The First Nations Development Institute has announced a $1.1 million grant from the Kresge Foundation in Troy, Michigan, to enhance the capacity and management effectiveness of Native American nonprofit organizations in urban areas.
First Nations will partner with the National Urban Indian Family Coalition — a network of Native American nonprofits that works to strengthen urban Native families — to help as many as nine organizations improve their management and leadership capacity, boost organizational effectiveness, provide customized assistance and training, and document their best practices and the potential for bringing their efforts to scale. The project, which will run through 2016, will draw on First Nation's capacity-building expertise and NUIFC's networks, evaluation and data-collection experience, and knowledge of urban Indian organizations and their needs.
"For thirty-two years, First Nations has worked primarily in rural and reservation-based Native American communities, helping them develop much-needed stronger economies by doing our work on several fronts," said First Nations president Michael E. Roberts. "These fronts include incubating new businesses, strengthening nonprofits and governments, teaching financial literacy, and investing in critical Native food and agriculture systems. We're now excited to take our successful track record and apply it to urban communities of American Indians. Native nonprofits that are more effective at what they do and how they are managed are a key resource to the health, prosperity, and growth of Indian communities, whether rural or urban."
"We're honored to join this hallmark partnership to improve outcomes for American Indians and Alaska Natives in urban areas, who are now the majority in Indian Country," said NUIFC executive director Janeen Comenote. "Native children and families are among the most vulnerable of America's urban populations. Unfortunately, those residing 'off reservation' reflect some of the most disproportionately low social and economic standards in every large city in which they reside. Urban Indian nonprofits address these disparities by providing a sense of community and home as well as a wide range of culturally relevant services."