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- Published: November 4, 2014ANA must have the ACF photo release on file to feature grantee photos.
- Published: October 14, 2014Commissioner's Insight As we head into fall, the season of harvesting, hunting, and gathering provisions for the winter, we reflect on the bounty of the earth and how it continues to provide all we need to live a good life. This issue of the ANA Messenger is dedicated to economic development; further developing the local economies in our Native American or urban communities in order to provide opportunities for self-sufficiency. Whether it is a workforce training project that provides Green Jobs training, an expansion project, or branching out in new directions by planting a vineyard in the Southwest, or growing fresh produce in order to strengthen their economies and provide ways for members to make a living. We hope you will take the time to read about each of the projects highlighted in this newsletter as they reflect some of the diverse conditions and needs as well as the diverse approaches to economic development. The Administration for Native Americans has been supporting these endeavors for nearly 40 years, with the philosophy that there is no one best approach to community development. The best ideas and commitment to success come when the projects are community-driven. This approach to social and economic development flows throughout ANA’s approach, from offering free Project Planning and Development Training, to scoring community involvement in applications for funding, to measuring volunteers and community involvement during project implementation and finally to interviewing community members and project beneficiaries during our impact visits that occur at the end of project funding. We hope that you will find the articles in the edition of the Messenger inspiring and informative. Please let us know what you think. Kimberly Romine, Wolf Clan, Seneca Nation Deputy Commissioner and Acting Commissioner Administration for Native Americans This Issue's Features: Grantee Highlights Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians Santa Ynez Band of Chumash Indians Notah Begay III Foundation Announces Leadership Transition What We Are Reading Book Review: Night Sky, Morning Star Talking Stick ANA at NAFOA Fall 2014 Community in the News Santa Ana Pueblo Getting to Know Us! Get to know ANA's newest Impact Evaluator: Brent Huggins Rondelle Clay, TA Provider HHS Tribal Affairs Affordable Care Act for American Indians and Alaska Natives In-di-jə-nəs Double Puzzle Double Puzzle Key Grantee Highlight Back to Newsletter Homepage Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians The Choctaw Fresh Produce Initiative is a three year project intended to grow fresh produce for Regional customers while creating sustainable job opportunities in 6 of the Tribe's remote communities. * How did your project come about – how was it determined? In 2011, the Food & Beverage Director at our casinos asked if the Tribe’s Vocational Rehabilitation Department could expand its horticultural program to include growing fresh fruits and vegetables for the Resort restaurants. We began to research our local food market and realized that 0% of the food that is consumed on our reservation was actually produced on tribal lands. As we considered the potential market for fresh produce among our 10,500 tribal members, 5,000 tribal employees and 1,000,000 tourists each year, we realized that we found an exciting new opportunity. As part of our community planning effort to create a new 5 Year Plan, we surveyed the tribal members to find out what their priorities were. “Strengthening the Tribe’s local food system” was among the Top-5 priorities for tribal members. Several different reasons were cited in support of this project: job creation, improve the health and wellness of the population, contribute to cultural preservation and strengthen the resilience of the community. * Who were instrumental in the development of the project? Chief Phyliss J. Anderson is the elected leader of the Tribe and Chairman of the Board for Choctaw Fresh Produce, Inc. She provides tremendous leadership and support for this initiative. Mr. John Hendrix identified the opportunity and wrote the ANA-SEDS grant application. He serves as the Project Manager for this initiative and is the General Manager of the parent company. Ms. Linda Williams and Mrs. Julia Tubby work in the Tribe’s Planning Department and were very helpful in assembling the grant application package. * Who are the key project staff members? Dick Hoy is the General Manager of Choctaw Fresh Produce, Inc. He provides the day-to-day oversight of the operation. Daphne Snow and David Weatherford serve as Field Coordinators for Choctaw Fresh Produce, Inc. * Where is your project located, what Tribes/service are do you serve? Our current customer is primarily the Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians. We have built 15 high tunnels/hoop