First Nations Development Institute now accepting applications for “Seeds of Native Health” grants under its Native agriculture and food systems initiative

First Nations Development Institute (First Nations), a national Native American nonprofit organization that works to improve Native economies and communities, is now accepting proposals for its new “Seeds of Native Health” grant program under its Native Agriculture and Food Systems Initiative (NAFSI). The purpose of the Seeds of Native Health campaign is to support Native tribes and organizations working to eliminate food insecurity, promote access to fresh and healthy foods, and provide increased access to nutritional programs aimed at improving the overall nutrition and health of Native people and communities.

For complete information about this grant opportunity, please visit the application page at Grant proposals are due by 5 p.m. Mountain Daylight Time on Thursday, May 21, 2015.

With the generous support of the Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community (SMSC), which conceived and created the overarching Seeds of Native Health campaign, First Nations plans to distribute up to 16 grant awards ranging from $30,000 to $40,000 each under this project.  First Nations and the SMSC recently established a partnership to further the goals of the SMSC Seeds of Native Health campaign, with First Nations utilizing its NAFSI experience to help achieve these goals. Both organizations are dedicated to strengthening Native food systems and enhancing the health and nutrition of Native American children, families and communities.

Seeds of Native Health is a comprehensive, national campaign to improve Native American nutrition through capacity building, education and research, supported by the SMSC. The campaign builds on localized efforts to solve the problems of Indian nutrition and hopes to raise awareness, spread knowledge, create capacity for change, and develop additional solutions on a broader scale. Learn more

First Nations is accepting proposals for programs and/or projects that focus on strengthening Native food systems and improving the health and nutrition of Native people and communities. Desired programs and/or projects will noticeably improve a tribe or Native organization’s effort to increase access to traditional, fresh and healthy foods and increase access to nutrition-related programs aimed at improving the overall nutrition and health of Native people and communities. Moreover, selected proposals will increase awareness of and involvement with where the tribe and/or communities’ food comes from, expand knowledge of the linkages of food to Native cultures, and/or contribute to tribal economic growth and development with income from entrepreneurially-related food ventures.

Organizations eligible to apply include U.S.-based Native American-controlled nonprofit 501(c)(3), tribes and tribal departments, tribal organizations, or Native American community-based groups committed to increasing healthy food access in rural and reservation-based Native communities and improving the health and well-being of Native American children and families. In the past, First Nations has supported a variety of innovative projects, including commercial kitchens, farmers’ market development and expansion, farm-to-table programs, food co-ops, mentorship projects, and traditional foods projects, to name a few.

Priority will be given to projects aimed at increasing the availability of healthy, locally-produced foods in Native communities, reducing food insecurity, promoting accesses to fresh, healthy and traditional foods, entrepreneurship and/or programs that create systemic change by increasing community control of local food systems. Moreover, this project will give priority to organizations that can assist and contribute to the development of emerging and promising practices in strengthening Native food systems.

All applicants must fully complete the First Nations online grant application, including the submission of all necessary attachments.
About First Nations Development Institute
For 35 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
About the Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community
The SMSC is a federally recognized sovereign Indian tribe located southwest of Minneapolis, Minnesota. The SMSC has a deep-seated tradition of helping other tribes and Native American people. The Seeds of Native Health campaign represents a new extension of its long history of philanthropy, by committing a portion of its annual charitable giving to a dedicated purpose. Since opening its Gaming Enterprise in the 1990s, the SMSC has donated more than $300 million to organizations and causes and has contributed millions more to regional governments and infrastructure projects such as roads, water and sewer systems, and emergency services. For more information, visit