Category Archives: Philanthropic Organization

The Rose receives 2016 Jack Kemp Excellence in Affordable and Workforce Housing Award from the Urban Land Institute

Minneapolis, Minnesota, 2016-Nov-04 — /EPR NON PROFIT NEWS/ — PLACE is pleased to announce that The Rose and three sister developments at Portland and Franklin Avenues (South Quarter) in Minneapolis were selected by the Urban Land Institute (ULI) Terwilliger Center for Housing as the winner of the 2016 Jack Kemp Excellence in Affordable and Workforce Housing Award. This annual award honors developments that ensure housing affordability for people with a range of incomes. Representing the completion of South Quarter, The Rose offers 43 market rate apartments and 47 income-restricted affordable apartments in profoundly sustainable buildings that have neither furnaces nor conventional air conditioning equipment.

In 2010, affordable housing developer Aeon, in partnership with Hope Community, selected PLACE by competition to add specialized development consultant capacity as Sustainability Champion for the last phase of South Quarter. Aeon wanted the final buildings to be the best performing buildings of their kind in the country, on an affordable housing budget. A 501(c)(3) charity dedicated to public benefit, PLACE provided disruptive environmental design analysis, assisted in assembling and facilitating a world-class collaborative design and construction team, deepened community engagement, and refined financial modeling in furtherance of creating high-performance, healthy buildings for Aeon’s residents.

Minneapolis has the harshest climate of any large city in America. The biggest challenge for PLACE was to ensure that the team could deliver a building envelope capable of keeping residents cool in a scorching summer with high humidity and a frigid winter with temperatures plunging to minus thirty degrees Fahrenheit. Buildings in the U.S. are built each day to standards that cause them to consume 70% of America’s primary energy, with 52% of that energy going to heating and cooling. The Rose is 75% more energy efficient than local standards require, which also deepens affordability for residents; it represents PLACE’s most cutting edge restorative development work to date.

“This project is on the leading edge of workforce housing development and preservation,” said J. Ronald Terwilliger, chairman of Terwilliger Pappas Multifamily Partners in Atlanta. “It has it all—mixed-income housing, environmental sustainability, long-term affordability, and long-term financing.”

“The efforts of Aeon and Hope Community, with their many public and private sector partners, prove that previously disinvested communities can point the way forward for mixed-income, environmentally sustainable redevelopment in our cities,” said Stockton Williams, executive director of the ULI Terwilliger Center.

Chris Velasco
Executive Director
100 Portland Avenue South
Suite 100, Minneapolis, MN 55401
(612) 309-3889

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Hays PureWater Launches $10,000 Campaign To Save Lives

WASHINGTON, IA, November 25, 2014 — /EPR NON PROFIT NEWS/ — 783 million people live each day without clean water and 3.4 million die annually from a lack of pure water. To combat these staggering statistics, Washington-based nonprofit, Hays PureWater, launched a crowd-funding campaign. The money raised will fund 30 Khlor Glen technology units to purify water for 150,000 individuals. The organization hopes to raise $10,000 by December 1st.

Hosted on crowd-funding platform IndieGoGo, the project offers nine sponsorship levels. Each level includes novelty “rewards” for donors, ranging from stickers to t-shirts to a trip to Haiti. The rewards are unique, innovative and hands on, giving donors a sense of ownership in the project. For just $2,500, an investor can travel to Haiti (all inclusive) to see the life changing benefits first hand.

The Khlor Glen is a simple unit that turns salt water into chlorine. The chlorine treats infected water, removing deadly impurities and toxins in just one hour. It’s solar powered and easily used in remote areas, where clean water is most needed. “It will also impact malaria zones as it can be used as a bug repellant and protect from disease,” says founder John Hays. “Even just using the chlorine produced by the unit as a sanitizer can cut down on so many infections that the natives in these areas don’t even know exist.”

In the last eight years, Hays PureWater distributed over 4,000 purifying units around the world, changing entire communities by implementing this system. It’s proven to work. Hays builds each system with the help of a dedicated group of volunteers. Nothing is outsourced, ensuring the most effective product for the lowest cost. Now all they need is help from their community to change the lives of those in need once more.

See the crowd-funding campaign here:

ABOUT Hays PureWater
In 2006, after traveling around developing nations on missions trips, John Hays began to create a low cost, portable solution for water purification. John, who worked with municipal water works for over 30 years, put his experience to use and developed the Khlor Gen system. Through the years, the design and look has been changed and improved, but the mission has stayed the same. The organization exists to provide people with clean water, reaching out to them through word and deed. Eight years and 4,000 units later, that mission continues full steam ahead. For more information, logon to


Contact-Details: TJ Widbin

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Aboriginal Jobs Together Partnership Announces Traineeships And Cadetships In NSW Care Sector

Aboriginal job seekers can now apply for a range of training and job opportunities in the disability services sector as part of the National Disability Services – Aboriginal Jobs Together partnership initiative.

This project supports the placement of 155 Aboriginal Trainees and Cadets with individual pre-employment and vocational training support, while building the capacity of non-government organisations in the disability and community services sector to employ Aboriginal people.

NDS is the national peak body for disability services, representing 700 non-government organisations nationally. Through the Aboriginal Jobs Together partnership, NDS has been working with its members throughout NSW to develop and increase the availability, level of training and jobs in the NSW disability services sector.

In NSW, the rate of Aboriginal unemployment is currently more than four times the rate of non-Aboriginal job seekers. Through dedicated Aboriginal Regional Coordinators, NDS is working closely with all partner organisations to develop innovative localised approaches to support these exciting employment opportunities for Aboriginal job seekers.

Dylan Reynolds, Indigenous Programs Manager at National Disability Services – Aboriginal Jobs Together, said the initiative provides a vital connection between employers, Aboriginal job seekers and disability service providers.

“Today’s advertisement of traineeship and cadetship positions with 30 providers will increase Aboriginal employment, help build a more culturally diverse workforce and better support Aboriginal people seeking disability services,” he said.

