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First Nations Development Institute Grants $300,000 to Support Native American Agriculture and Food Systems Projects


LONGMONT, Colo., July 10, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- First Nations Development Institute (First Nations) has awarded 10 grants totaling $300,000 through its Native Agriculture and Food Systems Initiative (NAFSI). The grants were made possible through the generous support of the Walmart Foundation.

The grants will help develop or expand locally controlled and locally based food systems in numerous Native American communities while addressing the critical issues of food security, family economic security, and health and nutrition, along with promoting American Indian business entrepreneurship. These NAFSI projects are expected to positively influence much of the populations of 10 separate tribal nations located in seven states, along with other Native nations that are not directly involved.

The 10 grants awarded were:

  • $22,355 to the Eyak Preservation Council in Cordova, Alaska, to develop an environmentally friendly food-processing and cold-storage plant to support and preserve sustainable and independent food harvesting in rural Alaska.
  • $32,129 to Bay Mills Community College Land Grant Department in Brimley, Michigan, to develop the capacity to produce, process, and make available naturally raised poultry for the Bay Mills Indian Community.
  • $32,200 to White Earth Land Recovery Project in Callaway, Minnesota, to assist local growers with independent food production, recovery of local food system production, restoration of Native varieties of foods and to expand the farm-to-school pilot project.
  • $31,920 to Fort Peck Assiniboine and Sioux Tribes in Poplar, Montana, to purchase and install two large walk-in freezers, a walk-in refrigerator and shelving for the Wolf Point Food Bank. The food bank serves nearly 300 emergency food baskets each month to residents of the Fort Peck Reservation and five counties: Roosevelt, Valley, Daniels, Sheridan and McCone. The new food cold-storage system will double the freezer space and triple the refrigeration space.
  • $30,117 to Hays Community Economic Development Corporation in Hays, Montana, to establish a food co-op, develop a community garden, and provide classes on preparing wholesome meals, menu planning, and budgeting.
  • $32,179 to Cochiti Youth Experience at Cochiti Pueblo in New Mexico to create a localized food system by supporting existing farmers, instruct Cochiti youth on traditional farming techniques, and recreate the tradition of farming to strengthen the Cochiti community. 
  • $27,200 to Hasbidito in Cuba, New Mexico, to increase Navajo-controlled food production infrastructure in three chapters on the eastern edge of the Navajo Nation – Counselor, Ojo Encino and Torreon – by increasing certified food-production sales, developing food entrepreneurs, providing healthy cooking classes and holding social events centered on healthy food.
  • $30,000 to Wind Hollow Foundation, Inc., in Anadarko, Oklahoma, to provide for the completion of its business incubator for agribusiness, and to support a seasonal farmers market, a local farmer co-op and a greenhouse program.
  • $30,700 to the Oneida Tribe of Indians of Wisconsin in Oneida, Wisconsin, to support "Tsyunhehkwa," a project to improve food-preservation processes of white corn to mitigate the negative effects of climate change and to support a symposium for the other 10 tribes in Wisconsin that are working with traditional foods.
  • $31,200 to Lac Courte Oreilles Ojibwa Community College in Hayward, Wisconsin, to support the continued development and expansion of canning and preserving classes, provide community members access to local foods throughout the year, and promote community farming and gardening.

About First Nations Development Institute
For more than 30 years, using a three-pronged strategy of educating grassroots practitioners, advocating for systemic change and capitalizing Native communities, First Nations Development Institute is dedicated to strengthening Native American economies.  First Nations serves rural and reservation-based Native communities throughout the United States. For more information, visit www.firstnations.org.

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