First Nations Development Institute Awards Two $30,000 Native Agriculture and Food Systems Initiative Grants to South Dakota Reservation-Based Organizations
LONGMONT, Colorado (April 29, 2016) – First Nations Development Institute (First Nations), a national Native American nonprofit organization that works to improve Native economies and communities, has awarded two grants under its Native Agriculture and Food Systems Initiative (NAFSI). Funding for these grants was made possible by Agua Fund, a family foundation based in Washington, D.C.
The grant recipients are:
Rosebud Economic Development Corporation (REDCO), Mission, South Dakota, $30,000 – The “Food Sovereignty for the Sicangu Lakota Oyate: Reclaiming Healthy/Traditional Foods on the Rosebud Indian Reservation” project will engage tribal members in the entire cycle of growing, harvesting, selling, preserving and cooking with locally-grown vegetables and traditional Lakota foods such as wild game, buffalo, berries, roots and herbs. The community garden will be the hub, with an associated weekly farmers' market during the peak harvest season. Through partnerships, REDCO will offer experiential learning opportunities for youth and adults at both the community garden and the farmers' market. A pilot transportation program will provide rides from the more remote communities on the reservation.
Thunder Valley Community Development Corporation, Porcupine, South Dakota, $30,000 – The “Community Food Sovereignty: Creating a Community-Driven Agricultural Economy” project on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation aims to increase access to healthy, local produce through the implementation of local farmers’ markets, which will sell local produce at affordable prices. Additionally, hands-on education activities will continue to re-engage the community with local food sources.
In 2014, First Nations received $50,000 from Agua Fund for this project that allows First Nations to provide financial assistance and capacity-building training to Native tribes or organization focused on ending hunger and improving nutrition and access to healthy foods, particularly in the Sioux communities of the Dakotas. Grants under that funding were made during 2015. In late 2015, Agua Fund granted an additional $100,000 to First Nations for continuation of the project.
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, visit http://www.firstnations.org.