“Successful trainees will receive individual assistance in making the transition into training and building skills for turning training into future employment. Aboriginal people will emerge from this traineeship prepared for promising and fulfilling careers, and obtain certificate qualifications recognised by the NSW Department of Education.

“The disability sector provides an ideal opportunity for learning new skills as part of a dedicated team making a difference in people’s lives. More than 26,000 people work in community and disability support in NSW and demand is growing.

“We’ve had an overwhelming response from employers ready to close the gap in Aboriginal employment, with more than 282 expressions of interest for trainee positions across NSW.

“I encourage all Aboriginal job seekers to visit our Aboriginal Jobs Together website for more details on starting a new and rewarding career today,” he said.

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carecareers Advise Demand For Disability Support Workers Set To Rocket In Australia

carecareers reports job opportunities in the disability and community care sector are booming; employers in this sector are looking to recruit 40,000 people in the next five years because the number of people using these services is expected to rise to 350,000.

Work in the disability or community care sector appeals to many; with 63 per cent of respondents in a poll conducted by carecareers stating that this work would be either ‘quite or very rewarding’. Yet only 24 per cent of people have considered a career in the sector.

Getting your foot in the door with an organisation to commence work as a disability support worker is not as hard as it may seem. Many people working in the disability sector have not had any experience initially but have simply displayed a genuine and passionate desire to work in the area.

The great thing is that organisations are really keen to meet people who are enthusiastic about joining their organisation and supporting people living with disability, to have valued roles in the community.

Employers recognise that skills are transferable from other areas. As an example of this, many people who have not had any formal training in disability support are able to provide great responses to interview questions around how they would practically support someone with a disability. Their answers may have stemmed from previous roles where their skills are transferable, or they may have had a caring role in their family, community or friendship circle.

Organisations also recognise that some people entering the disability workforce will be starting from scratch, so they have great on-the-job training opportunities. Many organisations even offer traineeships so that formal qualifications can be gained whilst you are earning an income, and with the support of the organisation.

It’s important that you shop around for an organisation which aligns with you. There are so many great organisations in the sector now and it is so important to find an organisation where your personal values are aligned with the organisation’s core values.

Contacting the organisations you are interested in and asking them if you could spend a few days working alongside a team member to see what the job is really like, is also a good starting point. It will give you an idea of how the company supports its staff and will show you what support is provided to people living with disability.

Working in the disability sector can be pretty flexible so if you are already working full time during the week, you could volunteer on a Saturday or Sunday for a few hours.

Of course, there are certain skills and personality traits that make a good disability support worker. These include good communication skills, reliability, honesty, a sense of responsibility and a respect for difference.

Great support workers are also people who share the same interests as the person they are supporting. They are always looking for opportunities where the person they are supporting can connect with and form friendships within their community, and they are people who are focused on finding ways that will better support a person to have an ordinary and good life.

If you are interested in becoming a disability support worker, search for a job on the carecareers website or look in the Employer Directory and find some organisations you are drawn to. You can then make the first step to entering the sector by contacting these organisations proactively.

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Southern Cross Baptist School Student Selected as projectABLE Ambassador

Sixteen year old Southern Cross Baptist School student, Holly Smith, has been selected by National Disability Services (NDS) to become a projectABLE student ambassador following her participation in the projectABLE 2011 program.

Holly was chosen as one of three projectABLE student ambassadors and was selected for her dedication and achievements whilst completing the Young and ABLE Certificate Training Program. Holly attended a projectABLE workshop at Share Care in June and went on to complete the Young and ABLE Certificate Training Program at the Cerebral Palsy Alliance during the July school holidays.

In 2011, 354 students from 34 schools across Sydney took part in projectABLE and attended interactive workshops that helped to build the student’s knowledge about the care sector and investigate future employment opportunities within the sector. A further 85 students then went on to complete the Young and ABLE Certificate Training Program which provides them with a nationally accredited certificate of qualification in disability work.

“I am both honoured and excited to be chosen as a projectABLE student ambassador. Before attending the program, I knew very little about disabilities and sometimes felt unsure of people with disabilities. Through the program, I learned to see beyond the disability and was more aware of what it is like to have a disability, what it is like to work with people with a disability and the importance of supporting and providing opportunities for people with a disability to succeed in society like everyone else,” Holly said.

Holly will now have the chance to gain valuable skills in the disability sector. Her first role as a projectABLE student ambassador will be to work with a person with a disability on a project that aligns and ignites their common interest and passion for film and foccusses on each person’s abilities to succeed and realise their full potential. The assignment will be captured on film as a short-form documentary that follows the journey of Holly, her experiences, new found skills and knowledge of the care sector.

On completion of the short films, the student ambassadors will use their films to share their journey and to inspire and educate their peers and local communities on opportunities and possible career paths in the care sector.

“I am very interested in a career in the disability sector. Following my work experience at Sutherland Hospital, I was thinking about a career in the medical field such as nursing, medicine or physiotherapy. Now that I have learned more about working in the disability sector, I would love to combine the two. Through my role as a projectABLE student ambassador I also hope to inspire other students to consider a future career in the sector,” Holly said.

projectABLE was developed in 2010 by carecareers, in conjunction with NDS, as a response to the growing demands on the sector’s services. Encouraging younger skilled workers into the industry, projectABLE provides secondary students with the hands on work experience needed to evaluate their career options and also provides a pathway to future employment within the sector.

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First Nations Development Institute Releases Critical Report On A Model Tribal Consumer Protection Code

With funding from the Annie E. Casey Foundation, First Nations Development Institute announces the release of a new research report that examines the passage of consumer protection and anti-predatory lending legislation by tribal governments. Previous research has demonstrated that predatory lending is stripping money from low-income tribal citizens, especially those who are unbanked or underbanked. Some tribes have passed legislation to provide consumer protection for their citizens.

“Tribes have the power to establish their own legislation that limits predatory lending on reservations and this sends a strong signal that such lenders are not welcome,” stated Michael E. Roberts, president of First Nations Development Institute. “This report helps tribal leaders think through the options available to them as they work to avoid asset stripping in the form of high-cost loans.” The report also includes a model tribal code that can be adopted by tribal governments to limit the activities of predatory lenders.

