FK1st Initiative Launches 2018 Native Children’s Policy Agenda Update

Today, the First Kids 1st Every Child is Sacred Initiative launched the 2018-2019 Native Children’s Policy Agenda (NCPA) Update featuring policy opportunities and recommendations for the coming year and identifies areas of collaboration for serving and supporting Native children and youth to forge measurable progress.

The 2018-2019 NCPA Update focuses on four priority areas this year including: Funding for Health, Shelter, and Safety to Serve Native Youth; School Construction and Infrastructure for Native Students; The Opioid Epidemic and its Impact on Native Youth; and The Farm Bill and the Health of Native Youth.

Since 2015, FK1st has provided updates to the Native Children’s Policy Agenda (NCPA), a tool intended to assist Tribal leaders and other policymakers in their work to create and implement a vision for vibrant, healthy communities. It is also intended to guide stakeholders as they prioritize legislation and policy issues that may affect Native children and youth. Within each of the four overarching themes, NCPA sets forth Tribal strategies and policy objectives to implement these principles. The themes are: Healthy Lifestyles; Supportive Environments; Students Ready to Succeed; and Vibrant Communities.

Read and download the 2018-2019 NCPA Update here. Read and download the full NCPA Agenda here. Questions? Please contact

FK1st Coalition Convening: Community Asset Map-Libs

The following piece was written as an anthology capturing all of the asset terms identified
during the Community Asset Mapping Bingo activity during the inaugural FK1st Coalition
Convening on June 19, 2018. All of the terms in bold below are “assets” from the website of
each organization who participated in the convening. “Assets” in regard to Community Asset
Mapping are key tools, actions, and themes that make up the communities we serve. The location of each of the assets below is in the order in which they were drawn. From education to
health care to sovereignty. Each organization brings important assets to the table. Starting from
here, we are looking to build this asset map into actionable outcomes over the next 18 months
at FK1st.

FK1st Coalition Convening: Community Asset Map-Libs
Carla Knapp of Boys & Girls Clubs of America Native Services wins Community Asset Mapping BINGO and poses for a photo with FK1st’s Natasha Anderson.

The First Kids 1st Every Child is Sacred Initiative looks to build safe places to learn and grow for
Native children and youth to thrive and face challenges like mixed identity. By expanding a
community of organizations during the first FK1st Coalition Convening, the new FK1st Coalition
Members are looking to create new opportunities, building on the strengths each organization’s
programs like the Tribal home ownership programs and honoring treaty rights. Artisans & musicians, voting, student centered learning, and ceremonies were found to be organizational assets while learning about key areas of focus for Coalition Members, we found that school-based health clinics and positive health promotions are important aspects to creating impactful health systems. The Coalition Members spoke at length regarding empowered youth, recognizing Native language, traditional healing, and spiritual well-being as proven preventative care to support Native children and youth along with honoring of ancestorsCommunity action and co-op learning through cultural dances by tribally led innovation and choice can change the life of the children and youth in our communities starting with Native early learning and head start programming taught through Native beliefs and values.

Tribal citizens also need support in the cities through Urban Indian Health Centers to ensure
that although community members are away from home their tribal voice is present. Nation
building through our children and youth is an important step as we watch the world change
around us our youth are standing up for the rights of two-spirit people, creating activist
movements through social media and showing their resiliency. Post-secondary graduate
students celebrate unique strengths by wearing regalia during their graduations and
celebrating with traditional foods. By utilizing traditional laws and taking a page from the red
power movement the youth engagement online has turned entire youth communities into
leaders and environmental stewards.

The FK1st Initiative is looking to create even more momentum by involving as many organizations as possible to help supportive families, empower Native advocates, promote restorative justice, and inherent rights.

FK1st wants to establish a place for Native educators to receive support for educational
sovereignty through a Native resource repository focused on FK1st Coalition Members who
are inspiring youth-led change.

Celebrating core cultural values such as religious rights, storytelling, and community
organizing leads to innovative programming like a national health website for Native youth.

As sovereign nations, tribes are investing time and effort into building youth councils and
Native youth networks. School gardening to grow local, traditional foods and traditional
dances for the health of it are making headway and are being incorporated into accessible
health care systems by tribes.

Another BINGO! Wilbur Woodis from Indian Health Service smiles alongside FK1st’s Natasha Anderson.

Cultural based pedagogy by kinship relationships is also seeing a reprisal as tribes invest in
cultural learning and advancing the ways of life for our decedents, teaching traditional
ceremonies like smudging.

Only through the attention of tribal leadership can tribal justice systems be implemented, with
an important piece of that system being the youth voice.

Through the collective work of over 30 organizations who met during the FK1st Coalition Convening, it is through our collaborative work that we can support Native children and youth
through health care services like tribal diabetes patient programs and investing in tribal lands
as our homes and water rights as part of our essentials to creating thriving communities.


FK1st Initiative Hosts Inaugural Coalition Convening

On Tuesday, June 19, 2018, the First Kids 1st – Every Child is Sacred Initiative held its inaugural FK1st Coalition Convening in Washington, DC. This inaugural Coalition Convening was a close group of organizations from around the country that have programs and initiatives that impact Native children and youth. The one-day event was a collaboration of efforts made by the FK1st Founding Partners to further expand the network of like-minded organizations to share assets, create partnerships, and actionable outcomes to help continue to grow the network of support that helps Native children and youth thrive.

The Coalition Convening attendees spent the day in a collective think tank environment with discussions facilitated by the FK1st Founding Partners. Starting off with introductions and an initial presentation about the Initiative, the attendees jumped straight into the hard work in group sessions to discuss current programming at their home organizations and talked through collaboration opportunities and goals.

At the end of the day, the group reconvened, set goals, and next steps for the collaboration of work in the months to come. Check back here at the FK1st Blog to learn more about the Convening, new projects, and resources from our Partners and Coalition Members. Want to become a FK1st Coalition Member? Email us at

Native Youth Rising: Collective Action to Elevate the Next Generation of Indian Leaders and Change Makers

First Kids 1st is a national campaign with the aim of lifting up and supporting Native children and youth so they can achieve their highest potential. Through developing tools and resources that allow Tribal decision makers to better support youth in the areas of education, health, welfare, and governance, partners have started a movement to put first kids first in policy and practice.

The National Indian Health Board (NIHB), along with the support of other First Kids 1st Partners, are highlighting Tribal community members and programmatic leaders at the 2018 NIHB National Tribal Public Health Summit whose work aligns with the spirit and objectives of the First Kids 1st Initiative.

In accordance with the First Kids 1st mission, a cohort of presenters and participants are working to develop data-driven Tribal strategies and policy objectives in order to:

  • Equip decision-makers with strengths-based information to describe Native children and youth;
  • Foster policy change at national, Tribal, and state levels; and
  • Build capacity at the Tribal level for sustainable change making in Indian education, health, child welfare, and governance.

The contributions of these presenters will be highlighted in the conference manual provided to all participants.

If you have any questions about First Kids 1st or would like to know how you can get involved, please visit us on the web or check us out on Facebook or twitter. To learn more about the 2018 NIHB National Tribal Public Health Summit visit the conference website here.