Category Archives: Uncategorized

Native American Tribes Outreach, Education, and Training to Enhance Food Safety and FSMA Compliance (U01)

Native American Tribes Outreach, Education, and Training to Enhance Food Safety and FSMA Compliance (U01) – FDA announces the availability of funding and requests applications for Native American Tribes, Outreach, Education and Training, for the purpose of Enhancing Food Safety and FSMA Compliance for fiscal year (FY) 2016. Projects will research and identify outreach, education, training and technical assistance needs; and develop and adapt materials; and deliver training that facilitate the integration and understanding of federal food safety regulations and guidance among Native American tribes involved in agricultural produce production and food manufacturing/process, while taking into account tribal historical, cultural, and regional agricultural production and processing practices. April 21, 2016.

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OVW Fiscal Year 2016 Transitional Housing Assistance Grants for Victims of Sexual Assault, Domestic Violence, Dating Violence, and Stalking

OVW Fiscal Year 2016 Transitional Housing Assistance Grants for Victims of Sexual Assault, Domestic Violence, Dating Violence, and Stalking – The Transitional Housing Assistance Grants for Victims of Sexual Assault, Domestic Violence, Dating Violence, and Stalking Program (Transitional Housing Assistance Grant Program) focuses on a holistic, victim-centered approach to providing transitional housing services that move survivors into permanent housing. Awards support programs that provide assistance to victims of sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence, and/or stalking who are in need of transitional housing, short-term housing assistance, and related support services. Successful transitional housing programs provide a wide range of optional services that reflect the unique needs of victims and promote victim choice and autonomy. Transitional housing programs may offer support services, such as counseling, support groups, safety planning, advocacy, child care, employment services, transportation vouchers, and referrals to other agencies. Trained staff work with survivors to help them determine and reach their goals for permanent housing. For additional information on the Transitional Housing Assistance Grant Program, including what past Transitional Housing Assistance Grant Program grant recipients have accomplished with their grant funds and to view the Transitional Housing Assistance Grant Program performance measures, see http://muskie.usm.maine.edu/vawamei/thousingmain.htm. All applications are due by 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time (E.T.) on
February 24, 2016.

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New Brief on Tribal Youth and Status Offenses

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New Brief on 
Tribal Youth and Status Offenses

American Indian and Alaska Native (AI/AN) youth are overrepresented in the juvenile justice system. Although we do not know the exact reasons for these disparities, recent efforts to better serve these youth have focused on:

  • Responding to trauma and exposure to violence;
  • Better addressing substance abuse issues and mental health needs;
  • Addressing family needs; and
  • Offering more diversion programs and youth leadership development opportunities.

CJJ and the Tribal Law and Policy Institute have co-written a brief entitled, “American Indian/Alaska Native Youth & Status Offense Disparities: A Call For Tribal Initiatives, Coordination & Federal Funding.” The brief examines the disparities faced in the state system by AI/AN youth who are charged with status offenses, the ability of both state and tribal systems to respond to status offenses, and federal funding levels to support efforts to better serve these youth.

The brief was released as part of the Safety, Opportunity and Success (SOS) Project, as a follow up the CJJ’s National Standards for the Care of Youth Charged with Status Offenses. If you’d like to learn more about the SOS Project, please visit the CJJ website or contact Lisa Pilnik at pilnik@juvjustice.org.

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FBI Director pledges continued support for Indian Country crime victims

December 11, 2014 – At the 14th National Indian Nations Conference, which convened today on the reservation of the Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians in California, FBI Director James Comey pledged the Bureau’s “unshakeable” commitment to tribal nations.

The Bureau has unique and important responsibilities in Indian Country, Comey told more than 1,000 conference attendees. Investigating crimes and assisting victims there, he said, “will be a priority of the FBI under my stewardship.”

The Indian Nations conference, sponsored by the Department of Justice’s Office for Victims of Crime and coordinated by the Tribal Law and Policy Institute, brings together Native Americans and a range of community and government agencies and service providers to share knowledge and develop programs to help those impacted by violence on tribal lands.

