$pending Simulation Gets Gallup in a Frenzy

Spending Frenzy Full-Logo

In April, First Nations worked with Gallup Central High School financial literacy teacher Arnold Blum and First Financial Credit Union’s Dale Dedrick to provide the $pending Frenzy financial simulation. The goal was to help GRADS students (Graduation, Reality and Dual-Role Skills program) and other Gallup Central students put principles they learned throughout the year into practice. First Nations provided a series of four simulations for all students at Gallup Central (about 100).

The $pending Frenzy simulation allowed students to practice handling a one-year salary of $30,000 to make spending decisions at a series of booths for big purchases like a car and a home (or rental). In addition, students considered smaller purchases such as a food plan and home furnishings. Students also had the opportunity to save money and/or invest money at a bank booth, were instructed to pay taxes on their salary at a tax booth, and were dealt “chance” cards with unexpected life events that either cost them or resulted in money (such as the birth of a child, breaking a leg in an accident, or receiving an award for a piece of art).

Thanks to the coordination of Blum and Dedrick, the various booths were run by local merchants who represented the purchases students had to make. For example, Realtor Jason Valentine from Coldwell Banker ran the home-buying booth, Teri Garcia from Amigo Chevrolet operated the automobile sales booth, Castle Furniture owner Jimmy Villanueva sold items at the shopping mall booth, and representatives from the local First Financial Credit Union managed the bank booth. Additionally, several local officers of the Bureau of Indian Affairs’ Office of the Special Trustee for American Indians, and representatives from Native Community Finance (a local Native Community Development Financial Institution), Lowe’s Shop’n Save, and Little Singer Community School assisted with a variety of other booths.

Volunteers at the $pending Frenzy

Volunteers at the $pending Frenzy

“This year’s $pending Frenzy was a genuine community event for our school with local business volunteers from a variety of industries,” stated Gallup Central Financial Literacy teacher Arnold Blum. “The vendors gave students genuine pitches for up-selling, allowing our kids to practice negotiating. The business leaders debriefed the students afterwards and taught them financial lessons.”

First Nations financial education consultant Shawn Spruce agreed: “Teaming up with communities to create positive energy is what the $pending Frenzy is all about. It was great to see so much support from local businesses and organizations all focused on financially empowering students.”

Surveys collected from students following the $pending Frenzy demonstrated that the students found the simulations to be very useful. Of all who completed a survey, 97% agreed that the $pending Frenzy was a valuable experience and 85% indicated that they would use the information they learned to assist them in managing money. Senior Shay Billie concurred and noted, “I thought the $pending Frenzy was cool because I learned skills I can use to get ahead in life.”

This initiative was made possible through generous funding from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation. For more information about the program please contact Benjamin Marks, First Nations Senior Research Officer, at bmarks@firstnations.org or (540) 371-5615.

Investing in Native Communities is Easy!

native-giving

Did you know that only three-tenths of one percent of foundation funding goes to Native causes? Yet Native Americans represent over two percent of the population. Through NativeGiving.org First Nations Development Institute hopes to address this disparity by raising aNative Giving photowareness of and direct support for grassroots organizations in Native communities doing remarkable work. These organizations are developing solutions to ensure the health and well-being of our most valuable resource – our children.

We encourage you to visit NativeGiving.org to learn more about the featured organizations and then please make a generous donation. Fully 100 percent of your gift will go to the designated nonprofit of your choosing and more organizations are being added in the coming months. Making a difference is as easy as 1, 2, 3, 4.

Simply:

1. Choose a Cause – or Causes (http://www.nativegiving.org/partners)
2. Make a Gift
3. Know You’re Making A Difference
4. Repeat the Good Deed and Feel Even Better

Kids and baby goatSitting Bull once said, “Let us put our minds together and see what life we can make for our children.”

We hope you will help us do just that by making a gift today to one of these causes and help ensure the future of Native communities.

NativeGiving.org is a project of First Nations and is supported by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation under the foundation’s “Catalyzing Community Giving” initiative.

Native Student-Parents Learning Financial Fitness

Native American high school students are learning the ropes of financial fitness in Gallup, New Mexico.

