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Longmont, Colorado, July 27, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- First Nations Development Institute (First Nations), under its Native Agriculture and Food Systems Initiative (NAFSI), has published two new reports relating to Native American food sovereignty and food-systems efforts.
Thanks to generous philanthropic supporters, since 2011 First Nations has become an important grantmaker in Indian Country that funds programmatic efforts to reclaim control of Native food systems. Under NAFSI, First Nations’ grant programs have supported projects related to agricultural entrepreneurship, enterprise development, increasing access to fresh and healthy foods, development of tribal food policy, reclamation of traditional diets, reacquisition of land, and increased food security in American Indian, Alaska Native and Native Hawaiian communities across the United States. In all, the goal of NAFSI is to support innovative, ground-up program models in Native communities and disseminate those models to Indian Country as a whole. These new reports continue and expand the mission of NAFSI.
The first report is Indigenous Food Systems: Transformative Strategies to Perpetuate Nationhood. It highlights how a few Native communities and organizations are engaged in work to protect Native food sovereignty and thereby ensure tribal nationhood in the future. It aims to not only document what they are doing to protect and perpetuate important food sources, but why their work is in defense of tribal nationhood and is vital for their local communities and larger society.
The second report is Reviving Economies, Restoring Food Systems: Models of Food Enterprises in Indian Country. It highlights five food enterprises in Native American and Native Hawaiian communities that are leading the way to increasing positive health factors and building wealth for their community members on Indigenous terms. On their journey of food reclamation, they have encountered and overcome many challenges often experienced in generating economic development in Native communities. While their approaches vary, they share commonalities that may be helpful to others seeking to develop similar projects.
The reports are available as free downloads from https://firstnations.org/knowledge-center/foods-health/research. (Please note that if you don't already have one, you will need to create a free online account to download the report.)
“We believe every Indigenous community is engaged in food sovereignty at some level,” said A-dae Romero-Briones, First Nations’ Director of Programs for Native Agriculture and Food Systems, who edited the Indigenous Food Systems report and authored the introduction and conclusion. “One of the most critical tools we have in Indian Country is our stories. We hope these stories from various tribal communities will inspire, assist and reconfirm a tribal community’s commitment to our foods.”
"Food sovereignty serves as an excellent catalyst to restoring economies in our Native communities," noted Jackie Francke, First Nations' Vice President of Programs and Administration and one of the authors of the Reviving Economies report. "In the process, Native food enterprises are addressing food deserts, providing jobs, and creating healthy communities. The models showcased in the report provide insight into how communities are regaining control of their local food systems and communities ... and that's pretty powerful."
About First Nations Development Institute
For 38 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.
PROGRAM CONTACT: A-dae Romero-Briones, First Nations Director of Programs for Native Agriculture and Food Systems, at firstname.lastname@example.org or (303) 774-7836 x212 MEDIA CONTACT: Randy Blauvelt, First Nations Senior Communications Officer, at email@example.com or (303) 774-7836 x213