The report, titled Building Trust: Consumer Protection in Native Communities, is the first attempt to explore the complex legal dynamics related to tribal consumer protection legislation and to discuss what tribal nations are already doing to combat predatory lending through the use of tribal legislation. Examining existing consumer protection and anti-predatory lending policies, this report also highlights issues that tribal leaders should consider in developing such legal and regulatory tools, including matters related to tribal legal jurisdiction and setting up regulatory systems.

Levon Henry, the executive director of DNA People’s Legal Services, will be presenting the paper at the South Dakota Indian Business Alliance conference on May 17, 2011 in Rapid City, South Dakota. Henry was a member of an advisory committee that directed the research for this project. DNA People’s Legal Services is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit legal aid organization working to protect civil rights, promote tribal sovereignty and alleviate civil legal problems for people who live in poverty in the southwestern United States. “We have seen the negative impact of predatory lending on many tribal members,” stated Henry. “Tribes can take a pro-active step and adopt legislation that can limit the impact of such activities.”

For more information about the report Building Trust: Consumer Protection in Native Communities, visit First Nations Development Institute’s website at

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Report: Poor Quality Tax Preparation And Refund Anticipation Check Abuses In New Mexico

Between February 1 and April 18, 2011, First Nations Development Institute conducted 12 “mystery shopper” tests of paid tax preparers in New Mexico. These mystery shopper tests were conducted in communities with a high Native American population and close to Indian reservations. First Nations visited tax preparer sites in Gallup, Grants, Bernalillo, Farmington, and Albuquerque, New Mexico. The goal of the work was to assess the quality of tax preparation services and to test the hypothesis that the tax preparation firms are steering people toward expensive products, such as Refund Anticipation Loans or Refund Anticipation Checks.

This research uncovered several problems with inaccurate, unethical, or unprofessional behavior on the part of tax preparers. “In our small sample of mystery shoppers, it was shocking what we uncovered,” stated Shawn Spruce, a financial education consultant for First Nations. Spruce also shared,“Unfortunately, the companies that our mystery shoppers visited did a poor job preparing even basic tax returns and could have exposed them to serious tax liability. In general, we were startled by the low quality service and the fact that two of these companies automatically signed our shoppers up for expensive Refund Anticipation Checks, even though they could have directly deposited their tax returns into their own bank accounts.”

Michael E. Roberts, president of First Nations Development Institute, stressed the importance of conducting the mystery shopper tests and resulting research on tax preparers.

“This research reinforces what other studies have found,” stated Roberts. “There is a great need for better regulation of tax preparers so that low-income people can hold on to their hard earned tax refunds and avoid expensive and predatory products like Refund Anticipation Checks. It is unfortunate that tax time serves as an opportunity to exploit Native American taxpayers through high fees and unnecessary products that take money out of taxpayers’ pockets.”

On May 4, 2011, Spruce presented the findings in Tax Time Troubles, a First Nations Development Institute report that provides details about predatory, unprofessional, and inaccurate tax preparation firms serving often low income communities in New Mexico. Spruce was the evening keynote speaker at the Effective Asset Building Strategies in New Mexico conference being held at the Indian Pueblo Cultural Center in Albuquerque, New Mexico. This conference was sponsored by Prosperity Works, a nonprofit organization that works to reduce the impact of predatory lending and whose mission is to ensure that every New Mexican has the opportunity, knowledge and relationships to achieve economic prosperity.

For more information about the research report Tax Time Troubles, visit First Nations Development Institute’s website at

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First Nations Announces Historic Opportunity for Tribal Philanthropy

First Nations Development Institute (First Nations) is proud to announce that tribal philanthropy, the oldest form of philanthropy in the United States, has gained an equal voice in mainstream philanthropy by being welcomed as full, voting members of the Council on Foundations. It is a crucial moment for Indian Country to be awarded full membership to the Council. It will allow Native communities and grantmaking organizations to help steward the strategic direction of mainstream philanthropic efforts, including directing how funding reaches and impacts American Indian people.

First Nations Announces Historic Opportunity for Tribal Philanthropy

As sovereign nations, many tribal governments operate charitable giving programs that benefit not only Native communities, but also local, regional and national organizations. Since less than one-half of one percent of private foundation grants are given to address American Indian issues, tribes and Native organizations have stepped forward to design their own philanthropic models to address vast needs in Indian Country. First Nations alone has provided more than $25 million in grants to protect assets in Native communities, while honoring the sovereignty of tribal governments.

“At First Nations, we believe that tribal philanthropy operates from a culturally-based voice of strength, assuredness and accomplishment. We believe that this is where American Indians must and will exist in America’s philanthropic reality,” said Michael E. Roberts, president of First Nations. Roberts also shared, “American Indian people deserve an equal seat and vote at the philanthropy table with mainstream grantmakers. We are grateful to the Council on Foundations for partnering with us to make this a reality.”

The Council on Foundations also shared their response to welcoming tribal philanthropy as full members, “We are grateful to our partners, including the First Nations Development Institute, who devoted much of their time and energy in making this possible, and to our board for ensuring that the Council’s policies addressed the unique aspects of tribal philanthropies,” said Steve Gunderson, president and CEO of the Council on Foundations. “This policy change reflects our commitment to supporting diverse and inclusive philanthropy in all of its forms.”

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SumoKids Foundation Will Help Teenagers Apply for Acting Roles in New ABC Family TV Series

The SumoKids Foundation will assist Buffalo teenagers in producing 3-minute personality videos to submit for acting roles in a new ABC Family TV series. The TV series is based on the popular teen novel, “Huge,” by Sasha Paley. This is a funny, emotional series about learning to accept yourself – no matter what your size. The SumoKids Foundation is a Buffalo-based 501 (c)(3) non-profit serving Western New York.

SumoKids Foundation Will Help Teenagers Apply for Acting Roles in New ABC Family TV Series

The SumoKids program teaches children and teenagers valuable life skills and morals in an environment that is entertaining, physically challenging, and educational. Important components include teaching respect for others, and how to solve conflicts in a non-violent manner. The SumoKids program serves all children and teenagers, including handicapped children, and regardless of weight or other circumstances.

