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First Nations Development Institute Awards $195,300 to Seven Native American Organizations & Tribal Programs That Serve Native Arts and Artists

August 9, 2016


First Nations Development Institute Awards $195,300 to Seven Native American Organizations & Tribal Programs That Serve Native Arts and Artists

LONGMONT, Colorado (May 2, 2016) – First Nations Development Institute (First Nations) today announced the awarding of five grants to Native nonprofit organizations and two grants to tribes through its Native Arts Capacity Building Initiative (NACBI). The seven grants, which total $195,300, will help strengthen the organizational, managerial and programmatic capacity of Native organizations and tribal government programs that serve the field of Native American arts and Native American artists through existing programs.

First Nations believes the continuing development of Native American art is an indispensable component of cultural preservation and economic development in Native communities. This First Nations initiative is the third year of a three-year project targeting Native nonprofits and tribal government programs serving the field of Native arts and artists in the four-state region of Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wisconsin. First Nations’ NACBI is made possible through the generous support of Margaret A. Cargill Philanthropies.

The 2016-2017 NACBI grantees are:

  1. Thunder Valley Community Development Corporation (nonprofit organization), Porcupine, South Dakota, $30,000 – The “Community Development Through Creative Placemaking” project will serve primarily young adult and adult artists of the Oglala Sioux Tribe on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation. As part of its Regenerative Community project, Thunder Valley is entering the design phase for the “Empowerment Center,” a cultural centerpiece of multiple buildings around the powwow grounds/amphitheater. Once completed, these will include community gathering space, business incubators, artist studios, and artist live/work spaces. The project is focused on continuing to expand the engagement of local artists in the critical development stages of the Empowerment Center, recognizing that creative placemaking is an integral part of making this community beautiful and inspirational for innovation. Thunder Valley will also continue to provide services to the community’s artists, including holding at least three financial literacy trainings with the goal of strengthening the business foundation of artists.
  2. Sisseton Wahpeton Oyate Planning and Economic Development Office (tribe), Agency Village, South Dakota, $30,000 – The Cultural Arts Project will continue to provide tribal artists with training and technical assistance in their efforts to establish themselves as entrepreneurs through individual business development. During the project, participating artists will attend three trainings, including financial literacy, social media and marketing to help expand their markets, and business plan development in which tribal artists will be provided with a template in which they can began developing individual business plans and also receive one-on-one training by knowledgeable staff and planners. Artists will also be offered four peer-teaching community events, which will feature an artist demonstrating and teaching his or her art form.
  3. White Earth Economic Development Office (tribe), White Earth, Minnesota, $30,000– The office’s Gizhiigin Arts Place is a unique economic development model focused on strengthening the arts industry of the White Earth Reservation. During the project, Gizhiigin will serve the White Earth Reservation through four initiatives: 1) the Legacy Art Youth Mentorship Program; 2) the Gizhiigin Artist Career Development Program; 3) the Art Cooperative Incubation; and 4) public and community art projects and events.
  4. Woodland Indian Art, Inc. (nonprofit organization), Oneida, Wisconsin, $30,000 – Founded in 2006 by volunteers on the Oneida Nation Reservation, the Woodland Indian Art Show & Market will hold its 10th Annual Art Show and Market in July 2016. Woodland’s Managerial Capacity project will bring on a part-time executive director who will focus on 1) building a solid base of volunteers for the organization composed of Native college students and other community members; 2) implementing a solid fiscal policy to build the sustainability of the organization’s board, expand the professional development of the management staff, begin researching and developing an endowment/trust fund, and mapping grant opportunities at private foundations and other funding sources; 3) expanding the organization’s “friend raiser” partnerships with Woodland Indian tribes and tribal organizations; and 4) adopting a sound communications plan that aligns with the organization’s digital marketing efforts.
  5. Cheyenne River Chamber of Commerce (nonprofit organization), Eagle Butte, South Dakota, $23,100 – The “Expanding Cheyenne River’s Art Market” project will build off of the chamber’s past successes at providing entrepreneurial opportunities for Native American artists, increasing awareness of Native American art, and educating on Lakota culture. The project will expand the art market on the Cheyenne River Indian Reservation by implementing these strategies: 1) plan and host Cheyenne River’s 4th Annual Art in the Park for artists to sell their work and others to be exposed to Lakota culture; 2) develop and implement a statewide art marketing campaign to drive art buyers to local art venues and online platforms; 3) facilitate networking opportunities for artists and other business owners to collaborate; and 4) provide art entrepreneurs with additional training, technical assistance and resources so they can achieve their business goals.
  6. The Keya Foundation (nonprofit organization) Eagle Butte, South Dakota, $22,200– The “Exploration and Expansion of the Lakota Artistry Cooperative on the Cheyenne River Reservation” project will develop a business plan for the expansion of the Lakota Artistry Cooperative and an arts supply store at the H.V. Johnson Cultural Center for the Cheyenne River arts community. Based on findings of the business plan, the project will establish a supply store where local artists can purchase supplies without having to travel more than 200 miles roundtrip. The supply store will also provide the option for artists to utilize the store’s online ordering system.
  7. Minneapolis American Indian Center Two Rivers Gallery (nonprofit organization), Minneapolis, Minnesota, $30,000 – The project is the second of a three-phase effort to build capacity and infrastructure to support the Two Rivers Gallery. The first phase involved developing a new vision, new leadership and reopening the gallery, which has occurred. The second phase involves strengthening the gallery’s collaborations with other organizations both in the arts world and other sectors, including Native and non-Native communities, developing a business and sustainability plan for the gallery, and increasing the gallery’s marketing and media efforts to better support emerging Native artists while providing them additional exposure. The gallery serves the multi-tribal Native community of the Twin Cities by offering opportunities to view, create and learn about art – always for free – and for the broader community to have access to Native artists and to learn about Native cultures and values.

About First Nations Development Institute

For more than 35 years, using a three-pronged strategy of educating grassroots practitioners, advocating for systemic change, and capitalizing Indian communities, First Nations has been working to restore Native American control and culturally-compatible stewardship of the assets they own – be they land, human potential, cultural heritage or natural resources – and to establish new assets for ensuring the long-term vitality of Native American communities. First Nations serves Native American communities throughout the United States. For more information, visitwww.firstnations.org.



Catherine Bryan, First Nations Senior Program Officer
cbryan@firstnations.org or (303) 774-7836 x201

Randy Blauvelt, First Nations Senior Communications Officer
rblauvelt@firstnations.org or (303) 774-7836 x213

Last modified: March 21, 2023