First Nations: Three Grantees for ‘Mapping Ecological Stewardship Opportunities’

First Nations Announces Three Grantees Under its ‘Mapping Ecological Stewardship Opportunities’ Project

LONGMONT, Colorado (March 21, 2018) – First Nations Development Institute (First Nations) has announced the three recent grantees under its initiative known as “Mapping Ecological Stewardship Opportunities in Northern Great Plains Native Communities.” The focus of this initiative is to facilitate dialogue around and implementation of strategies that catalyze tribal initiatives in ecological stewardship that are compatible with local communities, tribal values and which contribute to tribal economic and community development activities. The long-term vision of the initiative is for tribes to capitalize on and regain control of their natural resource assets in a sustainable manner and to thrive in their communities, maintaining cultural practices while strengthening economic development opportunities.

The three grantees are:

  • Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe Natural Resources Department in South Dakota, which has established a project to obtain tribal land that will support a self-sustaining population of black-footed ferrets, an endangered species native to North America. The tribe has been an active participant in the national black-footed ferret recovery effort since 2002 by releasing 69 ferrets into several prairie dog colonies. Through this funding, the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe will secure legislation for the protection of prairies dogs and ferrets, and release a new colony of black-footed ferrets on tribally-controlled land.
  •  Crow Tribe Natural Resources Department in Montana, which has a goal of developing bison monitoring and testing in a cost-effective and ecologically-sound manner, retaining the native species in the wildlife area, and increasing the true valuation of the land and vegetative forage for livestock, wildlife and waterfowl on tribal lands.
  •  Chippewa Cree Tribe Natural Resources Department’s Chippewa Cree Tribe Carbon Credits Project (CCTCCP) in Montana, which has the ultimate purpose of creating tribal self-sufficiency and economic stability; opening up economic, social and environmental opportunities for community growth and asset development; and significantly increasing forest management and development efficiency. The funding is supporting the development of a Carbon Credit Plan as well as the revision of the current Forest Management and Development Plan and Fire Management Plan.

These three tribes in the Northern Great Plains are taking incremental steps in regaining control of their natural resources by establishing strategies to increase local capacity to manage their natural resources in a manner consistent with cultural and traditional values.

First Nations’ “Mapping Ecological Stewardship Opportunities in Northern Great Plains Native Communities Initiative” is supported in part by Margaret A. Cargill Philanthropies.

About First Nations Development Institute

For more than 37 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


Jackie Francke, First Nations Vice President of Programs and Administration
[email protected] or (303) 774-7836 x202

Randy Blauvelt, First Nations Senior Communications Officer
[email protected]or (303) 774-7836 x213