2929 3rd Ave N, Ste 300, Billings, MT 59101 - (406) 252-2550

First Nations Development Institute

August 9, 2016

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Genetic Ordinance Protects
Yurok Tribe’s Natural Resources

Food policies have a tremendous impact on how food is produced, processed and distributed in Native communities. Often, these policies are determined at the federal and state levels. Today, more and more tribes are exercising their sovereign rights and establishing tribal food policies to meet the specific needs of their communities.


Board Profile: First Nations Chair Thomas Vigil

Beyond the grants, past the technical assistance, and before becoming a nonprofit organization, First Nations was formed to be a voice and advocate for Indian people. “It’s why we started, and it’s what we still do,” says B. Thomas Vigil (Jicarilla Apache/Jemez Pueblo), longtime Chairman of the Board and one of the first board members of First Nations Development Institute.

Updated “Building Native Communities”
Curriculum Released

In honor of National Financial Literacy Month during April 2016, First Nations Development Institute (First Nations) and First Nations Oweesta Corporation (Oweesta) released the 5th edition of the Building Native Communities: Financial Skills for Families curriculum. The revised curriculum includes an updated Participant Workbook and Instructor Guide.

New Web Resource for Native Financial Educators

In April, First Nations Development Institute and First Nations Oweesta Corporation announced the launch of a new financial education web portal at https://www.firstnations.org/. It serves as a resource center for Native financial education practitioners and educators.

Cultural Movement of Change
Underway at Thunder Valley

On a recent visit to Thunder Valley Community Development Corporation (CDC) in Porcupine, South Dakota, something extraordinary was evident. A spark had been ignited and a cultural movement of change was happening at Thunder Valley, which has become a powerful catalyst of innovative change for the Oglala Lakota people of Pine Ridge, South Dakota, and all across Indian Country

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Savings Contest a Success for Student-Parents

First Nations teamed up with longtime partner Gallup Central High School in Gallup, New Mexico, over the 2015-2016 school year to offer a multi-modal financial empowerment program for young student-parents. We worked with students who are enrolled in the Graduation, Reality and Dual-Role Skills (GRADS) program. The GRADS program is a class for student-parents as part of a statewide initiative in New Mexico focused on providing support and education to pregnant and parenting teens.

First Nations’ Michael Roberts is
“Asset Builder Champion”

Michael E. Roberts, President and CEO of First Nations Development Institute, was honored in Washington, D.C. on April 20 with an “Asset Builder Champion” (ABC) award from the Center for Global Policy Solutions. The award ceremony was part of the 2016 Color of Wealth Summit, which is an effort under the Closing the Racial Wealth Gap Initiative.

$pending Simulation Gets Gallup in a Frenzy

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).

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

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 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.

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

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.

For 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.

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The logo of First Nations Development Institute2432 Main Street, 2nd Floor Longmont, CO 80501

Last modified: June 25, 2020