Native-Led Work

The wealth of our region is rooted in Native lands and communities—and we’re committed to both acknowledging and honoring that history. We devote 40 percent of new grant dollars to Native-led organizations working to advance economic, social, and cultural prosperity for their communities.

A Commitment to Funding Self-Determined Prosperity and Lasting Change for Native Communities

In 2012, we committed to invest 40 percent of our annual grant dollars in support of Native-led organizations. From 2012 to 2023, we invested more than $87 million in Native-led organizations—45.6 percent of our $192 million in awarded grants during that period.

We’ve met, and often exceeded, our 40 percent commitment since 2012 with funding focused on supporting efforts that produce good jobs, thriving businesses, and restructured systems to strengthen Native communities. Our goal has been, and will continue to be, to support resourceful problem solvers working to build equitable economies within Native communities, where prosperity is locally defined and is shared by all.

Our funding and strategy are guided by listening to our Native-led grantee organizations and understanding how we can best be allies now and in the future. We’ve learned a lot from our Native-led grantee partners, and these learnings helped guide our new grantmaking approach.

Four Key Concepts Strengthen Our Grantmaking for Native Communities

Collaboration Is Key
We must collaborate with other funding institutions working in our priority communities to build stronger ties between tribal governments, state and federal agencies, and our Foundation.
Grantees Inform Us
We need to keep improving our understanding of the context of the communities we serve, using the expertise of our grantees to deeply inform our grantmaking approaches.
Culturally Anchored Models Work
We must continue to make grants based on models that grow economic systems in Indian Country and that are rooted in Native culture.
Systems Change Is Grounded in Justice

Our broader vision of advancing racial, social, and economic justice results from supporting changemakers who help Native Americans thrive on their own terms by liberating themselves from policies, practices, and beliefs designed to disadvantage them.

We are honored to support our Native-led grantees as they respond to the aspirations and needs of the people they serve, reimagine solutions to address new realities, and restructure systems for stronger communities.

Let us know about your organization.

If you’re from a Native-led group within our region of eight states and 76 Native nations that share the same geography, give us your contact info and a detail or two about how your work connects to our four funding portfolios and provides a better, more equitable future for Native communities. We’ll keep your info on file for updates and to contact you if/when there are opportunities for further engagement.

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