Recently, 19 student-parents in grades 9-12 took charge of their financial futures and visited Pinnacle Bank to open up Youth Savings Accounts (YSAs) for themselves and Children’s Savings Accounts (CSAs) for their young children. Bank representatives also walked students through how they could access their credit reports.

With generous funding from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, First Nations Development Institute (First Nations) is teaming up with longtime partner Gallup Central High School (Central High) to facilitate a multi-modal financial education program that includes opening savings accounts. First Nations is providing initial seed deposits of $50 for each of the accounts.

Part of a statewide initiative in New Mexico focused on providing support and education to pregnant and parenting teens, Central High houses the Graduation, Reality and Dual-Role Skills (GRADS) class for student-parents. Starting in the fall semester of the 2015-2016 academic year, GRADS students are now receiving lessons in financial topics such as safe banking products, budgeting and creating savings goals.

First Nations was interested in working with the GRADS program at Central High because of the unique opportunity to provide dual-generation support to Native American parents and their young children. Furthermore, past research by First Nations has discovered a large number of high-cost payday lending institutions in Gallup and the surrounding community that saturate the market with poor check-cashing and borrowing options. Young parents struggling with finances are especially vulnerable to these institutions.

Working with faculty at Central High, First Nations is implementing an initiative titled the Well-Being in Student Health and Financial Self-Sufficiency (WISHSS) that includes opening savings accounts in conjunction with financial education lessons for GRADS students. As part of the initiative, the GRADS program offers financial education in a variety of formats including guest lectures from financial experts, experiential learning events, as well as through a social media application that encourages good spending and savings decisions. The MoneyThink mobile app is designed like Instagram, whereby students are given challenges to snap pictures of items they are savings for or recently purchased. Fellow students can weigh in through comments and polls to determine if their classmate made a wise or not-so-savvy financial decision.

Between late August and early September 2015, the GRADS teacher shuttled groups of three to six students to local bank partner, Pinnacle Bank, to open up accounts for students and their children. In total, 19 students opened accounts for themselves with an additional 14 for their children (some students are expecting and will open up CSAs for their children once the babies are born). The initial deposit for both accounts was provided by First Nations, but students are expected to save and deposit at least $50 throughout the school year. A match of $50 will be provided to students who can meet their savings goals. After a few weeks, several student have already begun making contributions to their accounts!

The YSA and CSA accounts are currently custodial accounts, which require advanced consent from the custodian (First Nations) to make a withdrawal. Students will have a variety of options to take complete ownership of their accounts at the end of the WISHSS program.

Prior to the WISHSS initiative, only three students indicated having bank accounts. Moreover, student surveys suggested that the majority of the class had very little experience with banking institutions and safe banking products available to them. Students were excited to open accounts and begin the savings habit. Many students established savings goals such as for purchasing a car, saving for college, and a future apartment or house.

Student parents are allowed to enter the GRADS program on a rolling basis throughout the academic year. First Nations and Central High will continue to work with Pinnacle Bank to open accounts as the school year progresses.

By Benjamin Marks, First Nations Senior Research Officer

First Nations Supports Sequoyah’s Cherokee Entrepreneur Video

First Nations Development Institute (First Nations) follows its mission to strengthen American Indian economies in order to support healthy Native communities. First Nations invests in and creates innovative institutions and models that strengthen asset control and support economic development for American Indian people and their communities. First Nations recognizes that within this mission, it is critical to support and encourage up-and-coming entrepreneurs.

Last year, First Nations gave a grant to the Sequoyah Fund to support its Cherokee Entrepreneur Video Project. This project linked Cherokee youth with local Cherokee entrepreneurs in order to spark the youth to consider entrepreneurship as a career. The project was also designed to help youth learn from their elders and learn more about historical business leadership in their region. Funded in part by the W. K. Kellogg Foundation, this project provided a group of Cherokee high school students an education in historical research and video production. Students learned to search historical records, identify and recruit interview subjects, and conduct interviews. They also learned the basics of video shooting and editing, and the development and implementation of social media strategies to share their video.

A scene from the Cherokee video

The students researched the local history of cultural entrepreneurship and economic development and created a list of Cherokee businesses. They also requested information from the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians to identify business licenses. This information was used to assess how the economy has grown and changed throughout the years. The process made the students more aware of their local economy. In addition, they saw how difficult leasing land for business use can be on tribal lands and how difficult obtaining information about those leases can be.

