The Denver Indian Center, Inc. and the Denver Indian Family Resource Center are partners in the “Building Strong American Indian/Alaska Native Communities” effort, which is a three-year project that is funded by The Kresge Foundation.
As grant recipients in First Nations’ 2013-2014 Urban Indian Organization program, their project strategy is to improve and expand collaborative opportunities for the two organizations, as well as other partner organizations in metropolitan Denver. They plan to increase participation in new and existing programs, build resources, explore new ways of working together, and enrich communication that creates the most impact. Proposed activities involve resource development, case management, outreach, marketing, information exchange, database management, and developing best practices.
The National Urban Indian Family Coalition (NUIFC) and First Nations Development Institute (First Nations) are also strategic partners in this project. The main objective of their partnership is the amplification of services to the grantees to aid in sustainability and growth. It is the right business match. We are committed to the design and co-management of the program with open access to information, networks, resources and skills. Our tasks are to deliver technical assistance and training along with assessments, site visits, media development, and information-sharing forums.
Partnerships and collaboration are motivating philosophies at First Nations. Collaboration builds the Native American nonprofit sector. It is a process that prompts individuals with diverse interests to share their knowledge and resources to improve outcomes, innovate and enhance decisions. When we share our expertise we become deeply involved in the design and delivery of outreach, programs, and services. As partners we solve problems, meet objectives, build support, and utilize our strengths more effectively for greater success.
Under the Kresge project, First Nations and NUIFC also selected two other organizations to receive grants. They are the Native American Youth and Family Center in Portland, Oregon, and the Little Earth of United Tribes in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Each of the three projects is receiving a $40,000 grant.
First Nations’ and NUIFC’s overall effort aims to help organizations that work with some of the estimated 78 percent ofAmerican Indians and Alaska Natives who live off reservations or away from tribal villages, and who reflect some of the most disproportionately low social and economic standards in the urban areas in which they reside. Urban Indian organizations are an important support to Native families and individuals, providing cultural linkages as well as a hub for accessing essential services.
To learn more about these organizations and the project, please see the First Nations/NUIFC press release at this link: http://www.firstnations.org/node/645.
By Montoya A. Whiteman, First Nations Senior Program Officer