First Nations Development Institute Awarded $2.88 Million To Improve Food Systems In Native American Communities

Jan 30, 2012, 12:47 ET from First Nations Development Institute

LONGMONT, Colo., Jan. 30, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- First Nations Development Institute (First Nations) has been awarded $2.88 million over the next three years by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation of Battle Creek, Mich., to increase positive outcomes in Native children's health and economic well-being.

First Nations will explore the increase of local control over reservation-based food systems, such as a higher proportion of traditional and local foods, as well as better linkages with local producers, all with the hope of creating positive outcomes in the lives of America's Indian children.

"This project links local and regional economic development with the provision of culturally appropriate foods for Native youth, while at the same time celebrating and preserving Native culture and reinforcing Indian children's cultural identity," shared Michael E. Roberts, president of First Nations. "Using food as an entry point for community involvement is not only good business, but it also enables young people to feel pride about their culture and their communities."

The food security program will focus on: Native community-based food systems projects to expand provision of healthy foods; to build the organizational and program management capacity and sustainability, and assist Native communities in evaluating their local food systems; management of agriculture-based businesses that focuses on the development of a tribal college agri-entrepreneurship curriculum; link locally-grown foods to institutional buyers including the farm-to-cafeteria movement and the influence of federal regulations on tribal and local control of food systems, and examine the challenges and opportunities; and, provide health and wellness information through printed media and online communications for Native communities to encourage healthy lifestyle choices.

The project intends to make ten (10) grants annually through a competitive selection process targeting Native American organizations or tribal programs that are currently addressing food systems issues.

About the W.K. Kellogg Foundation
The W.K. Kellogg Foundation, founded in 1930 by breakfast cereal pioneer Will Keith Kellogg, is among the largest philanthropic foundations in the United States. Based in Battle Creek, Mich., WKKF works nationally and internationally, and engages with communities in priority places in across the U.S., Mexico and Haiti to create conditions that propel vulnerable children to realize their full potential in school, work and life. For more information, visit

About First Nations Development Institute
For more than thirty 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 communities. First Nations serves rural and reservation-based Native American communities throughout the United States. For more information about First Nations, visit

Michael E. Roberts, President
(303) 774-7836

SOURCE First Nations Development Institute