The Cherokee youth learned a lot from interviewing tribal elders about their careers in entrepreneurship. This learned about the types of businesses each elder owns, the advantages and disadvantages of entrepreneurship, and advice each tribal elder had for future Cherokee entrepreneurs.

All of their work resulted in a video that can be found here: https://vimeo.com/129228832. First Nations is proud to have supported this project that contributes to the development of future Native entrepreneurs.

The video description on Vimeo is as follows:

Entrepreneurship in Cherokee

Cherokee, North Carolina, is also known as the Qualla Boundary, the home of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians. For years it has been a bustling tourist destination offering history and culture along with the natural beauty of the land preserved as the Blue Ridge Parkway and Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

One hour from the nearest airport, mall and most nationally known businesses, the Cherokee economy has long subsisted on small businesses to provide community services and to offer retail and restaurant offerings to the millions of people who visit annually.

In 1997, the Eastern Band (EBCI) began offering gaming services and the economy of Cherokee shifted. Positive and negative impacts resulted, but the small business community has been resilient.

Students at Cherokee High School filmed and edited this video to showcase how the Cherokee economy once looked, to highlight he pros and cons of owning a business in Cheorkee, and to preserve the stories of some of our oldest entrepreneurs. They interviewed tribal elders, artists and entrepreneurs and discovered a lot about their community, their opportunities, and how to successfully blend culture and business.

By Lisa Yellow Eagle, First Nations Program Officer

Native Food Sovereignty Summit is Oct. 26-29

First Nations Development Institute (First Nations) and the Oneida Nation of Wisconsin will co-host the Third Annual Food Sovereignty Summit to be held in Green Bay, Wisconsin, October 26-29, 2015, at the Radisson Green Bay Hotel and Conference Center. At the event, Native American communities come together to learn from one another in order to promote Native health, wellness and food sovereignty. (Also see “Food Sovereignty Assessment Tool” below.)

This conference sold out well ahead of time the previous two years, so be sure to guarantee your attendance by registering soon at www.firstnations.org/summit. Previously the conference was held in April, and this year it will be held in October to incorporate the Oneida Nation’s traditional white corn harvesting.

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. Among special features of this year’s summit are Experiential Learning Field Sessions (farm practices, food preservation, food handling, organic certification, etc.), a Chefs’ Corner (culinary creations from various tribal regions), and a “Connect the Dots” session to connect mentors and mentees with the goal of building healthy Native communities.

As in the past, the Food Sovereignty Summit is generously supported by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation.

Food Sovereignty Assessment Tool Updated, Republished

Related to the food sovereignty movement in Indian Country, First Nations also recently released a revised, updated Food Sovereignty Assessment Tool that can be downloaded for free.

The Food Sovereignty Assessment Tool (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.

Prior to colonization, Native peoples had self-sufficient and sustainable food systems. Over time, removal from traditional homelands, limited access to traditional food sources, and transitions to cash economies, among other things, weakened tribal food systems. Today, many Native communities and households are food insecure, dependent on outside food sources, and maintain a diet of Western foodstuffs that are often linked to negative and deteriorating health, community and economics. Recognizing that the loss of self-sufficient food systems is a contributing factor to the many issues Native communities face today, First Nations works with and supports Native communities in reclaiming local food systems.

According to the FSAT’s introduction, “Local food-system control is foundational to reversing years of colonization aimed at the disintegration of cultural and traditional belief systems and dismantling of Native social and economic systems. If Native communities can control local food systems, food can become a driver for cultural revitalization, improving community health, and economic development.”

To download this new, free publication, 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.)

Grants Get Our 35th Year Off to Good Start

During 2015 First Nations Development Institute (First Nations) is observing the 35th anniversary of its founding in 1980. Several foundation grants have been received recently that will help us celebrate the year in a good way — by allowing us to continue or expand our work in several areas across Indian Country.

