Native Agriculture Research and Reports

First Nations Development Institute provides research and reports about Native American foods and health

(2017) - 7.83 MB

This report illustrates the significantly positive impact that First Nations Development Institute's work has had on Native American communities under First Nations’ participation in the Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community’s (SMSC) Seeds of Native Health campaign during its first two years. First Nations was the largest of the SMSC’s inaugural partners in the campaign.

(2017) - 4.15 MB

The food sovereignty movement in Indian Country has been spurred by the hard work and dedication of reservation-based community and nonprofit organizations and forward-thinking tribal governments.  All are looking to sustain and protect traditional food sources, control local food systems and improve community, nutrition, health and economies. Increasingly, these various groups within the food movement in Indian Country are examining how tribal policy and legislation can be used to change behaviors related to diet, health and economy, and increase regulatory control over local food systems. 

(2016) - 4.6 MB

Prepared by Marissa McElrone, this document was created for the use of FAST Blackfeet (Food Access and Sustainability Team) to further its mission of supporting community strengths, culture and wellness by developing local, sustainable systems that provide healthy food access and education at every age,for all who need it. First Nations Development Institute has posted this with permission of FAST Blackfeet.


(2016) - 2.89 MB

First Nations prepared this report that finds Native consumers in or near reservation communities generally have to spend more on food products than the national average, despite the fact that incomes are usually much lower in these communities while food access is, largely, much more difficult due to distance and transportation issues. The report was created as part of First Nations' work to combat food insecurity, eliminate “food deserts” in Native American communities, and support economic and business development.

(2016) - 1.26 MB

The Yurok Tribe Genetically Engineered Ordinance (GEO), passed in 2015 as part of the tribe's food policy, is a first-of-its-kind tribal ordinance that prohibits the growth of genetically modified crops and the release of genetically engineered salmon within the tribe's territory.

(2016) - 1.87 MB

First Nations, with support from AARP Foundation, launched the Native American Food Security Project to find sustainable solutions to senior hunger and food insecurity in rural and reservation-based Native communities. To publication date, the project has resulted in numerous gardens, farms and other community-based food solutions that have yielded more than 12,000 pounds of fresh fruits, vegetables and meat for Native seniors. This report recaps numerous successful projects under this initiative, along with exploring several identified challenges to addressing the issue of senior hunger.

(2015) - 5.15 MB

At the 19th Annual First Nations L.E.A.D. Conference in 2014, a pre-session was held with nearly 40 tribal leaders and practitioners to discuss strategies for eliminating senior hunger in rural and reservation-based Native communities. It generated a dialogue regarding how senior hunger affects their communities and how solutions can be found. This report summarizes the findings, including the six barriers and challenges that were identified.

(2015) - 6.42 MB

As the largest private grantmaker that supports efforts to reclaim Native American food-system control, First Nations invested more than $4 million from 2012 through 2014 in grantmaking, training, technical assistance and other activities (47 grants to 30 tribes and organizations), with crucial support of the W.K. Kellogg Foundation. This is a report detailing some of the significant outcomes of that investment.

(2015) - 1.43 MB

This newly revised, second edition of the highly popular Food Sovereignty Assessment Tool provides an introduction to the food security movement in Indian Country.  It is a great resource to use to get people thinking about food systems in Native communities and what can be done to regain control over those Native food systems.

(2015) - 3.37 MB

Since 2012, First Nations Development Institute, with generous support from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, has been implementing a multi-faceted national strategy that seeks to build a sustainable movement in Native communities to address food systems, food insecurity and food deserts. The signature component of this effort is the Native Agriculture and Food Systems Initiative (NAFSI). This evaluation report describes the activities and outcomes of the effort from 2012 through 2014, and provides additional social networking and cluster analyses.

(2014) - 2.15 MB

This manual was developed as a part of STAR School’s Navajo and Hopi Farm-to-School Project funded by First Nations in spring 2012 and continuing today. Its purpose is to tell the story of discoveries made in the first years of the program and to provide a road map for other schools interested in school gardens and partnerships with local farms. To see the original, first-year version from 2013, look for Healthy Foods for Navajo Schools: Discoveries from the First Year of a Navajo Farm-to-School Program.

(2014) - 3.8 MB

Since 2011, First Nations Development Institute has become the largest grantmaker in Indian Country that supports programmatic efforts to reclaim Native food-system control. Due to this unique position, we have been able to glean valuable insights that are helpful for foundations and other funding entities seeking to invest critically needed social capital into Native American food-system projects that can lead to improved health, diet and nutrition, as well as economic development and cultural preservation.

(2014) - 10.6 MB

This report, authored by the Diné Policy Institute and underwritten by First Nations, is based on extensive qualitative and quantitative data.  It presents findings of the Diné Food Sovereignty Initiative and recommendations to move forward with revitalization of Indigenous foods and the rebuilding of a self-sufficient food system.

(2013) - 5.79 MB

This report provides insight on improving the health and well-being of tribal elders through increased access to healthy and cutlurally appropriate food.

(2013) - 4.83 MB

This report explores various approaches to reclaiming Native food systems and attempts to address some of the complex factors affecting those systems, with critical insights from 13 grantees funded under the Native Agriculture and Food System Initiative. 

(2013) - 1.22 MB

This manual was developed as a part of STAR School’s Navajo and Hopi Farm-to-School Project funded by First Nations in spring 2012. Its purpose is to tell the story of the first year of a farm-to-school program linking a Navajo farm with a Navajo community-based charter elementary school and to provide a road map for other schools interested in school gardens and partnerships with local farms.

(2012) - 6.99 MB

The report to the U. S. Department of Agriculture Office of Advocacy and Outreach describes the results of Technical Assistance provided to farmers and ranchers on the Navajo Western Agency.

(2011) - 1.66 MB

This report highlights best practices of four NAFSI grantees and is a useful tool for organizations looking to develop and expand control of food systems in Native communities.

(2006) - 199.12 KB

This report summarizes the history of First Nations’ work to strengthen Native food systems through the work of grantees practicing food sovereignty and building the food sovereignty movement. It also provides a roadmap for future work towards food sovereignty in Native communities.

(2004) - 303.52 KB

This report provides a summary of the 2004 Native Food Summit's proceedings and information on food issues in Native communities.

(2004) - 1.63 MB

Time for the Harvest explores the historical roots of the current Native food systems, identifies areas for change, and proposes strategies for revitalizing Native agriculture and food systems. In doing so, this paper provides an overview of Native food systems, including barriers and opportunities in the areas of health, economic development,and cultural revitalization.

(2003) - 158.98 KB

This report assess the potential gains and losses for Native American communities as a result of the Farm Security and Rural Investment Act of 2002.

(2002) - 272.02 KB

This report provides a summary of the 2002 Native Food Summit's proceedings and information on food issues in Native communities. 

(2002) - 338.76 KB

This paper examines United States international policy as well as its international legal obligations with regard to Indigenous Peoples’ food security and human right to food.

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