First Kids 1st Initiative
In 2016, the W. K. Kellogg Foundation awarded the National Congress of American Indians (NCAI) funding to support an initial three-year project entitled First Kids 1st. The proposal featured a partnership between NCAI and three other national organizations working on Native youth initiatives: the National Indian Child Welfare Association, National Indian Education Association, and National Indian Health Board.
The goals of the First Kids 1st project are to:
- Create the conditions in which Native children can thrive by fostering community and policy change at the national/tribal/state levels;
- Rally the spirit of local Native communities putting First Kids 1st by dismantling structural barriers, improving access to funding and other resources, and inspiring and aligning local action;
- Equip local communities and policy decision makers to put First Kids 1st with strategies, actionable information, and knowledge resources;
- Expand the impact by inviting a broad and diverse network of partners and champions to join in implementation in ways that are consistent with their missions and to leverage their existing work; and
- Provide a forum to engage the voices of Native youth and families in developing policy and community change.