W.K. Kellogg Foundation

In the continuing effort to improve the health of Native American children and families and boost the economic health of Native communities, the W.K. Kellogg Foundation (WKKF) has awarded First Nations a grant of $2.95 million to extend First Nations’ work in the area of Native agriculture and food systems for three years, 2015 through 2017.

First Nations will use the continuing funding to support additional projects that advance the building and strengthening of local food-system infrastructure in Native American communities. A request-for-proposals process was recently announced for the first year of projects under the new grant. All NAFSI projects aim to enhance Native control of their local food systems – especially in addressing issues such as food insecurity, food deserts, and health and nutrition – while simultaneously bolstering much-needed economic development in those communities.

WKKF has been a significant and longtime supporter of First Nations’ work under its Native Agriculture and Food Systems Initiative (NAFSI), including supporting the creation of NAFSI in 2002 and ever since. In 2012, WKKF provided $2.89 million to First Nations for a two-year period to support NAFSI efforts.

Comcast NBCUniversal

Comcast NBCUniversal has provided airtime valued at $2 million to promote First Nations’ public service announcements on cable channels during March and December 2015.

This is the third year in a row that Comcast NBCUniversal has made a significant contribution of broadcast time for First Nations’ 30-second television spots. During 2014, Comcast NBCUniversal also donated $2 million in airtime, and in 2013 it donated more than $1.5 million in airtime, along with $20,000 in cash for production of the two TV spots. As in 2014, the 2015 spots will run in 30 different Comcast markets nationwide.

The Comcast Foundation also has supported other projects of First Nations, most notably providing $150,000 over three years toward First Nations’ Urban Native Project.

Walmart Foundation

The Walmart Foundation has 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 will also focus on improving their management of natural resources, engaging younger community members in ranching businesses, and/or expanding access to new markets.

This is the second time the Walmart Foundation has provided a significant grant for First Nations’ work in the area of Native agriculture and food systems. In 2012 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 new project, First Nations will work with three selected Native ranching groups or tribal organizations as primary project partners. They will receive financial grants that can be used for infrastructure improvements, equipment, training or consulting services to advance their operations. They will also receive instruction on improving herd health, improving land-management practices, and accessing new markets.

Further, the project partners along with an additional 10 Native ranchers will be sent to the Third Annual Native Food Sovereignty Summit that First Nations and the Oneida Nation of Wisconsin are co-hosting in Green Bay, Wisconsin, in October 2015. This will generate significant networking and learning opportunities for the individuals as well as strengthen the capacity of the entire rancher group.

Margaret A. Cargill Foundation

First Nations was awarded a significant grant for a project to explore and inform tribal ecological stewardship practices in the Great Plains of South Dakota and Montana.

The grant will allow First Nations to provide a forum to consider the relationship between responsible ecological stewardship practices and economic development strategies for tribally controlled areas of the northern Great Plains region. Longer-term goals include visioning and actively moving toward implementation of economic-ecological models developed for and by the tribes in the region.

Further, First Nations will provide capacity-building and networking activities that will build the tribal capacity and ecological sustainability in the region, as well as addressing dynamic situations and issues for long-term planning and stewardship of tribally controlled natural resources.

This project is supported in part with a grant from the Margaret A. Cargill Foundation of Eden Prairie, Minnesota.

Agua Fund

First Nations was awarded a $50,000 grant from Agua Fund, Inc. of Washington, D.C., for a project under First Nations’ Native Agriculture and Food Systems Initiative (NAFSI).

The grant will allow First Nations to provide financial assistance and capacity-building training to two Native tribes or organization focused on ending hunger and improving nutrition and access to healthy foods in Native communities. Participants will be located in the Sioux communities of North Dakota and/or South Dakota. Priority will be given to projects aimed at increasing the availability of healthy, locally-produced foods in Native American communities; reducing food insecurity; entrepreneurship; and/or programs that create systemic change by increasing community control of local food systems. Priority also will be given to organizations that can assist in the development of emerging and promising practices in strengthening Native food systems.

Rose Foundation for Communities and the Environment

The Rose Foundation for Communities and the Environment, based in Oakland, California, has awarded First Nations a grant of $40,000 to fund a project aimed at improving the financial capability of Native American families.

