231705 Native Agriculture and Food Systems Initiative

Monday, November 8, 2010 : 5:10 PM - 5:30 PM

Michael Roberts , First Nations Development Institute, Longmont, CO
Robert's presentation will address how initiatives of the First Nation Development Institute such as the Native Agriculture and Food Systems Initiative have sought a range of important goals such as 1.) Providing an opportunity for Native communities to develop innovative projects that strengthen the ability of the community to use, create, leverage, retain, increase or control their agricultural and food-related assets; 2. Building the knowledge and understanding of Native agriculture and food systems and facilitating the sharing of experience, expertise, and knowledge among Native communities and organizations; 3. Promoting public policies that support the Native agriculture and food sector, and increase the voice of Indian Country in the decision-making process and 4. Increasing the awareness and education of the general public on Native agriculture and food-related issues.

Learning Areas:
Public health or related public policy

Learning Objectives:
Identify a resource available to tribes for their education regarding local/regional health, agricultural, economic, etc., data

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: First Nations, headquartered in Longmont, Colorado with offices in Fredericksburg, Virginia, is working to restore Native 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 communities. First Nations does its work through a three-pronged strategy of educating grassroots practitioners, advocating systematic change, and capitalizing Indian communities. As President, Mike is responsible for First Nationsí overall vision and coordination for First Nationsí programmatic, administrative, and grantmaking strategies. Mike also serves as the lead spokesman for communicating information about First Nationsí projects, programs and models throughout Indian country and the philanthropic community. Prior to returning to First Nations in 2002, Mike spent five years in private equity; most recently he operated his own consulting firm, Camus Consulting in Denver, Colorado where he provided private equity investment advice to high-worth, angel investors. Mikeís private equity experience includes providing due diligence, financial analysis, strategic planning and monitoring, and investment recommendations to the Principals and Investment Directors of Meritage Private Equity Fund, a telecommunications-focused, private equity firm with more than $340 million under management. Mike also spent two years with Kansas City Equity Partners (KCEP), a highly respected Midwest venture capital firm with an emphasis in early-stage investing in information technology and specialty retail, as well as later stage investing in manufacturing businesses. Mikeís tenure with KCEP was in conjunction with the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation's Fellows Program. Concurrent with his role at KCEP, Mike participated in this highly selective program designed to build skills for investing in and managing high potential early stage companies. Prior to becoming a Kauffman Fellow, Mike was Chief Operating Officer of First Nations Development Institute where he directed the organizationís day-to-day operations, finance and personnel activities, as well as developed policies for and directed investment of the organizationís endowment. In addition to his administrative and finance duties, Mike coordinated the organizationís research and policy administration functions, and provided technical assistance to tribes and community groups on issues of business, financial and investment management, economic development and policy formation. Mike currently is a member of First Nationsí board of directors, is a founding board member and Chairman of First Nations Oweesta Corporation, and serves on the grants review committee of First Nationsí Eagle Staff Fund. Mike also serves as a board member for Native Americans in Philanthropy, is on the Advisory Council of the Center for Native American Public Radio (CNAPR), is on the National Advisory Committee for the National Center for Family Philanthropy, as well as on an Advisory Committee for the Lakota Fund, Indian Countryís first community development financial institution. In addition, Mike is a past board member and treasurer of the Association for Enterprise Opportunity (AEO). Mike background includes serving in the accounting and finance departments for various for-profit subsidiaries of Alaska Native corporations, and for local IRA councils. Mike has taught a graduate business course on venture capital at the MBA program of the Bloch School of Business at the University of Missouri Kansas City, and an undergraduate business course on entrepreneurship at Haskell Indian Nations University. Mike has an MBA from the University of Washington with an emphasis in finance and operations management and a Bachelorís of Environmental Design Degree in Architecture from the University of Colorado.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.