Comey noted that his interest in the FBI’s Indian Country work is driven by his responsibilities as Director, but also by something more—his family. Last summer, his two youngest daughters went on a mission trip to a reservation and came home, he said, “with their eyes wide open about the challenges on the reservation. They said, ‘Dad, you’ve got to do something, you’ve got to do more.’”

The FBI has investigative responsibility for 212 Indian reservations nationwide, and about 115 special agents work in our Indian Country program. Additionally, 41 victim specialists from our Office for Victim Assistance serve Native American crime victims. The Director acknowledged that those numbers should be higher.

To begin to address staffing and resource needs, Comey said, he has asked the Indian Country Crimes Unit and Office for Victim Assistance at FBI Headquarters to submit proposals detailing the need for increased staff, specialized training, and additional equipment. “I can’t do everything,” he explained, “but I know that I can do better.”

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Anishinabe Legal Services is seeking a full-time staff attorney

Anishinabe Legal Services is seeking a full-time staff attorney to provide civil legal assistance and court representation to program clients before area Tribal Courts, State Courts and Administrative Forums.

BACKGROUND: Anishinabe Legal Services (ALS) is a Legal Services Corporation (LSC) funded 501(c)(3) organization providing free legal assistance and court representation to low-income individuals living on or near the Leech Lake, White Earth, and Red Lake Indian Reservations in northern Minnesota. Legal services are provided through grants and contracts with federal, state, and tribal governments, along with generous funding support from various foundations.

RESPONSIBILITIES: ALS is looking for a well-qualified and highly motivated licensed attorney to provide civil legal assistance and court representation to program clients before area Tribal Courts, State Courts, and Administrative Forums. This attorney will be housed out of our main administrative office on the Leech Lake Reservation in Cass Lake, Minnesota. Primary duties will include representation of parents in child protection matters before the Leech Lake Tribal Court, housing, and family law, but job duties are likely to include handling a wide variety of civil matters before various forums.

This attorney is expected to be licensed to practice in the State of Minnesota by anticipated start date of position; this attorney is also expected to be licensed or willing to immediately become licensed before the Leech Lake, White Earth, and Red Lake Tribal Courts.

This open staff attorney position at ALS’ Leech Lake Reservation office is currently funded for a 1-year employment term; while ALS will continue to solicit funding to keep the position ongoing indefinitely, there is no guarantee that the position will continue after the 1-year funding cycle is complete.

QUALIFICATIONS: Qualified applicants must possess exceptionally strong oral and written communication skills, negotiation skills, litigation skills, and have exceptional organizational skills with ability to handle a large caseload of client matters throughout a wide geographic service area. Applicants must also be able and willing to work efficiently and effectively as part of a team.

Attorneys with 5+ years of civil practice are strongly preferred, as are applicants with familiarity and experience with practicing before Tribal Courts. Prior experience working within Indian Country is also preferred. Native American attorneys are highly encouraged to apply. EEO, M/F/H.

All applicants are expected to be able to begin work immediately after the hiring decision has been made, likely by the end of November 2014. All applicants are expected to have a valid driver’s license, insurance, and automobile.

COMPENSATION: D.O.E. Benefits include individual and family health and dental insurance, paid time off, and life insurance.

TO APPLY: Please send a cover letter, resume, and three (3) references to ALS Co-Executive Director Cody Nelson, at: Anishinabe Legal Services, PO Box 157, Cass Lake, MN 56633 or email application materials to cnelson@alslegal.org. Applications preferred by November 1, 2014 but will be accepted until the position is filled.

 

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Duluth campus adds nation’s first online tribal administration program

Sarah Connor

(September 18, 2014) Three years after the University of Minnesota-Duluth established the nation’s first  Master of Tribal Administration and Governance program, the school will begin offering an online bachelor’s program for the same curriculum.

The program, approved by the University of Minnesota’s Board of Regents last week, will aim to teach students federal Native American laws and the most effective tribal management and governance practices when it becomes available next fall.

The online program is a result of tribe members across the state asking for an off-campus alternative to the in-person classes.

Though the program is an online initiative, students can take the courses in person at UMD, but that will require them to enroll in a four-year program, said Tadd Johnson, director of the Master of Tribal Administration and Governance program.

Everyone enrolled in the program will also have to earn a certificate at UMD’s Labovitz School of Business and Economics to complete their degree, he said.

