleased to have been involved in the monumental event with our co-organizers,” Raymond added. “The summit allowed attendees to hear and learn from some of the top food-system programs in Indian Country. In the coming months, First Nations will be hosting a number of technical assistance webinars on various topics of interest identified by summit attendees. We hope the webinars, combined with the information provided at the summit, will allow the attendees to use all this information in their communities and continue to develop strong programs to reclaim control of local Native food systems.”

Article and photos by Jackie Francke, First Nations Senior Program Officer