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Webinar Series Aims to Help Native Food, Ag & Nonprofit Professionals

LONGMONT, Colorado – A new series of educational webinars – called “First Nations Knowledge” – is being launched by First Nations Development Institute (First Nations), one of America’s leading Native American organization engaged in economic development for Native communities, including those of American Indians, Alaska Natives and Native Hawaiians.

The monthly series, starting Feb. 21, 2013, aims to educate Native community members who are involved in food-systems work and agriculture, plus Native nonprofit organizations. The effort aims to build their knowledge and skills and, thus, their business and organizational capacity.

“First Nations does its work on many fronts, including building or reclaiming Native food systems, encouraging new business development, and by offering technical assistance and training to Native nonprofit organizations,” noted President Michael E. Roberts. “This webinar series is an additional way for us to reach out to individuals and entire communities, and the sessions are free to any and all participants. We’ve done webinars before, but we are formalizing this series and increasing the frequency under the new umbrella of ‘First Nations Knowledge’.”

So far, nine webinars have been developed and scheduled. They are:

Business of Indian Agriculture – Best Financial Practices for Small Agribusiness I, Feb. 21, 2013

Business of Indian Agriculture – Best Financial Practices for Small Agribusiness II, March 21, 2013

Both sessions above are underwritten by The Christensen Fund

Farm-to-School Best Practices – April 25, 2013

Co-operative Models – May 23, 2013

Senior Citizen Hunger – June 20, 2013

The three sessions above are underwritten by First Nations’ Native Agriculture and Food Systems Initiative, which is supported by several foundations and donors.

Creating Sustainable Programs – July 18, 2013

Community Engagement – Aug. 22, 2013

Preparing a Budget – Sept. 19, 2013

Evaluation – Oct. 17, 2013

The four sessions above are underwritten by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Community Food Projects program.

Native Americans and others interested in registering for the webinars can go here to sign up. Each webinar is free. Sessions are expected to last about one hour each. Interested parties are also encouraged to sign up for First Nations’ e-mail list here in order to be advised of changes or future webinars.

About First Nations Development Institute

First Nations works to “Strengthen American Indian Economies to Support Healthier Native Communities” by improving economic conditions for Native Americans through technical assistance and training, advocacy and policy, and direct financial grants in five key areas:

-Financial and investor education

-Combating predatory lending

-Native American business and asset development

-Strengthening Native American nonprofit organizations

-Improving Native food systems and health

First Nations supports economic development projects across the U.S. for American Indian, Alaska Native and Native Hawaiian communities. Founded in 1980, First Nations began its national grantmaking program in 1993. Since then, it has provided $18.9 million in grants to 814 Native programs and projects in 36 states. The organization works to restore Native American control and culturally-compatible stewardship of the assets they own – be they land, human potential, cultural heritage or natural resources – and to establish new assets for ensuring the long-term vitality of Native American communities.

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