Updated May 28, 2020

The call to protect elders and sustain Native culture is a familiar sight throughout Indian Country.

First Nations Development Institute is responding to American Indian, Alaska Native, and Native Hawaiian community emergency needs related to the COVID-19 pandemic to minimize the risk of Native communities becoming collateral damage.

The COVID-19 Emergency Response Fund is designed to distribute funds efficiently and swiftly to Native nonprofit organizations and tribal programs that need it most. Initially, funds are being prioritized in high-concentration areas – California, New Mexico, the Pacific Northwest, New York, Navajo Nation, Hopi Tribe and COVID-19 hotspots.

Donate now to support Native communities!

First Nations is passing through 100% of donations to the COVID-19 Emergency Response Fund without any agency cost. The entire amount of any donations and grants received from foundations will reach Native communities directly. Donate here!

So far, $1,083,000 in immediate and swift emergency funds have been awarded to 71 select Native nations and Native-led organizations to support human services, response and relief efforts. See a list of them below.

First Nations has also coordinated the donation of over 21,000 gallons of water and over 14,000 pounds of USDA-certified meat, and we helped coordinate PPE donations directly to Indian communities. See the full list of food and supply donation partners here.

The First Nations’ COVID-19 Emergency Response Fund is made possible thanks to the generous support of donors and funders. See the full list of funders here.

One of First Nations’ many coordinated donations arrives at Zuni Pueblo’s Wellness Center and Emergency Mobile Pantry.

Why donations are so important

Native communities (both urban and rural) are often invisible in “normal” times. This is exacerbated in times of crisis. Native communities are ripe for the effects of COVID-19 to intensify at extraordinary levels as follows:

  • With health already compromised by high rates of diabetes, heart disease, hypertension, and other chronic illnesses, Native people are a seriously at-risk population.
  • 13% of Native American homes lack safe drinking water and proper wastewater disposal, creating conditions in which recommended sanitary standards cannot be maintained.
  • 16% of homes in tribal areas are overcrowded and multigenerational, making social distancing impossible.
  • Food shortages and the logistics of accessing food further threaten the health and resilience of Native families. An overlay of the USDA Food Deserts Locator map with Native communities shows a marked absence of retail supermarkets, meaning that healthy, fresh, or any food is not easily accessible for Native people.

Learn more in this Information Sheet.

Please help Native communities during this unprecedented crisis

All funds raised for First Nations’ COVID-19 Emergency Response Fund go directly to support Native organizations on the front lines of COVID-19. Donate here to send funds expressly to them.

Get more information here

First Nations’ Response to Coronavirus
Tools and Resources for Coronavirus, including Emergency Funding
Funding Resource Document — New and Updated May 26, 2020

 Emergency Response Fund Grantees

Initial Round – April 2020, $635,000 dispersed to 35 Native nations and organizations:

American Indian Community Housing Organization, Duluth, Minnesota
Center Pole, Garryowen, Montana
Cherokee Nation, Tahlequah, Oklahoma
Chief Seattle Club, Seattle, Washington
Diné be’ iiná Inc., Window Rock Arizona
Hopi School Kykotsmovi, Arizona
Hopi Tribe, Kykotsmovi, Arizona
Intertribal Friendship House, Oakland, California
Leech Lake Nation, Cass Lake, Minnesota
Lower Sioux Indian Community, Morton, Minnesota
Lummi Nation (Lhaq’temish Foundation), Bellingham, Washington
Makah Cultural and Research Center, Neah Bay, Washington
Makah Tribe, Neah Bay, Washington
Minneapolis American Indian Center, Minneapolis, Minnesota
National Indigenous Women’s Resource Center, Inc., Lame Deer, Montana
Native American Youth and Family Center, Portland, Oregon
Navajo Nation, Window Rock, Arizona
New Mexico Community Foundation Pueblo & Navajo Fund, New Mexico
Oyate Networking Project, Kyle, South Dakota
Pine Ridge Area Chamber of Commerce, Kyle, South Dakota
Poeh Cultural Center, Santa Fe, New Mexico
Pueblo of Zia, Zia Pueblo, New Mexico
Red Lake Nation, Red Lake, Minnesota
San Felipe Pueblo, San Felipe Pueblo, New Mexico
Santo Domingo Pueblo, Santo Domingo Pueblo, New Mexico
Spirit of the Sun, Denver, Colorado
Suquamish Tribe, Suquamish, Washington
Tananawit, Warm Springs, Oregon
Tsaile/Wheatfields Dineh Water Users, Tsaile, Arizona
Tulalip Foundation, Tulalip, Washington
United Houma Nation, Golden Meadow, Louisiana
United Indians for All Tribes Foundation, Seattle, Washington
White Earth Nation, Ogema, Minnesota
Yak Tityu Tityu Yak Tilhini Northern Chumash, San Luis Obispo, California
Zuni Youth Enrichment Project, Zuni, New Mexico