ABC Family TV is casting roles for a new scripted TV series. Casting is open to actors and non-actors or newcomers. ABC Family TV seeks talented plus-sized teenagers to play 15 – 16 year-olds. Applicants may be older but must be believable as 15 – 16 year-olds.

Paul McAfee, a member of the SumoKids Foundation Board of Directors, will be at two Buffalo locations to create the 3-minute personality videos, and to collect the required release forms. There is no cost to applicants. Mr. McAfee then will submit these videos and release forms to ABC Family TV.

Teenagers, accompanied by a parent or legal guardian if they are under 18-years-old, can come to one of these two locations to complete their release forms and have their videos created:

1. Belle Center, on Thursday, February 11, from 3:00 pm until 6:00 pm, at 104 Maryland Street, in Buffalo.
2. Broadway Market, on Saturday, February 13, from 10:00 am until 1:00 pm, at 999 Broadway, in Buffalo.

What to prepare:
From ABC Family TV to its applicants:
“Your tape should be all about YOU—what makes you unique and what makes you, YOU. You should be sure to state your name, age, and hometown on the video, but the rest is up to you. Tell us a funny or touching story about yourself, describe your most interesting moment, highlight what makes you stand out against a crowd, etc. The most important thing is to be yourself and let your true personality shine through.”

Who can apply?
From ABC Family TV to its applicants:
“We are accepting tapes from plus sized actors and non-actor/newcomers aged 14-24 to play high school aged characters. Talent can come from anywhere in the United States. Actors must be believable as 15-16 year olds. For more information, please check out the storyline and character descriptions on our website. If you are under 18, please make sure to have a parent or guardian sign your release.”

About The SumoKids Foundation
Charles Bray, the creator of the non-profit SumoKids Foundation, teaches children the tenets of Sumo wrestling at schools and community centers in Buffalo, New York. Sumo wrestling is a Japanese form of wrestling in which a fighter loses if forced from the ring or if any part of his body except the soles of his feet touches the ground.

In 2005, Mr. Bray incorporated the SumoKids Foundation as a 501 (c)(3) non-profit organization. Since then, he has offered free after-school Sumo programs to schools and community centers in Buffalo, NY. The response, from the participating children, their parents, and their teachers, has been overwhelmingly positive.

Visit for more information about the SumoKids Foundation and its programs.

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Charity Fishing Tourney: A REEL Success

Puerto Vallarta was the destination for anglers and golfers who participated in this year’s BJ’s Restaurants Hook the Cure Tournament powered by IOTEC. The nearly sold-out tournament took place on November 6th and 7th and reeled in a whopping $345,000 NET for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation.

The IGFA-qualifier brought two dozen boats and 40 teams. The competition started on Friday morning as anglers met early at the docks and eagerly awaited the strike of six marking the start of the catch and release competition coordinated by Kim and Ed Moore of Marina-based Charter Dreams.

Weekend festivities included a pre-tournament Mexican fiesta and fireworks show at Villa Premiere Hotel and Spa; Friday night concert by RCA Recording Artist Chris Young who celebrated his #1 song on the country charts; golf at Vista Vallarta’s challenging Nicklaus course; a lively dockside weigh-in party with food and beverage provided by Andale Restaurant and an awards gala and auction, sponsored by American Airlines and hosted by Los Angeles radio personality Shawn Parr. For those that just wanted to relax, Villa Premiere’s world-class spa was just a few steps away. Puerto Vallarta rental agency, PVRPV, provided volunteers for the festivities.

As excited spectators and sponsors filled the Marina, most boats made it in by five in anticipation of the results. The team of Tom Paige and Jon Louis were rewarded with a 2010 IGFA Offshore World Championship entry in Cabo San Lucas as OVERALL CHAMPIONS with five dorado and seven released sailfish. Lucille Zabel and Lydia Francis captured the coveted MOST RELEASED BILLFISH award while Craig Porpoat and David Bales garnered the BIGGEST DORADO AWARD and Anchorage’s Kris Kile took home the CHAIRMAN’S AWARD. Awards were donated by Gray’s Taxidermy of Puerto Vallarta.

According to Bob Huston and Jeff Jennison, 2009 event chairmen, $1.3 million NET was generated for cystic fibrosis patient care, research and education since the tournaments inception just four years ago. Cystic fibrosis is a genetic disease affecting approximately 40,000 people in the United States and Mexico. A defect in the CF gene causes the body to produce abnormally thick, sticky mucus that leads to chronic, life-threatening lung infections and impairs digestion. When the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation was established in 1955, few children lived to even attend elementary school. Today because of research and care supported by the CF Foundation with money raised through donations from families, corporations and foundations the median predicted age for people with CF is nearly 37 years.

In addition to BJ’s Restaurants and IOTEC, significant financial support was provided by Norm Wilson and Sons, O’Connell Family Foundation, Toshiba, Watson Land Company, Ron and Ann Hallagan, Toshiba, Millie and Severson, William Close Family and Lee & Associates.

Plans are underway for the Fifth Annual Hook the Cure slated for early-November 2010. Information about the ultimate fishing, golf and spa adventure benefiting the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation is available by contacting Gary Green, Cystic Fibrosis Foundation’s Director of Corporate Development, at (714) 494-4623 in the US or 322 150-7214 in Puerto Vallarta. A new Hook the Cure website will be unveiled shortly at and will feature an interactive photo gallery thanks to Nuevo Vallarta resident and award-winning photographer Jay Ailworth.

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First Nations Development Institute Releases Research Report On 7871 Organizations

First Nations Development Institute recently completed a research project on 7871 charitable organizations, their institutional structures, and best practices for their management. This research resulted in a report titled Charitable and Sovereign: Understanding Tribal 7871 Organizations.

In 1982, Congress passed the Indian Tribal Governmental Tax Status Act, codified as Section 7871 of the Internal Revenue Code, treating tribal governments as state governments for a variety of specified tax purposes. One of these purposes was to allow tribal governments and their programs to receive tax-deductible donations. Many tribes have used the 7871 tax code to develop tribal charitable and philanthropic organizations. These organizations include educational scholarship programs, economic development organizations, and grant making foundations.

