Strengthening Native American Communities & Economies
The W.K. Kellogg Foundation (WKKF) has been a long-term and generous supporter of First Nations Development Institute's work in Native food systems and agriculture. In 2011, WKKF awarded First Nations $2.88 million over three years (2012-2014) to increase positive outcomes in Native children’s health and economic well-being. WKKF and First Nations partnered to support initiatives aimed at enhancing Native control of local food systems – especially in addressing issues such as food insecurity, food deserts, and health and nutrition – while simultaneously bolstering much-needed economic development in those communities. In 2015, WKKF provided an additional grant of $2.95 million to extend First Nations’ work in the area of Native agriculture and food systems for three years, 2015 through 2017. In addition to the other major grants listed separately, these 2017 and 2016 Food Sovereignty Assessment grants were made possible by that funding.
These grants were made for the purpose of conducting community food sovereignty assessments, which can help communities gain a better knowledge and understanding about the historical, current and future state of their local food systems. This data-collection process can provide a variety of information about the evolution of the local food system; help quantify individual, household or tribal program/government spending on food; Native dollars spent off-reservation on food purchases; potential for food business development; traditional food access; community desires for local food-system development; food policy desires or needs; and more.
In 2017 First Nations awarded nine grants of varying amounts to Native American tribes and organizations.
In 2016 First Nations awarded 10 grants of $10,000 each to Native American tribes and organizations.
In 2016, First Nations received a generous $480,000 grant from the NoVo Foundation Fund at the Tides Foundation for a project aimed at strengthening food sovereignty in Native American communities. Through a request-for-proposals process, First Nations selected 21 tribes and Native American organizations for grants under the project, so they can conduct community food sovereignty assessments.
Also referred to as a “community food assessment,” a food sovereignty assessment (FSA) is a collaborative and participative process that systematically examines a range of community food assets in order to inform social and economic change and begin the process of strengthening a food system. The FSA takes a solutions-oriented approach that looks at assets and resources as well as problems. This process has the potential to truly promote local food-system control by increasing knowledge about food-related needs and resources, and by building collaboration and capacity. Using a participatory approach that advocates for community control of the food system, FSAs can (and should) be conducted by communities and their members.
The 2016 grant recipients were as follows. Grant amounts are $20,000 each unless otherwise indicated: