LONGMONT - First Nations Development Institute, a nonprofit organization in Longmont, and the Taos County Economic Development Corp. in New Mexico are taking the lead to form the Native American Food Sovereignty Alliance.

The alliance will address food security, hunger and nutrition in Native American communities at the national, tribal and local levels.

The organizers see the work of the alliance as crucial in the areas of health, nutrition and cultural identity. They also believe the reclaiming of control of native food systems will promote further economic development in Native American communities.

Funding for the alliance effort was provided by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, which also underwrites numerous other native agriculture and food-related projects through First Nations.

The first in-person meeting of interested parties will take place during the separate Food Sovereignty Summit in Green Bay, Wisconsin, April 15-18, an event that is jointly sponsored by First Nations, the Oneida Nation of Wisconsin, Intertribal Agriculture Council and Northeast Wisconsin Technical College.

Anyone interested in funding food-systems work in American Indian communities should contact Sarah EchoHawk, executive vice president of First Nations, a nonprofit organization, by emailing sechohawk@firstnations.org.