California Tribal Fund

The California Tribal Fund was created to support California-based, California-Native-led nonprofits and tribal programs in controlling and protecting their food systems, water, languages, traditional ecological knowledge, and land.  Learn more about why this support is so important.

The mission of the California Tribal Fund is to invest in the viability and visibility of California Tribal Nations, communities, and families. We are committed to eternalizing our cultures and traditions while honoring the historical fortitude of our ancestors. Read more about our mission, vision, and Guiding Principles here.

Through the California Tribal Fund, First Nations has awarded over $1.8 million in grants to 100 Native-led California organizations to help them continue vital programs and services. 

The California Tribal Fund is made possible with funding from The California Endowment, Swift Foundation, Highlands 3:23 Fund, Ceres Trust, and 11th Hour Project. The fund began as a collaboration between First Nations and board members and staff of the California Indian Basketweavers’ Association.

The Fund is steered by an Advisory Board of California tribal leaders and cultural practitioners. This board meets regularly to assess ways to support, serve, and strengthen federally recognized Tribes and non-recognized Tribes in California.

Check back to learn about future grant opportunities, and see links below to specific California Tribal Fund projects.

If you have questions about the California Tribal Fund or would like more information, please contact Rebecca Tortes, Associate Director, California Tribal Fund, at

Returning the People’s Land to the Tongva Community

The Gabrieleno /Tongva San Gabriel Band of Mission Indians is reclaiming one acre of its land through its Tongva-led nonprofit, the Taraxat Paaxaavxa Conservancy. The public announcement of this land reclamation was officially made with a story in the Los Angeles Times titled, “After nearly 200 years, the Tongva community has land in Los Angeles County.”

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The Historic Malki Museum: ‘We’re COVID-Safe!’

Last year, a digital billboard off Highway 10 in Banning, California, not far from the Morongo Band of Mission Indians Reservation, flashed this reassuring message for three months: “Malki Museum: Celebrating Southern California Indian Culture for over 50 Years. We’re COVID-Safe!” The eye-catching, state-of-the-art messaging, with an emphasis on COVID safety, cost the museum $10,000. And it was worth every penny.

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‘Ačaam Together’: California Tribe Celebrates Language Through Seasonal Songs

How do you keep a Tribal community united and strong during a global pandemic, especially when a state prohibits citizens from gathering in person to celebrate their long-held traditions? The answer for the Fernandeño Tataviam Band of Mission Indians was “Ačaam (singing) Together,” a musical instruction program taught via Zoom that drew families and friends together around the tribe’s language and culture.

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