houses in five outlying tribal communities including: Conehatta, Tucker, Bogue Chitto, Red Water and Pearl River. We have a very scattered reservation with communities up to over 100 miles apart. We have only had 3 growing seasons since launching our operation but have successfully supplied fresh produce to our Division of Schools, Choctaw Health Center, Pearl River Resort and Elderly Nutrition Program. We also successfully launched an employee Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) Program in spring 2014. This allowed tribal members and employees to receive a box of fresh produce every week throughout the growing season. In 2014, we also launched the Choctaw Mobile Market. This is a mobile farmers market that is able to deliver fresh produce to all of the Tribe’s outlying communities. This allows every tribal member that lives on the reservation to have access to healthy produce regardless of their remote locations. * What are your main project objectives/goals of your project? We want to provide as much of the fresh fruits and vegetables for the Tribal community as possible. This is an opportunity to generate employment opportunities for tribal members. Through this project, we will provide nutrition and health information to tribal members regarding the benefits of eating locally-grown, fresh produce. We hope that this will lead to improved health among tribal members. And last, but not least, we are moving towards being financially self-sustaining. * How has your project benefited the community overall (impact)? To date, the project has created three full time jobs. We have also provided 500+ hours of work for our day labor program. We have supplied more than 20,000 pounds of fresh fruits and vegetables to the tribal community in just 3 growing seasons, and our production is increasing every season. This includes the Division of Schools, Choctaw Health Center and the Elderly Feeding Program. We have given farm tours to more than 250 tribal students that are now able to gain first-hand knowledge about their local food system and the benefits of a healthy diet. We supplied 62 families with 10 week’s worth of fresh produce in our first CSA program in 2014 .* What are your future plans to continue your efforts? In 2015, we will have 15 high tunnels in operation. High tunnels (aka Hoop Houses) allow us to better control the growing environment which greatly increases our production and extends our growing season by at least 1 month for each crop. We are expanding our supply to the Choctaw Division of Schools for the 2015 school year. In spring 2015, the Choctaw Health Center is planning to add a self-serve salad bar in their cafeteria that will feature Choctaw Fresh Produce items to provide a healthy option for employees and visitors. The Choctaw Resort is planning to feature our seasonal produce in their restaurant menus and in their employee dining room. We intend to expand our CSA program off the reservation to larger cities in our region. We are pursuing wholesale supply opportunities off the reservation. We expect to achieve USDA certified organic status in 2015. * What advice would you offer to someone planning or implementing a project similar to yours? Staffing: Hire at least one person with significant experience in wholesale growing and selling vegetables (aka “market farming”). This is very different than growing flowers or backyard gardening. Consider this a big business requiring significant knowledge in food safety, horticulture, management and marketing. You also need to hire staff that prefers working outdoors and enjoy very hard work. Marketing: Marketing is one of the keys. Project of this nature will probably be competing with major, nationwide food distributors that have a significant pricing advantage. You will want to educate your potential customers and get them excited about the benefits of locally-grown, fresh produce. You will have a very hard time competing only on price (even if you are selling to other tribal programs). Set expectations: Starting up a brand new vegetable farm is very hard work. It takes a great deal of time and physical effort to prepare the farm sites, plan the crops, then grow, harvest, pack and sell the produce. And, unlike manufacturing, it is largely dependent on Mother Nature. It may take 2-3 years to get a good handle on your operations, so it is best to explain this upfront to all of the stakeholders in your project. It is worth the hard work! The U.S. food system has changed so much in just over a generation. Most communities now import most, if not all, of the food they consume. Creating the ability to provide fresh fruits and vegetables to your own community members has tremendous benefits. 