First Nations Development Institute: Nourishing Native Foods & Health


Point of Contact: A-dae Romero-Briones

E-Mail Address:

Phone Number: 303-774-7836

For over thirty years, First Nations Development Institute (FNDI) has worked to support healthy Native economies by strengthening Native control of community assets and resources. One of the organization's key focus areas is Nourishing Native Foods & Health, born out of a recognition that access to healthy, nutritious, and traditional food is a challenge for Native children and families that worsens health disparities. To change that, First Nations focuses on providing support to tribes and Native communities, strengthening the work of building sustainable food systems and building health equity. Specifically, First Nations provides this assistance both financial and technical support to tribes and Native communities focusing on agriculture and food systems change. This includes grant programs as well as training curriculum and workshops that help sustain food systems change and build capacity for long-lasting impact.


Initiatives under the First Nations Nourishing Native Foods & Health umbrella include but are not limited to: the Keepseagle Fast Track Grant program, which supports Native farmers and ranchers; the Native Agriculture and Food Systems Scholarship Program, which awards 20-25 scholarships of $1,000-$1,500 to Native students seeking college degrees in agricultural fields; and the Fertile Ground Advocacy Campaign/Policy Initiatives Fund, which provides support to projects improving Native health and nutrition policy and advocacy. In addition to these programs that support food systems work financially, First Nations also offers trainings via webinar series and in-person that help organizations build capacity and grow their work. This includes the development of their own curriculum and toolkits that assist their grantees and other food systems changemakers across Indian Country, such as the Business of Indian Agriculture, a comprehensive curriculum that walks new food business owners through the entire process of creating their own food and agriculture business, or the Food Sovereignty Assessment Toolkit, a popular tool utilized in Tribal communities across Indian Country to help map resources, food access points, and develop a roadmap to ensuring food sovereignty.