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Longmont, Colorado, May 01, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- First Nations Development Institute (First Nations) recently awarded 15 new grants under its Native Arts Initiative (NAI), totaling $459,000. Launched in early 2014, the long-term goal of the NAI is to support the perpetuation and proliferation of Native American arts, cultures and traditions as integral to Native community life.
From 2014 through 2018, First Nations has awarded 51 NAI grants totaling more than $1.4 million to Native-led nonprofit organizations and tribal government programs serving Native American artists in three regions – the Upper Midwest (Minnesota, Wisconsin, North Dakota and South Dakota), the Southwest (New Mexico, Arizona, and Southern California), and the Pacific Northwest (Oregon and Washington). Funding for this project is provided in part by Margaret A. Cargill Philanthropies.
The purpose of the NAI grants is to strengthen the enabling environments in which First Nations’ grantees are operating to support emerging and established Native artists and sustain traditional Native arts. Under the NAI, grantees receive organizational and programmatic resources, including direct grants and technical assistance and training, to support their increased control of assets across five asset groups – institutional assets, arts and cultural assets, human capital, social assets, and economic assets.
First Nations believes that by strengthening these assets, our grantees will be better positioned to continue their vital work of facilitating the sharing of traditional artistic knowledge between generations and, ultimately, the perpetuation and proliferation of Native arts in their communities. The recent NAI grantees include:
1. Dakota Wicohan, Morton, Minnesota, $32,000 – This master/apprentice art program seeks to revitalize Dakota art and culture through a series of eight art workshops focused on beading, quilling, tanning and star quilt making.
2. Gila River Indian Community, Sacaton, Arizona, $32,000 – These eight workshops will provide 75 families with the training and materials to sew traditional textiles, clothing and equipment. Additionally, it will increase these families' knowledge of Akimel O'otham language and traditions.
3. Hopi School Inc., Kykotsmovi, Arizona, $32,000 – This summer art, culture and language school will increase the number of Hopi tribal members skilled at producing Hopi textiles, baskets, and moccasins. The overall goal of this project is to expand this summer school to a year-round art and language immersion school.
4. Indian Pueblo Cultural Center Inc., Albuquerque, New Mexico, $32,000 – This museum and culture center will take its art workshops on the road, traveling to several Pueblos throughout New Mexico to teach artists about selling and marketing their artwork. It will also allow them to network with other artists.
5. Keya Foundation Inc., Eagle Butte, South Dakota, $32,000 – This project seeks to increase the capacity of the Cheyenne River art community by hiring a resource assistant to coordinate a series of workshops on business, marketing and the intergenerational transmission of knowledge.
6. Lac du Flambeau Band of Lake Superior Chippewa Indians, Lac du Flambeau, Wisconsin, $32,000 – This project is part of a larger long-term project already underway to reconstruct the Ojibwe Giikendaasowin Village at the newly renovated Waaswaaganing Indian Bowl while at the same time conducting learning demonstration workshops led by master artists and their apprentices. Through these traditional arts workshops, a two-man Wiigwaasi-jiimaan, ricing sticks and paddles, and two traditional Dikinaaganan, among other traditional art forms, will be produced and displayed.
7. Oneida Nation Arts Program, Green Bay, Wisconsin, $32,000 – This master/apprentice program seeks to inspire local artists and craftspeople by teaching Oneida youth about traditional art forms, including silver, basketry and pottery. For the youth, this art initiative will increase knowledge of traditional arts. For the artists, it will increase artistic professionalism and create a supportive community network.
8. Oyate Networking Project Inc., Kyle, South Dakota, $32,000 – These art workshops and classes will provide 50 Lakota youth and family with knowledge, training and materials to make star quilts, regalia, hand drums and beading.
9. Pine Ridge Area Chamber Of Commerce, Kyle, South Dakota, $25,000 – This artist mentorship project will support seven South Dakota artists in residence who will serve as mentors to seven emerging artists, and will also host a summer art camp for tribal youth.
10. Santa Fe Indian School, Santa Fe, New Mexico $32,000 – This new art curriculum is intended to increase the capacity of the Pueblo Art Academy. Approximately, five to 10 Pueblo youth will learn about traditional art practices including pottery, fiber arts, sculpture, jewelry, basketry, song, dance and storytelling.
11. Tananawit, Warm Springs, Oregon $32,000 – This Native art cooperative seeks to recruit a group of 35 artists/business-owners to develop a strategic plan and create a business plan that will allow them to open an artisans' store on the Warm Springs Indian Reservation.
12. Tulalip Foundation, Tulalip, Washington, $20,000 – This project seeks to convene several departments to draft initial plans for an expanded cultural campus that will revitalize Coast Salish arts and lifeways. Additionally, it will fund two workshops on Coast Salish cedar weaving and cradleboard making.
13. White Earth Reservation Tribal Council, White Earth, Minnesota, $32,000 – This art incubator seeks to support artists and community members through several events and activities. With this grant, it will offer several workshops for emerging artists, provide career coaching for experienced artists, host six pop-markets, and hold three art exhibitions.
14. Yavapai-Apache Nation, Camp Verde, Arizona, $32,000 – This project will support the development of the Yavapai-Apache Tribal Artist Committee. The committee will work together to host a series of workshops for tribal youth on pottery, basketry, beading, drum making, gourd making, painting and traditional dress making. Additionally, youth will participate in harvesting, cooking, traditional dance and language classes.
15. Zuni Youth Enrichment Project, Zuni, New Mexico, $30,000 – This master/apprentice program focuses on pottery making. In addition to teaching a new generation of Zuni artists, the master artists will also help tribal youth build a positive self-identity and heal from intergenerational trauma.
About First Nations Development Institute
For nearly 39 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 www.firstnations.org.
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