L.E.A.D. is Coming! Register Now!

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First Nations Development Institute will hold its 21st Annual First Nations L.E.A.D. Institute Conference at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Tulsa, OK on September 27 – 29, 2016.

LEAD collage 2For more than 30 years, First Nations has worked with Native nations and organizations to strengthen American Indian economies to support healthy Native communities. As an extension of this mission, the L.E.A.D. conference is designed to help emerging and existing leaders in Indian Country network, grow professionally, share ideas and learn new skills related to asset-building.

Training Tracks Offered

Track 1: Nourishing Native Foods & Health
Track 2: Investing in Native Youth
Track 3: Strengthening Tribal & Community Institutions

Attendees have the option of attending sessions in just one track, or they may customize their experience by selecting from any of the sessions that interest them.

Who Should Attend?

  • Native American nonprofit professionals
  • Native Americans interested in launching or expanding nonprofit and/or philanthropic organizations
  • Tribal leaders or those who work in tribal organizations
  • Anyone interested in Native American nonprofits and philanthropy
  • Anyone interested in Native American food sovereignty
  • Tribal economic development professionals



Free Native Ag/Food & Financial Capability Resources


First Nations Development Institute recently released new publications in two of its focus areas: 1) Native Foods and Health and 2) Native Financial Empowerment.

Native Foods and Health

Twelve new Fact Sheets were published recently that provide broad overviews and specific insights into numerous topics dealing with Native American agriculture and food systems. The fact sheets should prove valuable to Native farmers, ranchers, gardeners, food processors, marketers and tribal policymakers. The publications are free and available for download from First Nations’ Knowledge Center at this link: http://www.firstnations.org/knowledge-center/foods-health/resources/fact-sheets-2. (Note: you may have to create a free account to download the reports if you don’t already have one.)

The new fact sheet topics are:

  • Community Kitchens
  • Farm-to-School Programs
  • Farmers’ Markets
  • Food and Household Income
  • Food Hubs
  • Food Policy
  • Food Safety
  • Food Seasonality
  • Food Sovereignty
  • Producers and Market Access
  • Seed Saving and Seed Sovereignty
  • Youth Engagement

First Nations also recently released a revised, updated Food Sovereignty Assessment Tool (FSAT). The FSAT assists Native communities in reclaiming their local food systems. It helps demystify the process of data collection about local food systems and provides tools and a framework for Native communities to measure and assess food access, land use and food policy in their communities. Since its original development, First Nations has provided hundreds of trainings on the FSAT and it has been used around the world in other Indigenous communities.

To download, visit http://www.firstnations.org/knowledge-center/foods-health (Note: you may have to create a free account to download the reports if you don’t already have one.)

Native Financial Empowerment

Tribes and Native American nonprofits are pioneering new and innovative financial capability programs that empower tribal citizens to take control of their financial futures. First Nations, working in partnership with the Northwest Area Foundation, recently released a report documenting these programs and identifying promising practices and areas for growth. Titled Building Assets and Building Lives: Financial Capability Programs in Native Communities, this report provides an overview of recent research on financial literacy and financial services in Native communities, and then presents data on financial capability programs serving a broad range of communities in the Northwest Area Foundation region.

Financial capability programs increase financial knowledge and also provide financial services that are affordable, easy to use, and safe. For example, the Northern Eagle Federal Credit Union, a financial institution recently launched by the Bois Forte Band of Chippewa Indians, offers affordable savings accounts and other financial services to tribal members. Staff members also conduct financial education workshops for tribal employees, high school students and other community members to help people build their financial knowledge and skills. In addition, they provide financial counseling services.

For a copy of the Building Assets and Building Lives: Financial Capability Programs in Native Communities paper, visit http://www.firstnations.org/knowledge-center/financial-education/research. (Note: you may have to create a free account to download the reports if you don’t already have one.)