1) It improves the resilience of your community by decreasing your dependence on others, 2) creates employment opportunities, 3) increases peace-of-mind knowing your food is safe and healthy, and 4) increases the consumption of fresh fruits and vegetables among your population. This will lead to a more healthy community over the long term. Back to Newsletter Homepage Grantee Highlight Back to Newsletter Homepage Santa Ynez Band of Chumash Indians The Chumash Green Jobs Training and Business Development Program provides training and business development opportunities to Santa Ynez Chumash tribal descendants and tribal businesses to increase employment rates, increase income for low-income individuals, and contribute valuable skills to the reservation and beyond. The Santa Ynez Chumash Environmental Office (SYCEO) seeks the following objectives with its program: 1. Provide professional training and skill development to Chumash community members in green trades to increase participants’ employability and earning potential. 2. Advance pilot green programs into profitable services benefiting the Chumash community and develop new culturally-focused environmental services. 3. Create new and lasting job opportunities in the environmental field through connections with local/tribal businesses and new ventures. The three yearlong Chumash Green Jobs Training and Business Development Program was developed because there is a lack of career-type employment opportunities for Santa Ynez Chumash tribal descendants, and a need for environmental services for the Chumash community. The Santa Ynez Chumash Environmental Office (SYCEO) has had great success running a job training program in the building performance and energy efficiency/alternative energy fields, and we saw how our impact could grow by expanding into other areas of the environmental field. Interim Environmental Director Kelly Ferguson, Program Manager Lars Davenport, and tribal staff and community members worked together to assess the needs of the tribe and develop a program to fit those needs. We learned some valuable lessons from our other job training program that helped guide this development of this program, and the Environmental Office’s close ties with the community provided insight into the types of problems our community faces. Engaging the community, for example by involving the Environmental Committee in project planning, helped us determine which areas were best to focus on to maximize the value of our training and services . Ferguson, Davenport, Lead Field Technician Julio Carrillo, and other SYCEO staff provide training in areas within the scope of the Environmental Office’s programs as well as professional communication and job search skills. For areas outside the scope of the Environmental Office, we partner with people and organizations in the greater Santa Ynez area to provide training. We have brought seven trainees into the program so far; five tribal descendants and two non-descendants that live on the reservation. These trainees are training in many areas including sustainable landscaping, building science, waste management, and ranch land management. As trainees gain experience in these and other areas, they are able to provide services to the rest of the tribal community. One recent training event was a natural building workshop where trainees learned how to build homes using cob, a mixture of sand, clay and straw. Several tribal members heard about cob homes through our program, and have decided to build cob homes the reservation. Our workforce of uniquely trained tribal descendants is perfectly positioned to provide this service to the tribe, and our goals of increased employment and increased building health, safety, and energy efficiency are being met simultaneously. We will continue to follow this model and provide training in areas that will benefit the trainees and the rest of the community. We are already providing home assessments and upgrades at a discounted rate to the tribal community, and we have begun to offer residential landscaping services focusing on drought tolerant, culturally significant plants. Our future plans are to increase efficiency of our programs so they can be sustainable without grant funding, and to develop new businesses that meet the needs of the community. Using partners in the community to provide training has proved to be mutually beneficial for our program and our partners. We pay trainees to receive on-the-job training from tribal and non-tribal partners. These partners get free help in exchange for the expert training they provide, and the trainees get exposed to potential employers. This model has been successful in several training programs we have developed, and I would advise others to explore this model when developing job training programs. The one training area that the Environmental Office has had to focus on more than any of the technical training is professional communication. This is a vital component of any successful professional, and should be part of any job training program. Back to Newsletter Homepage Grantee Highlights Back to Newsletter Homepage Notah Begay III Foundation Announces Leadership Transition Organization will launch national search for new Executive Director due to the departure of Crystal Echo