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

First Nations Named One of Four Recipients of Bank of America's National Neighborhood Builders® Award


LONGMONT, Colo. (July 15, 2021) – First Nations Development Institute (First Nations) announced today that the 40-year-old organization has been named one of Bank of America’s Neighborhood Builders®. As a recipient of the award, First Nations received $200,000 in flexible funding, a year of leadership development for a First Nations emerging leader and senior leader, access to a nationwide network of peer organizations, and the opportunity to access capital to expand its impact.

First Nations President and CEO Michael Roberts said the award is an honor and an investment in not only Native American economic development, but also the Native leaders who will drive its progress.

In line with this, he noted that the grant will go toward general operations, which will provide the flexibility for the organization to allocate funding where it is most needed, including the COVID-19 Emergency Response Fund, as well as toward capacity building in resource development, program management, and communications.

Further, through the leadership development aspect of the program, funds will be used to build the network, knowledge and skills of one emerging leader and one senior leader at First Nations:

• Catherine Bryan, JD, (Navajo), Director of Strengthening Tribal & Community Institutions

• Raymond Foxworth, PhD, (Navajo), Vice President of Grantmaking, Development & Communications

“Catherine and Raymond play a key role in fostering the growth and capacity of tribal programs and Native nonprofit organizations, as well as informing and strengthening trends in philanthropic giving throughout Indian Country,” Roberts said. “An investment in them will pay dividends in boosting their professional abilities along with their services to the broader Native community. Every opportunity presented to them will translate to benefits for Native groups.”

According to Kerry Sullivan, president of the Bank of America Charitable Foundation, Neighborhood Builder awardees are organizations that are leading the charge to address tough issues related to economic mobility – from workforce readiness and basic needs to broader community development solutions. In addition to being recognized as a national Neighborhood Builder through funding and leadership development, First Nations will be highlighted for their work in ensuring the long-term vitality of Native American communities.

“First Nations plays a critical role in building pathways to economic self-sufficiency in diverse communities,” said Sullivan. “Connecting this organization to funding and expertise through our Neighborhood Builder program will help in strengthening Native American economies and remains critical in helping these communities move forward.”

Other groups to receive the prestigious Neighborhood Builders Award include Feeding America, National Disability Institute, and YouthBuild USA.


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