Media Contact
Sacha Smith
(505) 867-0775
sacha@nb3f.org

SANTA ANA PUEBLO, N.M. (May 7, 2020) – Today, the Notah Begay III (NB3) Foundation announced a generous donation of $50,000 from Delta Dental of New Mexico to support the NB3 Foundation COVID-19 Response Fund: a direct action fund providing food, water and educational resources to tribes, pueblos and Native American communities of New Mexico and the Navajo Nation.

“We are grateful for the financial support from Delta Dental and for stepping up and helping Native American families and communities during this uncertain time,” said Justin Kii Huenemann, president and CEO of the NB3 Foundation. “We remain committed to our direct-action approach, including purchasing, boxing and distributing food, water and supplies directly to households living in hard-hit areas. These funds will directly support people in need.”

This contribution comes in response to the tremendous need that has been identified for Native populations in dealing with the coronavirus pandemic.

“The President of the Navajo Nation issued the first press release on January 26, 2020 to make his tribal members aware of the Corona-19 virus and shared information about the public health risk that was associated. The immediate and proactive leadership and communication acknowledged genuine concern and offered early guidance. Preparation and caution were exercised, shortly after followed by a declaration of a state of emergency, but the virus as we have all seen, has had a disproportionately high rate of infection throughout the Nation. The frontline direct outreach and utilization of the CHR teams in the NB3 Foundation COVID-19 Response initiative has effectively been able to reach many tribal members to provide greatly needed supplies and services. Delta Dental of New Mexico is grateful for the many selfless acts of compassion and community that this Response Fund has provided,” said Lou Volk III, president and CEO of Delta Dental of New Mexico.

To date, the NB3 Foundation Fund has raised over $300,000, distributed food and water to the Navajo Nation, provided financial support to Native-led organizations working directly in their communities and provided educational technology supplies to Native students. The NB3 Foundation looks forward to continuing to be on the front lines of support and action over the coming months.

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About Notah Begay III Foundation

The Notah Begay III (NB3) Foundation is a national, award-winning Native-led nonprofit dedicated to improving Native American children’s health. Each day, thousands of Native youth wake up facing significant health challenges and barriers to living full lives. The good news is that most are preventable and together we are changing this reality.

NB3 Foundation is changing the lives of Native American children by supporting and funding Native-driven, culturally centered programs and by providing direct opportunities for Native youth to live healthy, active lives. We believe that success must be driven at the local level and focus on holistic prevention, including child, family and community. To learn more about the NB3 Foundation, please visit at: www.nb3foundation.org

About Delta Dental of New Mexico

Delta Dental of New Mexico is a not-for-profit corporation that has been providing dental benefit plans for New Mexico residents since 1971. Our core values include responsibility in utilizing our success to create healthy, smart and vibrant communities.

Delta Dental of New Mexico and its affiliates in Arkansas, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, North Carolina, Ohio and Tennessee make up one of the largest dental plan administrators in the nation.

The Delta Dental plans are members of the Delta Dental Plans Association, a nationwide system of independently operated dental health service plans. Together, the plans provide coverage to more than 78 million Americans and operate two of the nation’s largest networks of participating dentists.

 

 

 

 

 

Andrea Thomas, Diné educator and Navajo Nation Board of Education member, and her 3rd-5th grade students at Mesa Elementary in Shiprock, N.M. have been struggling to continue their lessons remotely amid the closure of schools on the Navajo Nation, due to the coronavirus pandemic. Motivation has not been a barrier for her, her students and their families – all are committed to continuing education during these difficult times. Rather, the lack of technology has been the biggest hurdle facing her students and many more on the Navajo Nation hoping to continue school from home. 

Andrea Thomas delivers a laptop to a student’s home last week.

A majority of Mesa Elementary students come from low income households and do not have access to a computer at home.

Thomas’ students have been completing
their lessons on family member cell phones, or taking screenshots of homework to finish later on paper. Thomas knew that doing full lessons on a cellphone wasn’t an ideal form of learning and would likely overwhelm her students and families quickly. For her students to effectively learn remotely she knew they would need laptops.

Thomas stepped into action and started a fundraiser to purchase 26 laptops for her students.