First Nations’ research revealed that while there are a large number of these so called “7871 organizations” that provide social service, economic development, educational, and other charitable programming, only a small number of them are actively raising external funds. Most such programs are funded by tribal governments or federal funding streams. However, as tribes look to diversify both their programs and funding streams, an increasing number of tribal programs are using Section 7871 to facilitate fundraising as charitable organizations. Use of the Section 7871 designation to create philanthropic and charitable entities is increasingly popular as tribes seek ways to protect their sovereignty while still promoting philanthropic activities.

The report had the following additional key findings:

1. There is great programmatic and organizational diversity among 7871 organizations.
2. There are significant barriers to fundraising for 7871 organizations.
3. The myth of “rich gaming tribes” persists as a barrier to fundraising for 7871 organizations.
4. Federal legislation is inconsistent in its treatment of 7871 organizations and their eligibility for federal grant programs.
5. There are a large number of tribes that have spun off 501(c)(3) organizations to remove barriers to fundraising.
6. There is a need to establish best practices to reassure prospective donors to 7871 organizations.

“We hope this report will raise awareness about the important role that 7871 organizations play in providing services to tribal members,” stated Michael E. Roberts, President of First Nations Development Institute. “There is still a lot of confusion about what these organizations are and what they do. We hope this report will clarify many issues.” One goal of the report is to educate program officers at foundations so they are more comfortable working with 7871 organizations. “We hope to educate members of mainstream philanthropy on this topic,” stated Sarah Vermillion, Vice President for First Nations Development Institute.

First Nations’ research included a national survey and case studies and interviews with five active or former 7871 organizations. This research was funded by the Cultures of Giving Fund, established at the Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors with major support from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation.

To download a free copy of this report, visit our website at and follow the links from the home page.

For more than 28 years, using a three-pronged strategy of Educating Grassroots Practitioners, Advocating for Systemic Change, Capitalizing Indian Communities, First Nations Development Institute 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 communities. First Nations serves rural and reservation-based Native American communities throughout the United States.

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First Nations Receives $800,000 Grant

First Nations Development Institute (First Nations) announced today that it has been awarded a two-year, $800,000 grant f r o m a new program of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), the Strengthening Communities Fund (SCF), created by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. First Nations will also provide an additional $200,000 in funding to the project bringing the total budget to $1 million (80% Federal funds and 20% nongovernmental sources) over two years.

The objective of the grant is to enable nonprofit organizations to contribute to the economic recovery and help Federal, State, local, and Indian/Native American Tribal governments ensure that the information and services described in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA) reach disadvantaged and hard-to-serve populations. The grant to First Nations is f r o m the Nonprofit Capacity Building program which made one-time awards up to $1 million to experienced lead organizations to provide nonprofit organizations — or project partners — with capacity building training, technical assistance, and competitive financial assistance. A minimum of 55% of the Federal funds awarded must be provided to project partners through a competitive (subgrant) process.

Specifically, through this grant project, First Nations will work to build the capacity of nonprofit organizations, whether secular or faith based, to address the broad economic recovery issues present in their (Native American) communities. With SCF funding, First Nations Development Institute will provide nonprofit capacity building services to targeted rural and reservation-based Native American communities in the United States. Project participants will be selected f r o m 22 targeted Native American communities located in Arizona, Minnesota, Montana, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Dakota and Utah that have excessive poverty and low income statistics according to the U.S. Census.

Services will include providing comprehensive organizational effectiveness assessment for each of the organizations or groups selected; culturally appropriate training in organizational development; program development; collaboration/community engagement; leadership development; evaluation of effectiveness and development of individualized, tailored and culturally appropriate technical assistance plans. Recipients will be formally organized 501(c)(3) nonprofit organizations, tribal§7871 organizations or community organizations which have not achieved this status. Recipients will be Native American-controlled and will serve the targeted rural or reservation-based Native American communities. Native American groups that are faith-based will be eligible to participate in this SCF-funded project, as long as the programs or services that will improve in capacity as a result of this project will not include inherently religious activities. Additionally, First Nations will provide $440,000 in grants to rural and reservation-based Native American nonprofit organizations and community groups for the purpose of capacity building in the areas listed above.

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A New £6 Million Charity Funding Initiative Was Announced On The 27th Of May, With The Aim Of Stimulating Giving In The Economic Downturn will create a £3m matched fund over the summer to attract a further £3m from charity supporters this December. has raised £2.4m through online matched funding in the last 6 months, and the new £6m challenge will create the largest ever online matched fund.

The Reed Foundation are sponsoring the matched fund, pledging an initial £1 million to be spread across competing charities. Trustees and major donors from those charities will provide the remaining £2m for the fund.

Last year, a similar matched funding challenge raised £2 million for charity in an astonishing 45 minutes. This year’s fund will be released over several days, allowing donors more chance to double donations to their charity.

Charities already involved in the 2009 challenge include the National Trust, WWF and the Royal Opera House. Charities have until 27th June to apply by logging in to their account on The Reed Foundation will select around 250 charities to participate in this year’s challenge.

Alec Reed CBE, Chairman of the Reed Foundation, said: “It is a tough time for charities. This challenge gives professional fundraisers a tool to approach their trustees and supporters for a further donation.”

Jon Brooks, Managing Director of, said: “The Big Give introduces high-level donors to exciting new charity projects. Our highest single donation so far is £175k to a small charity that the donor found on We hope to inspire many more philanthropists to give intelligently.”

A trustee of a small charity, discussing matched funding on, said: “The overall impact is tremendous – it has galvanised existing supporters, brought in more, and helped us improve our own marketing and fundraising techniques. We are delighted!”