Hawk Albuquerque, N.M. (Sept. 24, 2014) – After more than 5 years successfully leading the Notah Begay III Foundation (NB3F) as Executive Director, and instilling a focus on strategic research, grant making and advocacy that led the organization to a national expansion, Crystal Echo Hawk will depart the Foundation at the close of 2014. “Crystal’s passion for and intense focus on helping underserved Native communities achieve positive outcomes for their children’s health has guided every moment of her career with us,” said NB3F Board Chairman Wilson Pipestem. “We are confident that her contributions have set us up for continued success, and we are excited that our future leadership will help us further develop and deepen our impact nationwide.” Under Echo Hawk’s leadership, the Foundation has achieved remarkable growth and results, and launched a new paradigm empowering Indian Country to drive solutions in its own communities. Notable recognition and accomplishments include: * NB3F has served more than 24,000 Native people in 13 states, helping turn the tide against the obesity and type 2 diabetes epidemics facing Native American children. * In 2013, the NB3F launched Native Strong: Healthy Kids, Healthy Futures, a national initiative that since has provided seed money to 20 tribal communities across seven states. * The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation awarded NB3F the Steve Patterson Award for Excellence in Sports Philanthropy in 2012, as well as the Legacy Award in 2014 for continued success. * In 2010, studies with Johns Hopkins showed statistically significant reduction in body mass indexes of program participants in NB3F’s San Felipe Pueblo youth sports and wellness program. “While our success in recent years is certainly something to celebrate, we are just getting started,” said NB3F Founder Notah Begay III. “The combination of the great work by Crystal, our dedicated staff and generous partners has equipped us to continue impacting the health and wellness of our future generations of Native Americans, as well as poised to attract a strong, new leader to spearhead our organization.” As it continues building bridges connecting Indian Country with the key resources and people to create change nationally, the Foundation is preparing to enter a new phase of organizational development and building toward the next stage of organizational maturity. “Together, the Board, Notah and I have decided that the time has come to bring on a new Executive Director – one whose full potential to foster a collaborative, well-trained team will be realized by playing a hands on role onsite at our headquarters in New Mexico,“ said Echo Hawk. “In the best interest of the Foundation and for me personally with my family, it is time for me to transition to a role that enables me to be home in Colorado. We have an amazing board, staff and partners, and I know we will welcome a highly qualified individual who will build on the immense success we have achieved over the last 5 years.” NB3F will conduct a national search for a candidate to succeed Echo Hawk and continue her visionary, results-driven leadership, which has benefited children across Indian Country. Through the end of 2014 and leading up to the appointment and announcement of a new Executive Director, Echo Hawk will remain continuously involved in shaping NB3F’s vision and future strategies. For more information about the candidate search, please visit www.nb3foundation.org. Back to Newsletter Homepage Grantee Highlights Back to Newsletter Homepage Santa Ana Pueblo The Vineyards at Santa Ana Pueblo to Produce Grapes for National/International Markets Unique Partnership Uses Native Land to Grow Wine Grapes for Gruet Winery Pueblo of Santa Ana, NM – Chardonnay and Pinot Noir grape seedlings will be planted on a 30-acre vineyard this month on Santa Ana Pueblo’s native land. The Vineyards at Santa Ana represents a unique partnership between Santa Ana Pueblo and Gruet Winery where grapes will be grown on native land and sold to Gruet for use in producing its award winning wines. “The idea of the vineyard came out of our desire to further the historical tradition of using Pueblo land for agriculture, says George M. Montoya, Governor, Pueblo of Santa Ana. In 2010, a joint venture between Santa Ana and Gruet was discussed and well received by both parties recognizing the mutual benefits of such a unique partnership. Joseph Bronk, Santa Ana’s Director of Agricultural Enterprises and members of the Gruet Family collaborated on specifics for several months before moving forward with the project. Bronk oversees the funding and implementation of the project. “The vineyard project provides economic development opportunities for the Pueblo while honoring the historic precedent of using land for agricultural purposes,” said Bronk. “This unique partnership expands Santa Ana’s relevance beyond Pueblo borders into national and international markets through Gruet’s established reputation,” he adds. Plans for