Updated May 24, 2020

New — May 24: Funding Resources. This document lists various external funding opportunities.

The COVID-19 pandemic and international response have created grave implications, especially for those in Indian Country. To support Native communities, First Nations has collected and reviewed the following tools and resources focusing on five key areas:

  • Understanding COVID-19
  • Understanding the CARES Act
  • Emergency Funds: What’s Available and How to Access Funds
  • Perspectives from Indian Country
  • Keep Learning and Growing Together


This list is succinct by design and will be continually updated. Please share this with others and, if you know of resources that would benefit Native communities during this difficult time, please send them to rfoxworth@firstnations.org.

See First Nations’ Response to Coronavirus here.


PayCheck Protection Program: Urgent & Time Sensitive
The Paycheck Protection Program is among the most important options for nonprofits and small businesses. The funds are available on a first-come, first served basis, so it is important to get applications in early. Nonprofits can begin applying April 3, 2020. To learn more, visit:

U.S. Small Business Administration
Independent Sector

National Council of Nonprofits
The National Council of Nonprofits offers helpful information on how nonprofits can benefit from the CARES Act (Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act).

Nonprofit Times
The Nonprofit Times provides a high-level overview of the many benefits to nonprofits.
7 Ways CARES Act Financially Supports Nonprofits

Indian Country Today
Indian Country Today provides an overview for tribes on the federal COVID-19 relief bill written by Sarah Walters (Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe), a shareholder at Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck.
What You Need to Know About the Federal Covid-19 Relief Bill

Arnold & Porter
This law firm offers an additional overview of the CARES Act.
2020 CARES Act — FAQs for Nonprofit Organizations and Donors





New — June 24, 2020: Funding Resources. This document lists various external funding opportunities.

Seventh Generation Fund for Indigenous Peoples
Seventh Generation Fund for Indigenous Peoples has established a Rapid Response to Indigenous Communities in Times of Crisis fund providing $5,000 in grant support to Indigenous community-generated and -led initiatives, supporting:

  • Basic and urgent health and wellness needs of the most vulnerable with a focus on elders and multi-generational households and families with children under the age of 5 years old;
  • Traditional healing practices and remedies, food systems, and immune support; and
  • Historic and cultural teachings, stories, and lifeways that advance traditional knowledge systems that inform community members on health, healing, and moving forward.

Community Foundation Public Awareness Initiative
More than 200 U.S. community foundations in 49 states, plus the District of Columbia, have created relief funds to support those affected by COVID-19 directing critical relief to local nonprofits and partnering with local governments and health organizations to help contain its spread.

Giving Compass
Giving Compass and National Center for Family Philanthropy have collaborated to create a comprehensive list of vetted COVID-19 relief funds. While this site is set up to enlist funds, it is helpful in identifying funds as well. You can also see an interactive map here.

American Indian Science and Engineering Society (AISES) Together Toward Tomorrow T3 Fund
Native American/Indigenous undergraduate and graduate students enrolled in an accredited U.S. college or university who have been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic are eligible to receive a one-time scholarship of $500. Scholarships are provided based on available funding.

Grantspace by Candid
Grantspace has developed an extensive list of resources and emergency grants available, including emergency grants to individuals and small businesses.

Otto Bremmer Trust Emergency Fund
In response to COVID-19, the Otto Bremer Trust has established a $50 million emergency fund through its Community Benefit Financial Company subsidiary to provide financial support to Minnesota, Wisconsin, North Dakota, and Montana nonprofits and other community organizations impacted by and responding to the pandemic.

New York Community Trust
The NYC COVID-19 Response & Impact Fund was created to aid nonprofit service providers struggling with the health and economic effects of Coronavirus. It will give grants and loans to NYC-based nonprofits that are trying to meet the new and urgent needs that are hitting the city. Priority will be given to nonprofits addressing essential healthcare and food insecurity as well as arts and culture.

Peace First’s COVID-19 Rapid Response Grants for Youth
These grants are designed to help young people ages 13 to 25 lead projects that address community impacts of COVID-19, from providing meals to elderly neighbors to launching digital mental health campaigns to support youth feeling isolated.

Emergent Fund – COVID-19 Response in Communities of Color
The Emergent Fund is focusing grantmaking on organizations that are mobilizing to respond to the impact of COVID-19 on vulnerable communities; are utilizing power-building strategies including but not limited to digital organizing, membership development and outreach, narrative development, direct action; and are led by communities of color.

Supporting Tribal Public Health Capacity in Coronavirus Preparedness & Response
This CDC emergency funding opportunity is designed to fund federally recognized tribes that contract or compact with the Indian Health Service under Title I and Title V of the Indian Self-Determination and Education Assistance Act, or consortia of these tribes, or their bonafide agents. The application deadline is May 31, 2020, by 11:59 pm (EDT).

NDN COVID-19 Response Project
The NDN Collective’s COVID-19 Response Project is designed to provide immediate relief to some of the most underserved communities in the country. NDN’s intent is to quickly distribute resources to frontline organizations, Tribes, and individuals who are providing essential services to Indigenous communities within the next 15-45 days to provide gap resources during this health crisis.

Indigenous Environmental Network
The Indigenous Environmental Network is offering Mutual Aid funding relief in the form of small grants. Due to overwhelming response, the organization has recently updated its grant guidelines and is prioritizing groups and organizations that are offering mutual aid as part of community-organized efforts.



Native Ways Federation
This organization is committed to strengthening the circle of giving by uniting Native organizations, supporting Native communities, and observing the highest level of ethical standards.

Federal Indian Health Care Bureaucracy is Costing Lives by Navajo Nation President Jonathan Nez

The Coronavirus is Exacerbating Vulnerabilities Native Communities Already Face
Vox. March 25, 2020

President Bryan Newland, Bay Mills Indian Community (Michigan)
Bryan Newland, the president of the Bay Mills Indian Community, posted a social media thread about Coronavirus testing in tribal communities. He said the Indian Health Service has failed to live up to promises about testing being readily available to tribal nations.

Tribal Colleges Need Immediate Funding to Confront COVID-19 Challenges
Tribal College Journal of American Indian Higher Education, March 24, 2020

Urban Indian Health Institute
This COVID-19 resource page focuses on the impact across Indian Country, including tribes, Urban Indian Health Programs, and urban Indian communities.

Coronavirus Exposes Public Health Inequities in Indigenous Communities
New York Public Radio



Lesson Plans
The Indian Pueblo Cultural Center is offering free K-12 curriculum and thoughtful unit plans on the complex political, social, cultural, and economic history of the Pueblo Indian Nations of New Mexico, between 1912 and 2012.



  • #NativeReads: Great Books from Indigenous Communities – Stories of the Oceti Sakowin
    In 2020, First Nations partnered with the Oak Lake Writers’ Society to increase knowledge and appreciation of Oceti Sakowin (Dakota, Lakota and Nakota) literatures. They selected 10 recommended books and created a storykeeping timeline, which takes the reader on a journey to better understand early and contemporary Dakota, Lakota and Nakota people and communities.
  • American Indians in Children’s Literature
    This site, established by Dr. Debbie Reese (Nambé Pueblo), provides a critical analysis of Indigenous peoples in children’s and young adult books.  You can also download a children’s book guide created by Dr. Reese.
  • Molly of Denali
    This show follows the daily adventures of 10-year-old Alaska native Molly Mabray, her family, her dog Suki and her friends Tooey and Trini.