Red Lake Nation News - Babaamaajimowinan (Telling of news in different places)

Anniversary Honors Bestowed Last Night

First Nations: 35 Years of Improving Economic Conditions for Native Americans


SANTA FE, New Mexico (Sept. 23, 2015) – In observance of its 35th anniversary this year, First Nations Development Institute (First Nations [ ]) last night honored 10 organizations and individuals who were influential in the creation, growth or other development of the national Native American nonprofit since its founding in 1980.

The honors were awarded at First Nations' 35th Anniversary Celebration & Honoring event last night at the Buffalo Thunder Resort & Casino in Santa Fe. The reception and dinner helped kick off First Nations' annual L.E.A.D. Institute Conference, which is also being held there. First Nations is headquartered in Longmont, Colorado.

The honorees were recognized for providing key financial support, expertise and/or guidance to the organization over its three and a half decades. In four cases, the awards were accepted on behalf of honorees who couldn't attend. The honorees were:

* Ford Foundation

* W.K. Kellogg Foundation

* Kalliopeia Foundation

* Comcast NBCUniversal

* Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community

* First Nations Founder Rebecca Adamson

* Mr. & Mrs. Alan Rabinowitz

* First Nations Board Chair B. Thomas Vigil

* First Nation Board Vice Chair Marguerite Smith

* First Nations Board Member Gelvin Stevenson

First Nations' mission is to strengthen American Indian economies to support healthy Native communities by investing in and creating innovative institutions and models that strengthen asset-control and support economic development. With the support of individuals, foundations, corporate and tribal donors, First Nations improves economic conditions for Native Americans through technical assistance and training, advocacy and policy, and direct financial grants.

At the event, the invocation was provided by the Honorable Milton Herrera, governor of the Pueblo of Tesuque, while Vigil provided an insider's look back at the critical first years and the growth of the organization. The Honorable Benny Shendo, Jr., a New Mexico state senator and board member of First Nations, emceed the event along with Michael Roberts, president of First Nations.

"Many people, tribes, organizations and staff members have played key roles in making First Nations the successful nonprofit it is today, but these honorees have been especially influential and have generated a tremendous, lasting impact, and we're proud to recognize their significant contributions," said Roberts. "Their support and guidance have helped strengthen us to well serve even more Native American communities into the future."

About First Nations Development Institute

For 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 [ ].


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