More information on the scheme can be found at:

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First Nations Launches Native Asset Building Partnership Project

First Nations Development Institute (First Nations) released the names of the advisory committee members for its new Native Asset-Building Partnership. Members include Anita Fineday, Chief Judge of the White Earth Tribal Nation; Tadd Johnson, Special Counsel for Government Affairs for the Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe; Susan White, Director of the Oneida Trust Department; former Senior Vice President and board member of First Nations, Sherry Salway Black; Elsie Meeks, Director of the USDA Rural Development Office; attorney Margaret Schaff, partner at Schaff & Clark-Deschene; Tracy Fischer, Interim President of the First Nations Oweesta Cooperation; and Michael E. Roberts, President of First Nations Development Institute.

The goal of the Native Asset-Building Partnership Project is to strengthen tribal and Native institutions in Minnesota, Wisconsin and North Dakota through tribal nation-to-nation peer learning and model development that will lead to improved control and management of assets for the benefit of Native communities and individuals. Advisory committee member Susan White said, “Peer mentoring will provide ideas and processes on how Indians as the true stakeholders can gain greater control over their own assets. Applying mentoring objectives will elevate a tribe’s ability to be more self-determined and therefore gain greater control over their own assets.”

First Nations’ goal is to partner tribes around specified assets and allow them to share best practices for asset stewardship and management. “Through this project we will be able to continue to ask questions from our brothers and sisters at other tribal nations and create long-term enduring benefit to Indian Country,” notes advisory committee member Anita Fineday who is Chief Judge of the White Earth Tribal Nation located in White Earth, Minnesota.

Sherry Salway Black said “assets are incredibly important for individuals, families, communities, and nations – including tribal nations. The ownership, control, management and development of current assets and creation and acquisition of new assets taken together are wealth and assure a better future.”

The Native Asset-Building Project advisory committee is composed of national and regional leaders familiar with asset-building in Native American communities. “First Nations is grateful to have the participation of such well respected national and regional leaders in Indian Country,” said Michael E. Roberts. The project advisory committee will assist in engaging tribes and Native organizations in the targeted states to determine asset-building needs and regionally-relevant models and assist in the planning and hosting of an asset-building conference that will take place in Minneapolis, Minnesota this fall.

The Native American Asset Building Project is a two-year project funded by the Otto Bremer Foundation, based in Saint Paul, Minnesota. For more information about First Nations’ Native Asset Building Project, contact Raymond Foxworth, Research Officer for First Nations at 303-774-7836 or

About First Nations Development Institute
Founded in 1980, First Nations Development Institute is a national Native American-led nonprofit organization. Through a three-pronged strategy of Educating Grassroots Practitioners, Advocating for Systemic Change, and Capitalizing Indian Communities, First Nations Development Institute is working to restore Native 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 communities. To learn more about First Nations, visit:

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Refund Anticipation Loans Cost EITC Filers In Native Communities Over $9,100,000 In 2005

Tax day has come and gone, and this year many people opted to get their tax refund a quick but expensive way: they took out a Refund Anticipation Loan. A Refund Anticipation Loan (or RAL) is a one to two week loan made by banks on behalf of filers, facilitated by tax preparers, and secured by a taxpayer’s expected tax refund. RALs are marketed as a way to “get your money quickly” and result in the users paying substantial fees to access their tax refund usually only five to ten days faster than for tax returns filed electronically. The average expense of the one to two week loan can be the equivalent of 50 to 500 percent APR, depending on the total fee and loan term. According to a report just released by First Nations Development Institute and the Center for Responsible Lending, Refund Anticipation Loans drained over $9,100,000 from Native American communities in 2005.

First Nations Development Institute and the Center for Responsible Lending’s report Borrowed Time: Use of Refund Anticipation Loans Among EITC Filers in Native American Communities documents the use of these costly loan programs on reservations and in other Native American communities. Researchers looked at the use of Refund Anticipation Loans in ten states with high Native American populations, and found that residents in counties with a large Native American population (such as counties with reservations in their boundaries) were more likely to take out Refund Anticipation Loans than residents of other counties. This is true despite the remote rural location of many of these counties, where there are few tax preparation businesses. In South Dakota, residents of counties with a high Native American population are five times as likely to take out a Refund Anticipation Loan. In North Dakota, residents of counties with a high Native American population are 11 times as likely to take out a Refund Anticipation Loan.

Most striking is the fact that the use of RALs is quite high among tax filers receiving the Earned Income Tax Credit in Native communities. The Earned Income Tax Credit was originally designed to supplement the earnings of low-to-moderate income families, and in 2009 a family of four could qualify for up to $4,824 in tax credits. Borrowed Time: Use of Refund Anticipation Loans Among EITC Filers in Native American Communities documents that in some Native communities, over seven out of every ten EITC filers received a RAL. In one county in South Dakota, nine out of every ten EITC filers received a RAL. In South Dakota, 8% of every EITC credit in Native communities was spent on taking out a RAL. This means that eight cents of every $1.00 of EITC credit in Native communities was diverted from its original target, working families, and instead went into the pockets of paid tax preparers.

Because Refund Anticipation Loans have a significant cost for Native communities, Borrowed Time: Use of Refund Anticipation Loans Among EITC Filers in Native American Communities provides recommendations for reducing their use. The first recommendation is to increase and support Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) sites in and near Native communities to allow filers to access free tax preparation services. In many cases, EITC filers and other filers may simply not be aware that they can access their tax refund without using a RAL. The authors of the report also recommend establishing an interest rate cap for RALs, and conducting public education campaigns in Native communities to encourage people to avoid paying high fees for RALs.

This landmark report is the result of a research study conducted under a grant funded by the Annie E. Casey Foundation. For more information about this publication, contact Sarah Dewees, Director of Research for First Nations Development Institute, at 540-907-6247 /; or visit First Nations Development Institute’s website at to download a free copy of the paper.

Through a three-pronged strategy of Educating Grassroots Practitioners, Advocating Systemic Change, and Capitalizing Indian Communities, First Nations is working to restore Native 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 communities.

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Bringing The Sierra To The State Capital: Sierra Nevada Leaders Honored With Vision 2020 Award In Sacramento

Some of the greatest things happen under conditions of adversity and at Sierra Business Council we’re committed to approaches that create opportunity from those exact circumstances. Community members, organizations, and businesses are still doing great work, doubling their efforts, and calling for change despite the economic downturn and the uncertainty we face.