“There’s something really unique about my group of students,” Thomas said. “I knew that I had to do the best I could to support them.”

Her fundraiser received donations from community members, parents and families but was still a ways from reaching her fundraising goal.

In April, NB3 Foundation President and CEO, Justin Kii Huenemann came across her fundraiser which directly aligns with one of the goals of the NB3 Foundation COVID-19 Response Fund: to provide access to education opportunities and youth development.

The connection was made and through the generosity of the donors to the NB3 Foundation COVID-19 Response Fund, laptops were purchased for all the students in Thomas’ classroom.

When it comes to her students and their futures, Thomas said that when her students reflect on these times she hopes it’s a positive memory of their resilience and perseverance, like their Diné culture.

“On behalf of myself and my students I would like to express our sincere and immense gratitude to the NB3 Foundation for their inspiring generosity. As so many doors seem to be closing, this donation has kept open an invaluable access to continued learning and growth and, just as importantly to one another, to community, and to continuity that will keep our spirits strong, our minds engaged, and our sense of determination unswayed in this time of great challenge. Ahéhee”- Andrea Thomas

 

The Notah Begay III (NB3) Foundation is pleased to announce that it’s COVID-19 Response Fund to support Native American children, elders and families has reached over $210,000 in donations to date.

 

“We are overwhelmed by the outpouring of support, particularly from our individual donors. Nearly 250 individuals have contributed over $150,000 to the fund,” said Justin Kii Huenemann, President and CEO. “Through this outpouring of generosity, we have been providing critical support to Native families in need and will continue as donations continue.”

 

The NB3 Foundation would also like to thank the following foundations and businesses for their important contributions to the fund:

  • PNM Resources Foundation
  • Albuquerque Community Foundation
  • The Denver Foundation
  • McCune Charitable Foundation
  • The Winky Foundation
  • Hormel Foods
  • Seventh Generation

 

The response fund was launched on April 6, 2020, with the goal of providing food, water and educational resources to Native families and communities facing unprecedented challenges during this time. The fund also provides financial support to Native-led organizations who are working on-the-ground in their communities to provide for those in need.

 

For information on our efforts and to follow our progress, follow @nb3foundation on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter or sign-up for updates on our website at nb3foundation.org.

 

The Notah Begay III (NB3) Foundation is excited to announce the release of its new report, “Indigenous Voices and Practices: Recommendations for Grantmaking to Native-led Organizations.” This first-of-its kind report provides collective recommendations from established Native-led nonprofits of how grantmaking could be implemented to ensure success as defined by Indigenous communities.
This report is a result of dedicated Indigenous leaders and practitioners from across the country who share their knowledge and expertise with funders, foundations and grantmaking organizations. Over the course of two days, Native leaders developed guiding recommendations and shared important insights to assist funders in their efforts to create meaningful, long-lasting relationships with Native-led organizations and the communities they serve. The intent is to inspire deeper relationships and to improve results as determined by Native and Indigenous communities themselves.
“A primary goal of this report was to help identify and strengthen relationships between Native-led and Native youth serving organizations and funders,” says Justin Kii Huenemann, president and CEO, NB3 Foundation. “At its heart, this report is about trusting and respecting Indigenous knowledge and practices and investing in Indigenous communities with the full confidence that solutions rest in those communities.”
Tatewin Means, executive director, Thunder Valley Community Development Corporation shared, “The convening, and report, are powerful examples of the strength of Indigenous people when called upon to share collective insight and wisdom. No matter how difficult the conversation may be, we are always willing to share the truth, our truths, because it means our Indigenous nations will benefit.”
This report shares with funders a means to better align their funding models with Native-led organizational values and approaches. It also highlights the importance of respecting and valuing Indigenous evaluation methodologies and outcomes.
“We are grateful to the NB3 Foundation and the Indigenous leaders they assembled for showing all of us, especially funders trying to assist Indigenous people, how to be better, more humble agents of healing and wellbeing,” said Dr. Michael Painter, MD, Senior Program Officer, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.
It is critical that the quality of life for Native and Indigenous youth and families is improved, that there is respect for tribal and community values, and an assurance that Native-led organizations receive the necessary financial support to sustainably operate.
Available for download HERE.

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