With the grant, First Nations will work in partnership with its subsidiary, First Nations Oweesta Corporation (Oweesta), to update and revise its well-known and widely used “Building Native Communities: Financial Skills for Families” (BNC) curriculum, including the instructor guide and participant workbook. An advisory group of experts in Native American financial education will guide the process as well as the culturally appropriate content, which was last updated in 2010. The BNC training is easy to use in tribal programs, schools and Native nonprofit organizations. Since its creation, nearly 20,000 people have been reached, and it is used as a curriculum at several tribal colleges.

As First Nations and Oweesta roll out the improved curriculum, it is expected that Native American training participants will improve their financial capability and savings/budgeting habits to better accumulate and manage financial assets. Their circumstances will be improved by learning principles of and ideas for best financial management practices that are relevant to Native Americans’ situations and how these may be introduced or incorporated into budgeting, use of credit, use of financial institutions’ services, long-term asset-building, and increased saving for the future.

Compiled by Randy Blauvelt, First Nations Senior Communications Officer

Investing in Native Children, Families & Communities Easy as 1, 2, 3, 4

Did you know that only three-tenths of one percent (.003) of foundation funding goes to Native causes? Yet Native Americans represent over two percent of the population. Through NativeGiving.org First Nations Development Institute hopes to address this disparity by raising awareness of and direct support for grassroots organizations in Native communities doing remarkable work. These organizations are developing solutions to ensure the health and well-being of our most valuable resource – our children.

We encourage you to visit NativeGiving.org to learn more about the featured organizations and then please make a generous donation. Fully 100 percent of your gift will go to the designated nonprofit of your choosing and more organizations are being added in the coming months. Making a difference is as easy as 1, 2, 3, 4.

Simply:
1. Choose a Cause – or Causes (http://www.nativegiving.org/partners)
2. Make a Gift
3. Know You’re Making A Difference
4. Repeat the Good Deed and Feel Even Better

Sitting Bull once said, “Let us put our minds together and see what life we can make for our children.”

We hope you will help us do just that by making a gift today to one of these causes and help ensure the future of Native communities.

NativeGiving.org is a project of First Nations and is supported by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation under the foundation’s “Catalyzing Community Giving” initiative.

By Eileen Egan, First Nations Senior Program Officer and Associate Director of Development

Join Us in Supporting Native Children and Families

First Nations Development Institute (First Nations) recognizes that Native American youth are the very future of their communities, and that ensuring their well-being is crucial to the prosperity of those communities. That’s why First Nations established NativeGiving.org to raise awareness of community-based organizations that are committed to this important work at the grassroots level.

First Nations is calling on conscientious donors interested in investing in the work of participating organizations to make a gift via NativeGiving.org and support nonprofits that are dedicated to strengthening and improving the lives of Native children and families.

“Let us put our minds together and see what life we can make for our children.”

– Sitting Bull

“We are excited about being part of this project because it can help us to build a solid foundation of sustainability. We realize that in order to live to see our Native schools and communities evolve to be truly empowering, we must develop long-lasting programs and projects that don’t fit into the standard mold of federal and state grants, and finding the support for these innovative programs requires heartfelt support from many caring individuals,” said Mark Sorensen, founder of the STAR School just 40 miles east of Flagstaff, Arizona.

Consistent with Native American values of sharing and reciprocity, the goal of this unique initiative is to increase giving to philanthropic efforts in Native communities. Right now only three-tenths of one percent of foundation funding goes to Native causes, while Native Americans represent over two percent of the U.S. population. This disparity is compounded by the fact that the Native population has some of the highest rates of poverty, food insecurity, diet-related illness and the poorest educational outcomes.

To address this inequity, First Nations launched this website to leverage its national influence to direct more investments to worthy nonprofits such as those featured on this site. The featured nonprofits have developed successful and innovative projects that promote educated kids, healthy kids and secure families.

“First Nations has long known that developing a strong and healthy nonprofit sector in Native communities is one key to economic diversification and service delivery,” said First Nations President Michael E. Roberts. “This program will expand the reach of local Native nonprofits and improve charitable giving to Native causes and communities.”

In its own grantmaking process, First Nations has vetted each of the participating organizations. In addition to assisting them in raising funds through this site, First Nations is also providing technical assistance to build the management and fundraising expertise of each organization during this pilot project so they can sustain their critical programs for years to come.

