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LONGMONT, COLORADO - First Nations Development Institute serves rural and reservation based American Indian communities throughout the United States.
First Nations Development Institute Supporting Buffalo Farm
“The spending in border towns located near reservations creates more than $100 million in economic value - just imagine the impact if we were able to keep these dollars in reservation communities.”
notes Michael E. Roberts, president of First Nations Development Institute.
The Institute utilizes a three prong strategy of educating grassroots practitioners, advocating for systemic change, and capitalizing American Indian communities.
"Think about it. Everyone has to eat. According to the USDA publication, 'Food Spending Patterns of Low Income Households,' even impoverished people spend upwards of 30 percent to 40 percent of their income on food. So a 20,000 person community, where the per capita income is $8,000 per year, spends between $48 million and $64 million on food. And with little or no retail food infrastructure, these precious dollars are leaving the reservation at lightning speed,"
The impact the three prong approach will be easier for First Nation now that it has secured a $2.88 million grant award to be spread over the next three years from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation of Battle Creek, Michigan 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,"
"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 the:
The project intends to make ten grants annually through a competitive selection process targeting Native American organizations or tribal programs that are currently addressing food systems issues.
updated 12:52 pm est; posted January 31, 2012 8:45 am est
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