Each year, the regional sustainability non-profit, Sierra Business Council, hosts an event to recognize and encourage leadership in the Sierra, honoring community members as their work continues to achieve excellence in projects and approaches that foster community vitality, environmental quality, economic prosperity, and social fairness.

Throughout the Sierra, we recognize the growing need to bridge the divide between rural and urban communities in California. Bringing our Vision 2020 celebration to Sacramento does just that. Steve Frisch, SBC President

As a way to highlight the issue, this year’s theme for the Vision 2020 Awards is a Sierra Getaway Party. This free event is open to anyone who wants to “escape to the Sierra” for the evening.

Sierra Business Council’s 2008 Vision 2020 Awards Celebration features presentations from Vision 2020 Award winners and appetizers and dessert sourced from the Sierra with the help of the Placer Gold Slow Food chapter.

This year’s winners include the partnership between Executive Chef Mark Estee of Moody’s Bistro & Lounge, Baxter’s Bistro and Lounge, and Founder of Burger Me in Truckee, CA and Gary Romano from Sierra Valley Farms. This duo has demonstrated support for sustainable food in the Sierra Valley, Lake Tahoe and Placer County areas. Gary and Mark’s relationship demonstrates commitment to local farmers and sustainable agriculture.

John Wentworth of Mammoth Lakes is being honored for his accomplishments with Mammoth Lakes Trails and Public Access (MLTPA). MLTPA has worked diligently to bring much-deserved focus and attention to the future of the Mammoth community and its critical relationship with environmental resources. MLTPA has engaged with Town government, federal agencies, other nonprofits, the public, and private businesses to work collaboratively toward its mission.

Paul Hardy, Executive Director of Feather River Land Trust, has been awarded for his achievement in building one of the most effective and enduring land trusts in California. Paul has demonstrated a remarkable commitment to partnership and collaboration and has imparted a strong ethic of conservation among many leaders.

Phil Carville, President and CEO of Carville Sierra Inc., a family owned and operated development company, is being awarded for his outstanding work on the Loma Rica Ranch project in the City of Grass Valley. Phil has become one of the region’s most determined spokesmen for New Urbanism, Traditional Neighborhood Design, and Smart Growth within the Sierra Nevada.

SBC’s 2008 Vision 2020 Awards Celebration takes place on Thursday, March 19, 2009 from 6:00-10:00pm and is hosted at The Grand Ballroom in Sacramento, CA located at 629 J Street. Please visit for more information.

RSVP requested at

Sierra Business Council is hosting a press conference for its annual Vision 2020 Awards starting promptly at 5:30pm at The Grand Ballroom the evening of the 19th. Press packet can be found online at Tuesday the 17th.

About Sierra Business Council
The Sierra Business Council serves the entire Sierra Nevada region. As a nonprofit association of more than 750 businesses, agencies, and individual members, Sierra Business Council is committed to promoting a new perspective on regional wealth while emphasizing collaboration in planning and policy making.

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Iran Heritage Foundation Presents Remaking Of Iran Exhibition At The British Museum

Iran Heritage Foundation in association with the British Museum opens the ‘Shah ‘Abbas: the remaking of Iran’ exhibition.

The exhibition documents and illustrates the work of 17th century artists and craftsmen under the Iran Heritagepatronage of Shah ‘Abbas I and his wider contribution to Persian culture, architecture and language. Displays include artefacts such as lavish gold-ground silks, carpets, manuscripts, paintings, metal work and calligraphy. The exhibition includes gifts that Shah ‘Abbas endowed to shrines in Mashhad, Ardabil and Qum, many of which have never been previously displayed outside of Iran.

Vahid Alaghband, Chairman of the Iranian Heritage Foundation and Group Chairman of Balli Group, commented: “Shah ‘Abbas was the most eminent ruler of the Safavid dynasty in Persia who, with his military successes and efficient administrative system, raised Iran to the status of a great power. When he died his dominions extended from the Tigris to the Indus. Through trade and diplomacy he fostered good relations with Europe and welcomed European diplomats in Iran, whilst ushering in a golden period for Persian art. He commissioned many beautiful works of art, grand architecture and restored major monuments across the country. Today, his legacy lives on, in the magnificent buildings of Isfahan and through his opulent gifts found in many Iranian holy shrines.

“This fabulous exhibition is a celebration of the achievements of one of Iran’s greatest rulers and showcases the vibrancy and culture of 17th century Iran” he added.

Neil MacGregor, Director of the British Museum, said: “My colleagues and I are grateful to The Iranian Heritage Foundation and its chairman Vahid Alaghband for their generous support of the exhibition, the latest in a long series of joint projects with the British Museum to present Iranian culture to the widest public in London.”

The ‘Shah ‘Abbas: The Remaking of Iran’ exhibition at the British Museum will run until 14 June

About The Iran Heritage Foundation
The Iran Heritage Foundation is a non-political UK registered charity founded in 1995, with the mission to increase awareness about, promote and preserve the history, languages and cultures of Iran. Though only active since 1995, the Foundation has grown rapidly to establish itself on an international level by supporting programmes in Armenia, Austria, Canada, Estonia, France, Georgia, Germany, Russia, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, the United States, the United Kingdom and Iran.

The objectives of the Foundation are pursued by means of organising and supporting research, publication of books, and establishment of fellowships at major academic institutions and diverse activities of cultural or scholarly merit in a variety of related fields, on a worldwide basis.

About Balli Group plc
Balli Group plc is one of the UK’s largest private, multi-national corporations, headquartered in London. Established in 1982, Balli Holdings operates a number of affiliated companies with offices in key economic and business hubs around the world and operations in over 20 countries. Included within the Balli Group portfolio are balli steel and balli real estate, as well as other specialist companies providing services in commodity trading, industrial activities and aviation.

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The next generation of Native American nonprofit sector leaders will receive a significant boost from a leadership training program organized by First Nations Development Institute

The next generation of Native American nonprofit sector leaders will receive a significant boost from a leadership training program organized by First Nations Development Institute (First Nations) and funded by a consortium of private foundations as well as contributions from individual supporters.