Second Round – May 6, 2020, $111,000 dispersed to 12 Native nations and organizations:

First Alaskans Institute, Anchorage, Alaska
Hopi Foundation, Kykotsmovi Village, Arizona
Indian Pueblo Cultural Center, Albuquerque, New Mexico
Ke Kula Nui O Waimanalo, Waimanalo, Hawaii
Manchester Point Arena Pomo, Point Arena, California
New Mexico Farmers’ Marketing Association, Santa Fe, New Mexico
Project PPE New Mexico, New Mexico
Pueblo de Cochiti, Cochiti, New Mexico
Seeded Sisters Community Project (Center of Southwest Cultures), Albuquerque, New Mexico
Spokane Tribe, Wellpinit, Washington
Tolani Lake Livestock and Water Users Association, Winslow, Arizona
Waimea Hawaiian Homesteaders’ Association, Kamuela, Hawaii

Third Round – May 15, 2020, $188,000 dispersed to 14 Native nations and organizations:

Boys & Girls Club of the Northern Cheyenne Nation, Lame Deer, Montana
Carrizo/Comecrudo Tribe of Texas, Floresville, Texas
Cheyanne River Sioux Tribe, Eagle Butte, South Dakota
City of Hoonah, Hoonah, Alaska
Denver Indian Center, Denver, Colorado
Laulima Kuha’o, Lanai, Hawaii
MA’O Organic Farms, Waianae, Hawaii
Pueblo of Acoma, Acoma, New Mexico
Pyramid Lake Paiute, Nixon, Nevada
Southern Ute Indian Tribe, Ignacio, Colorado
Thunder Valley CDC, Porcupine, South Dakota
Ute Mountain Ute, Towaoc, Colorado
Waimea Homesteaders Association, Kamuela, Hawaii
White Mountain Apache Tribe, Whiteriver, Arizona

Fourth Round – May 28, 2020, $150,000 dispersed to 11 Native nations and organizations:

Ajo Center for Sustainable Agriculture, Ajo, Arizona
Blackfeet Nation, Browning, Montana
Chickasaw Nation, Ada, Oklahoma
Columbia River Inter-Tribal Fish Commission, Portland, Oregon
Laulima Kuha’o, Lanai, Hawaii
Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians, Choctaw, Mississippi
National Indian Child Welfare Association, Portland, Oregon
Oneida Nation Arts Program (Oneida Nation), Oneida, Wisconsin
Organized Village of Kake, Kake, Alaska
Osage Nation Foundation, Southlake, Texas
Red Paint Creek Food Pantry, Harlem, Montana

 Food and Supply Donation Partners

Crystal Springs Bottled Water
Del Monte Capitol Meat Company (The Chefs’ Warehouse)
Mariposa Ranch
Perdue Premium Meat Company (Perdue Farms)
Polk’s Folly Farm
Quivera Coalition
Trilogy Beef Community
UNFI (United Natural Foods)
Watters, LLC

Emergency Response Funders – Thank you!

Calhoun/Christiano Family Fund of the Community Foundation for San Benito County
Ceres Trust
Ford Foundation
Globetrotter Foundation
Henry Luce Foundation
Nell Newman Foundation
Northwest Area Foundation
Philanthropiece
Swift Foundation
The California Endowment
The Schmidt Family Foundation
W.K. Kellogg Foundation
And numerous generous individual donors from across the U.S.

First Nations will continue to make grants directly to Native-led organizations as more funds are committed. To help First Nations reach more communities, donate here.