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First Nations Development Institute Will Expand Tribal Ecological Stewardship Project in Montana & South Dakota

/EINPresswire.com/ -- LONGMONT, CO--(Marketwired - November 10, 2016) - First Nations Development Institute (First Nations), a national Native American nonprofit organization that works to improve Native economies and communities, today announced it will expand its "Mapping Ecological Stewardship Opportunities in Northern Great Plains Native Communities" project into 2018.

First Nations originally launched the project in early 2015 with the aim of helping tribes achieve a balance between ecological stewardship and economic development. In particular, it aims to help tribes explore and inform ecological stewardship practices in the Great Plains of South Dakota and Montana by facilitating the dialogue around and active implementation of strategies that catalyze tribally-controlled ecological stewardship initiatives that are compatible with community tribal values and contribute to tribal economic and community development opportunities. The long-term vision is for tribes to capitalize on and regain control of their natural resource assets in a sustainable manner and to thrive in their communities, keeping their cultures and worldviews intact and reducing their reliance on federal programs and soft money by strengthening economic development opportunities that are guided by Native communities.

First Nations has worked collaboratively with the Lower Brule Sioux, Oglala Lakota Nation, Rosebud Sioux, and Fort Belknap Assiniboine and Gros Ventre tribes. Work will continue with those tribes and will expand to involve eight additional tribes, for a total of 12 over the next two years.

Further, First Nations will provide capacity-building and networking activities that will build the tribal capacity and ecological sustainability in the region, as well as addressing dynamic situations and issues for long-term planning and stewardship of tribally-controlled natural resources.

Funding for this project was provided in part by the Margaret A. Cargill Philanthropies.

About First Nations Development Institute

For 36 years, using a three-pronged strategy of educating grassroots practitioners, advocating for systemic change, and capitalizing Indian communities, First Nations 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 American communities. First Nations serves Native American communities throughout the United States. For more information, visit www.firstnations.org.

Program Contact:
Montoya Whiteman, First Nations Senior Program Officer
mwhiteman@firstnations.org or (303) 774-7836 x204

Media Contact:
Randy Blauvelt, First Nations Senior Communications Officer
rblauvelt@firstnations.org or (303) 774-7836 x213