Supporting Native & Indigenous Communities: The First Nations Development Institute

The First Nations Development Institute has numerous resources for Native and Indigenous youth, including scholarships, development opportunities and educational information. In addition to these, they also support Native and Indigenous communities in a wide array of development areas including community building strategies, advancing cultural knowledge and economic growth.

Founded in 1980 by Rebecca Adamson, The First Nations Development Institue is a non-profit organization with a goal of advancing the economic development and sovereignty of Native American communities across the United States. They achieve this by providing grants to Native and Indigenous communities. Their key areas of focus include:  

  • Achieving Native Financial Empowerment 
  • Investing in Native Youth 
  • Strengthening Tribal & Community Institutions 
  • Advancing Household & Community Asset-Building Strategies 
  • Nourishing Native Foods & Health 
  • Stewarding Native Lands 

Among many of the First Nations Development Institute’s excellent educational and development resources is the Native Youth Business Plan Competition. In collaboration with The National Center for American Indian Enterprise Development, the competition provides an opportunity for Native and Indigenous high school students and undergraduate college students to create and present a business plan to a group of their peers and Native business experts.

This opportunity allows students who have started a business or have an idea for a business to experience and learn what goes into creating a business plan, demonstrate their communication skills, and experience what it’s like as a entrepreneur seeking startup funds for their business. If you are interested in participating in this competition, contact Kendall Tallmadge at  

The First Nations Development Institute also offers scholarships for Native and Indigenous college students studying agriculture and related fields! You can learn more about the scholarship here: 

In addition to providing grants, scholarships, and development opportunities, the First Nations Development Institute also provides a wide array of educational resources through their website covering topics such as philanthropy in Native and Indigenous communities, Native and Indigenous sovereignty, environmental activism, and much more! You can find all of these educational resources at 

If you want to learn about more career resources for Native and Indigenous peoples, check out our Native and Indigenous Peoples Affinity Community page!  

Photo courtesy of the First Nations Development Institute –

By Avery Caya
Avery Caya Graduate Assistant, CLAS/Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (They/Them/Theirs)