By Lucas High
LONGMONT — First Nations Development Institute, a Longmont-based nonprofit group that assists Native American tribes, will receive a $1.8-million grant over three years from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation to help Native American communities promote well-being through healthy food systems. The funding will allow the organization to grow its First Nations’ Native Agriculture and Food Systems Initiative, according to an institute news release. The institute will host an annual of Native food-systems practitioners and “provide them with extensive learning, networking and capacity building opportunities to strengthen a community of practice,” the release said. “In the past, through us, WKKF has funded numerous programs where direct operational grants were awarded to various Native food and agriculture projects,” First Nations president Michael Roberts said in a prepared statement. “This new focus takes things up a whole level – building local capacity to raise much-needed additional funds, creating an important network and a vibrant community of practice, providing enhanced peer-learning opportunities, plus us taking an active role in helping open doors to new avenues of philanthropic funding for our partners’ local projects. It’s teaching to fish instead of just providing a fish.”
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