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First Nations Development Institute Receives $480,000 Grant from NoVo Foundation to Support Food Sovereignty Assessments in Native American Communities

July 1, 2016

First Nations Development Institute Receives $480,000 Grant from NoVo Foundation to Support Food Sovereignty Assessments in Native American Communities
First Nations Development Institute Receives $480,000 Grant from NoVo Foundation to Support Food Sovereignty Assessments in Native American Communities

LONGMONT, Colorado (June 23, 2016) – First Nations Development Institute (First Nations) today announced it has received a $480,000 grant from the NoVo Foundation Fund at the Tides Foundation for an 18-month project aimed at strengthening food sovereignty in Native American communities.

Through a request-for-proposals process to be launched soon, First Nations will provide $20,000 regrants and capacity-building assistance to 20 Native American tribes, tribal departments and/or Native nonprofit organizations so they can conduct community food sovereignty assessments. These assessments help tribes and organizations develop plans to increase local control of their local food systems in order to better address community health issues, build the local economy, and preserve Native cultures.

The capacity-building assistance will be in the areas of program management, community outreach, and project administration. It will include customized webinars, technical assistance provided by specialized consultants, group conference calls, and attendance at in-person trainings.

First Nations recognizes that Native food systems are important assets of Native nations. The work of First Nations in the Native agriculture and food systems arena has been aimed at assisting Native communities in reclaiming control of local food systems in an effort to eliminate food insecurity, improve the health and nutrition of community members and, most importantly, as a mechanism for entrepreneurship and economic development. Like most assets of Native people, Native food systems have been altered, colonized and, in some cases, destroyed. Reclaiming control over local food systems promotes healthy Native nations, economies and people.

The food sovereignty assessments will utilize a process developed in First Nations’“Food Sovereignty Assessment Tool.” Such assessments can help Native communities in the following areas:

  • Understand their community’s linkages of the food-supply chain
  • Understand food production, consumption and purchasing habits in the community and within households
  • Develop an economic profile on how much money leaves Native communities from food-related purchases
  • Learn about nutrition needs, diet-related health and hunger in their community
  • Document food-related cultural traditions and practices specific to their community
  • Identify assets, resources, institutions and community leaders that can be leveraged for the benefit of the community food system.

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 about First Nations, visit www.firstnations.org.

About NoVo Foundation
NoVo Foundation is dedicated to building a more just and balanced world. Founded in 2006 by Jennifer and Peter Buffett, NoVo has become one of the largest private foundations in the world to support initiatives focused explicitly on girls and women. It also works to advance social and emotional learning, support Indigenous communities in North America, and promote local living economies. Across all of its work, NoVo Foundation supports the development of capacities in people – individually and collectively – to help create a world based on mutual respect, collaboration, and love. For more information, please visithttp://novofoundation.org/.


Raymond Foxworth, First Nations Vice President of Grantmaking, Development & Communications
rfoxworth@firstnations.org or (303) 774-7836 x207

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

Last modified: March 21, 2023