the Vineyards at Santa Ana materialized once Bronk identified several funding sources. He first approached The Bureau of Indian Affairs, Southern Pueblos Agency (BIA-SPA) in 2010 and was able to secure a commitment of assistance and partial funding through its Trust Resource Program with the understanding that Santa Ana would attempt to acquire seed money to make the Vineyards at Santa Ana a reality. The BIA-SPA also conducted a Cultural Clearance Study necessary to move forward with the project. Bronk then assembled a team of consultants and experts in the field whose skills are instrumental in planning and developing the vineyard. Members of this team include: Laurent and Nathalie Gruet of Gruet Winery; The BIA-SPA; The GPS Department of Santa Ana’s Department of Natural Resources; New Mexico State University’s Head Viticulturist, Berndt Meir; and Rick Hobson, project viticulturist and owner of Milagro Vineyard in Corrales. Bronk also submitted a grant on behalf of the Santa Ana Pueblo to the Administration for Native Americans (ANA) in 2012. The ANA awarded the Pueblo a three-year grant with the goal of establishing a new Tribal enterprise which has become the Vineyards at Santa Ana. Gruet’s key role in this partnership includes assistance with all phases of project planning and development along with a commitment to procure the grapes harvested from the vineyard for use in its award winning wines. “Gruet Winery is very pleased to be able to partner with Santa Ana to cultivate new agricultural areas at the Pueblo and to enhance the rich grape growing tradition of New Mexico, says Laurent Gruet, co-owner of Gruet Winery. For More Information Contact: Joseph Bronk, Director of Agriculture Enterprises Santa Ana Pueblo 505-771-6752 OR 505-259-0583 firstname.lastname@example.org Back to Newsletter Homepage Community In the News Back to Newsletter Homepage Nation to Nation, the new exhibit at the National Museum of the American Indian If you are traveling to Washington DC any time before fall 2018, consider making a trip to visit the exhibit on treaties at the National Museum of the American Indian (NMAI). The Nation to Nation exhibit features five sections, titled: Introduction to Treaties; Serious Diplomacy; Bad Acts, Bad Paper; Great Nations Keep Their Word; and The Future of Treaties. The exhibit was kicked off by a symposium on September 18th held at the NMAI that brought together distinguished scholars, authors and government leaders to discuss the history and significance of treaties from their earliest history to the present. The exhibit, just steps from the US Capitol Building is a great reminder that treaties do not expire, and that although the practice of formally entering into treaties was discontinued in 1871, the practice of nation to nation negotiations continues between the federal government and federally recognized tribes through Tribal Consultation, as outlined in executive order 13175; and through various compact agreements between the federal government and various Tribes. The intent of Nation to Nation is to educate the American public about this aspect of American History, and its continued significance today and for the future. In addition to being able to watch the symposium online in the archives, there will be curriculum material for teachers and educators to use to better integrate treaties into various subjects. As guest curator, and founding member of the NMAI, Suzan Shown Harjo shared at the symposium, while the concept of this exhibit existed, even in the planning stages of the law that authorized the creation of the NMAI, there really was no time before today, when this exhibit could have launched, because it was waiting for the NMAI to mature and museum goers to have shifted their expectations about what a museum by, for, and about American Indians and Native Americans truly is all about. In the closing panel NMAI Director Kevin Gover stated that while he is very pleased with this exhibit, he is looking forward to future iterations of treaty exhibits and how the significance of the nation to nation relationship will be portrayed 50-100 years from now.
- Published: September 16, 2014Grantee: Tonkawa Tribe of Indians of Oklahoma Project Description: Protecting tribal water rights by implementing regulation of water use and water quality
- Published: September 16, 2014Grantee: Ke Kula o Nawahiokalaniopuu Iki Project Description: Developing and implementing university level Hawaiian immersion courses and extra curricular
- Published: October 3, 2012Native American Veterans: Storytelling for Healing Greetings, The Administration for Native Americans (ANA) thanks you for your interest in Native American
- Published: August 29, 2012The Objective Work Plan (OWP) form is required with all ANA grant applications. It is included in ANA’s application kit as a fillable form in Grants.Gov. For
- Published: January 9, 2013Eastern Region Environmental Regulatory Enhancement Grantee: Bad River Band of Lake Superior Tribe of Chippewa