Grants of $300,000 over three years from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, $400,000 over two years from the Ford Foundation and $25,000 from American Express will support the Leadership and Entrepreneurial Apprenticeship Development (LEAD) program for up-and-coming, nonprofit executives serving Native American communities in Oregon, Washington and Colorado. In all, 60 Native American nonprofit professionals will be trained during the three-year grant period.

LEAD will develop a new pool of nonprofit leaders to meet the needs of the growing Native American nonprofit sector. LEAD Fellows are employed by a nonprofit organization or planning a career in the nonprofit sector, are committed to a career working in Native communities, and are affiliated with a tribe. In fall 2008, LEAD graduated 12 Fellows. For information about the 2007 – 2008 LEAD graduates and the 2008 – 2009 class of LEAD Fellows, visit

In Oregon, Washington and Colorado, respectively, partner organizations – the Native American Youth and Family Center (NAYA), the Potlatch Fund and NVision– will organize and host the training sessions for the Fellows with facilitation and support fromFirst Nations.

“We are so pleased to expand this program that builds the capacity of Native nonprofit organizations,” said First Nations’ President, Michael E. Roberts. “By concentrating resources on our communities’ most important asset – our people – we can build strong communities and tribal institutions.”

The one-year mentorship program will train participants in areas critical to successful nonprofit leaders, including financial management, factors affecting Native or reservation-based nonprofit organizations, fundraising, program evaluation and service leadership.

About First Nations Development Institute
Through a three-pronged strategy of Educating Grassroots Practitioners, Advocating for Systemic Change, and Capitalizing Indian Communities, First Nations Development Institute is working to restore Native 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 communities. First Nations Development Institute is a national, nonprofit, Native American-led organization.

For more information about this program, contact Sarah Vermillion, Vice President of First Nations Development Institute, at 303-774-7836 /

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First Nations Is Encouraging §7871 Organizations To Apply To Be A Part Of A New Grant Program And Research Initiative

First Nations Development Institute Announces Grant Program for §7871 Organizations

First Nations Development Institute (First Nations) is encouraging §7871 organizations to apply to be a part of a new grant program and research initiative. Grants of $5,000 to $10,000 will be given to §7871 organizations selected to participate in the study.

Generally, private foundations and public charities fall under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. For Tribal Governments, however, the Indian Tribal Governmental Tax Status Act of 1982 supported Indian nations in establishing, regulating and controlling philanthropic activities within their communities under the leadership of the Tribal Government. This act, codified as the Internal Revenue Code (IRC) §7871, allows tribes to create programs (including community development programs and grant making foundations) that can be controlled and regulated by the tribe but also can receive donations that are tax deductible for the donor (and meet the qualifying distribution test for mainstream foundations).

Establishing tax-exempt Tribal Governmental organizations under IRC §7871 allows Tribes to maintain a greater degree of sovereignty than they would under the more ubiquitous 501(c)(3) designation. Even the United States Supreme Court has held that Indian nations possess a status higher than States. Thus, the more traditional 501(c)(3) designation unfairly subjects Indian nations (and their political subdivisions) to the oversight of States’ Attorney General Offices, where jurisdiction over “expressly public and charitable purposes” is generally housed. First Nations will work with the selected §7871 organizations to gather data for a report targeted at educating and informing foundations, corporations with charitable giving programs, and the philanthropic community about §7871 organizations. Additionally, the report will provide critical information for tribes and tribal communities to assist them with developing new or supporting existing §7871 organizations.

“§7871 organizations are largely misunderstood by mainstream funders and the general public,” stated Michael E. Roberts, President of First Nations Development Institute. “This lack of understanding and acceptance greatly reduces the ability of tribes to raise critically needed funding.” Roberts says the program was created to educate the philanthropic sector about §7871 organizations in an effort to ensure tribes creating 7871 organizations retain their rights and guard their sovereignty when trying to access funding and compete on the same level playing field as their mainstream nonprofit and philanthropic counterparts. “Additionally, this important study will also yield information to help support tribes that have existing §7871 organizations or those considering creating new §7871 organizations in an effort to expand philanthropy in tribal communities,” says Roberts.

“We hope to learn more about §7871 organizations and the different forms they take,” stated Sarah Echohawk Vermillion, Vice President of First Nations Development Institute. “The purpose of the research that comes out of this grant making program is to generate data about §7871 organizations, their institutional structures and programmatic areas, and to highlight benefits and methods of giving to §7871 organizations.”

Interested §7871 organizations should go to to download instructions and complete a short application. The deadline for applying is 5:00 p.m. (MST) November 21, 2008.

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Integrated Asset Building Strategies for Reservation-Based Communities

First Nations Development Institute (First Nations) announced the publication and release of “Integrated Asset Building Strategies for Reservation-Based Communities: A 27-Year Retrospective of First Nations Development Institute.” This unprecedented report is the culmination of more than a quarter century of work by First Nations and highlights the economic, social and cultural resilience and ingenuity of Native peoples across the United States.

Funded by a generous grant from the Ford Foundation, the report includes original research on several key asset-building strategies in Native communities: financial education, individual development accounts, community development financial institutions, entrepreneurship development, building Native controlled philanthropic foundations and funds, and utilizing the earned income tax credit. Drawing upon a unique mix of practitioner and academic research, the report presents new data and analysis of asset building in Native communities.

According to Michael E. Roberts, President of First Nations, “In order to accurately identify and assess the needs and trends in Indian Country, we need to continually review and evaluate First Nations’ major asset building approaches and their effects in Native communities and this report does just that.” In addition, Roberts notes that the report is being released publicly “to allow everyone with an interest in Indian Country the opportunity to access the models, tools, analysis and information from First Nations’ comprehensive body of work over the last 27 years.”

Through a three-pronged strategy of Educating Grassroots Practitioners, Advocating Systemic Change, and Capitalizing Indian Communities, First Nations is working to restore Native 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 communities.

To learn more about this report, or to order copies, visit the First Nations Development Institute Website at or contact Sarah Dewees, Director of Research, via email at: or by phone at: 540-371-5615.

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