SOURCE: First Nations Development Institute

First Nations Development Institute

December 13, 2016 08:00 ET

First Nations Issues Report Exploring How to Strengthen Urban Native American Organizations

LONGMONT, CO--(Marketwired - December 13, 2016) - First Nations Development Institute (First Nations) today published a new report that provides insights into the current state of Indigenous organizations in urban areas of the U.S., as well as recommendations that can increase the capacity and leadership of human service organizations and urban Indigenous America overall.

Titled A Systems Thinking Approach for Increasing Wellness in Urban Indigenous America, the report is part of a recently-completed three-year project led by First Nations, in partnership with the National Urban Indian Family Coalition. That Urban Native Project was funded primarily by The Kresge Foundation with additional support from the Comcast Foundation, and was aimed at urban-based Native American centers/nonprofit organizations. The project's goal was to support new and expanded activities in urban American Indian environments, with the objective of improving opportunities that can be attained in all Native American urban communities.

The report synthesizes and summarizes discussions among 30 leaders and team members of urban Indigenous organizations who gathered in Denver, Colorado, in July 2016. The cohort represented organizations making substantial contributions to the lives of Native people in the areas of housing, education, workforce development, homelessness, financial wellness programs, health wellness services, and child and family welfare.

"This report is a key outcome of the Denver meeting, but another success of this engagement was how urban Native organization leaders can start to think of how they may help each other in their work and identify trends or patterns between their respective organizations. Participants gained inspiration and insights from other like-minded, service-related individuals who are motivated to making a difference in helping Native people and their communities," said Montoya Whiteman, First Nations' Senior Program Officer and the head of the Urban Native Project. "I encourage readers to recognize and support their local urban Indigenous organizations who are facing complex human service challenges in environments that are constantly changing."

The report was written by Matthew Hayashi of Headwater People Consulting, based in Seattle, Washington. Hayashi also facilitated the July meeting in Denver.

The full report can be downloaded free from the Knowledge Center on the First Nations website at this link: (Note: If you don't already have a free account, guests need to create one in order to download the report. Your account will also give you access to numerous other resources in the First Nations Knowledge Center.)

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

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