Please browse the profiles of these organizations at NativeGiving.org, and then select one or more of them to support. Fully 100 percent of donations received through Nativegiving.org will go toward the selected organization’s mission.

NativeGiving.org is a project of First Nations and is supported by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation under the foundation’s “Catalyzing Community Giving” initiative.

Molokai “Superheroes” See Sustainable Future

A bamboo building being constructed by Sust ‘āina ble Molokai in order to store produce.

For a period of my son’s childhood, his daily attire consisted of a superhero costume and cape, flying about the house, working to save us and our dogs from a catastrophic meteor. As his trusty sidekick, I assisted our superhero in saving the world by making sure he had a sturdy cape, healthy meals, and the strength to fight the good battle — sidekick duties I enjoyed just as much as I enjoy assisting with our community superheroes in my work at First Nations Development Institute (First Nations).

Papaya is among the produce under cultivation.

At First Nations, we work with community superheros on a daily basis through assistance and support as they strive to revive local foods systems, combat predatory lenders, and protect the sovereignty of Native people. In restoring local food systems, our superheros work incognito as volunteers, board members, executive directors, staff members and tribal council members. Their work in protecting native seeds, reviving agriculture and rebuilding regional trade routes contributes to the defeat of obesity and diabetes, the increased access to fresh food and restoration of self-sufficiency in our Native communities.

One such organization is Sust ‘āina ble Molokai, located on the island of Molokai, Hawaii, in Kaunakakai. Situated approximately 55 miles southeast of Honolulu and seven miles from the island of Maui, the island has lush, beautiful scenery as well as bountiful land prime for farming. Since 2010 Sust ‘āina ble Molokai has been taking a community-wide approach to restoring a thriving, sustainable Molokai. Efforts that have included conducting community agricultural and energy assessments, installing energy efficient refrigerators, replacing incandescent light bulbs with compact fluorescent light bulbs and working toward the availability of electric vehicles and charging stations throughout the community.

Malia Akutagawa, one of the founders of Sust ‘āina ble Molokai

Under the First Nations Native Agriculture and Food Systems Initiative (NAFSI) project, these superheros are working to revive small agriculture and develop a food hub as a pathway to regaining control of their local food system and generate economic opportunities for the island. With 90 percent of the food arriving by barge, the island is designated a food desert, in which residents do not have ready access to fresh affordable foods. This dependency on the twice-weekly barge arrivals is what drives the staff and board members of Sust ‘āina ble Molokai. As one of the founders, Malia Akutagawa notes, “We were called the abundant land and envied by all for the wealth and bounty of our island. We gave from our infinite store because we always perceived that there was more than enough. There was never a lack, only in the perception and limitations imposed by our own minds.”

Today the land has degraded as a result of overgrazing and fish ponds have become catchment basins for topsoil washed away by heavy rains. But, through efforts by Sust ‘āina ble Molokai, gardens are reviving, kids are learning about where their food comes from, and healthy foods are once again becoming a part of the community.

The work of Sust ‘āina ble Molokai helps preserve part of paradise.

Like many of our food superheros, Sust ‘āina ble Molokai works tirelessly. They are dedicated to restoring the local food system and with support and assistance from First Nations through funding from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, they are making it happen. It was an honor to visit with the staff, volunteers, families and board members during a recent site visit that enabled us to witness the construction of their first “food hub” packaging center and outdoor classroom made of bamboo, partake in the fresh produce grown in the school garden used to educate the students on where their food comes from, and assist leadership in fine-tuning the organization’s compass so that they can continue to excel.

It was great to see on-the-ground efforts that bring to life the inspiration and dedication of these superheros. As their trusty sidekick, we appreciate the opportunity to be a part of the mission, to advocate on their behalf and to celebrate in their success. After all, every superhero should have a trusty sidekick for support.

(For more information on Sust ‘āina ble Molokai, please visit http://sustainablemolokai.org/. To see a short video, visit https://www.dropbox.com/s/tm13v5tteccqmtp/Sustainable%20Molokai%20FINAL.mp4?dl=0)

By Jackie Francke, First Nations Director of Programs and Administration