Johnson came up with the idea upon realizing that those interested in the studies across the country could enroll in courses if they were able to do so remotely.

“There were a lot of folks that had taken a few years of college but were now working on the reservation and wanted to continue working on the reservation,” Johnson said. “But they were too far from Duluth or any other college town to [take courses].”

There are several reservations that call Minnesota home, and many of them are in the northern part of the state near Duluth. Johnson said UMD worked closely with members of those tribes to develop the program to ensure it meets the needs of the state’s native population.

Johnson said since the announcement of the online program last week, the department has received many phone calls and emails from people interested in enrolling in it.

And the graduate program has grown since its creation in 2011, said program associate Tami Lawlor, adding that it has received “extremely positive” feedback. Since its first semester on campus, the program’s enrollment has increased from a dozen students to about 30 this fall, she said.

Johnson, a member of the Bois Forte Band of the Chippewa tribe, said tribes in Minnesota and across the country needed this kind of program so they could continue to become more organized and better equipped to run and manage reservations.

“The only training you could really get for running an Indian reservation was [through] the school of hard knocks and just by being [on the reservation],” he said.

Johnson said he envisions the new program to create a new discipline in tribal management, and he hopes that the best practices for managing a reservation will emerge as the program develops.

“People who work for Indian tribes are serving a population,” he said, “and we’re hoping that this will enable them to better serve the tribal populations on and off the reservation.”

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Grantmaking in Indian Country: Trends from the Native Agriculture and Food Systems Initiative

LONGMONT, Colo., Sept. 16, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — First Nations Development Institute (First Nations) has released a new report titled “Grantmaking in Indian Country: Trends from the Native Agriculture and Food Systems Initiative” that, among other findings, reveals a large gap between dollars needed for essential Indian Country food projects and the actual funding available for those projects.

That “unmet need” conclusion is based on First Nations’ analysis of the number and amount of grant requests it has received from tribes and reservation-based Native organizations for food-system projects over the past four years. In the report, First Nations notes it was only able to fund 7.18% ($1.73 million) of the $24.1 million requested in a total of 614 grant applications received between 2011 and 2014, leaving an unmet need of more than $22.3 million.

Through its Native Agriculture and Food Systems Initiative (NAFSI), First Nations has become the largest funder in Indian Country of tribal agriculture and food system projects that are specifically geared toward establishing or reclaiming control of Native food systems. First Nations has enjoyed strong support for these efforts from organizations such as the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, AARP Foundation, Walmart Foundation, The Christensen Fund, CHS Foundation, The Kresge Foundation, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Rural Community Development Initiative, Office of Advocacy and Outreach, and Community Food Projects.

“The significant number of requests received highlights the fact that food-system issues in Native communities have become an important area of focus as tribes and community organizations look to spur community and economic development and reclaim control of diet, health and local economies,” said the report’s author, Raymond Foxworth, who is First Nations’ senior program officer and deputy director of development, and who also manages NAFSI. “Along with this escalation of importance comes a widening gap in the funding available to meet these needs. Here at First Nations, we’ll be looking for ways to significantly improve the pool of funding that is available to assist these burgeoning Native food and agriculture projects.”

The report also highlights additional trends in American Indian, Alaska Native and Native Hawaiian food-systems efforts, also based on the grant applications received by First Nations. Among them are:

Most grant requests come from the Southwest, Northern Plains and Midwest regions of the U.S.
Nonprofit or community organizations are the largest applicants, followed by tribes themselves and tribal colleges.

The top areas of interest are health and nutrition education, traditional food systems, development of community food systems, and creating new opportunities in food systems and agriculture.

The complete report is available for free in the Knowledge Center of First Nations’ website. Go to this link to access a copy: http://firstnations.org/knowledge-center/foods-health. You may have to set up a free user account to download the report.

About First Nations Development Institute
For 34 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 www.firstnations.org.

Program Contact:
Raymond Foxworth, First Nations Deputy Director of Development & Senior Program Officer
rfoxworth@firstnations.org
(303) 774-7836 x207

Media Contact:
Randy Blauvelt, First Nations Senior Communications Officer
rblauvelt@firstnations.org
(303) 774-7836 x213

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