Updated August 31, 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, $1,814,500 in immediate and swift emergency funds have been awarded to 137 select Native nations and Native-led organizations (including in Alaska and Hawaii) 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 July 13, 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
Cheyenne 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

Fifth Round – June 11, 2020, $100,000 dispersed to 10 Native nations and organizations:

Oneida Nation of Wisconsin Oneida Emergency Food Pantry, Oneida, Wisconsin
Minnow/Fiscal Agent Sustainable Economies Law Center, California communities
Nahata Dziil 14R Ranch, Sanders, Arizona
Cankdeska Cikana Community College, Fort Totten, North Dakota
Native American Community Development Institute, Minneapolis, Minnesota
Shinnecock Indian Nation, Southampton, New York
Mashpee Wamponag Tribe, Mashpee, Massachusetts
Native Village of Tyonek, Tyonek, Alaska
Native Village of Port Heiden, Port Heiden, Alaska
Chickaloon Village Traditional Council/Chickaloon Native Village, Chickaloon, Alaska

Sixth Round – July 7, 2020, $130,000 dispersed to 11 Native nations and organizations:

Aina Momona, Kaunakakai, Hawaii
American Indian Community House, New York, New York
Anchorage Tribes Tlingit & Haida Indians of Alaska, Anchorage, Alaska
Havasupai, Supai, Arizona
Hualapai Tribe, Peach Springs, Arizona
Karuk Tribe, Happy Camp, California
Makoce Agriculture Development (Fiscal Sponsor NDN Collective), Pine Ridge, South Dakota
Meskwaki Food Sovereignty Initiative, Tama, Iowa
Mni Wiconi Clinic, Mandan, North Dakota
Peacekeeper Society, Harrah, Washington
Southcentral Foundation, Anchorage, Alaska

Seventh Round – July 10, 2020, $127,500 dispersed to 10 Native nations and organizations:

Blackfeet, Browning, Montana
Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs, Warm Springs, Oregon
Four Directions Inc. (Fiscal Sponsor Real Food America), Chamberlain, South Dakota
Hopi Education Endowment Fund, Kykotsmovi, Arizona
Painted Desert Demonstration Project (The STAR School), Flagstaff, Arizona
Pascua Yaqui Tribe, Tuscon, Arizona
Passamaquoddy Tribe, Indian Township, Maine
Wadookodaading Inc., Hayward, Wisconsin
Wolakota Waldorf Society, Kyle, South Dakota
Ysleta del Sur Pueblo, El Paso, Texas

Eighth Round – August 6, 2020, $135,000 dispersed to 12 Native nations and organizations:

Great Plains Action Society (Fiscal Sponsor: Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement), Sioux City, Iowa
Yurok Tribe, Klamath, California
Yankton Sioux Tribe, Wagner, South Dakota
Western Native Voice, Billings, Montana
Qawalangin Tribe of Unalaska, Unalaska, Alaska
Southern California American Indian Resource Center (SCAIR, Inc.), El Cajon, California
Institute of American Indian Arts, Santa Fe, New Mexico
Lumbee Tribe of North Carolina, Pembroke, North Carolina
Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium, Anchorage, Alaska
Sustainable Molokai, Kaunakakai, Hawaii
Hui Malama Ola Na Oiwi, Hilo, Hawaii
Alu Like, Honolulu, Hawaii

9th Round – August 27, 2020, $115,000 dispersed to 11 Native nations and organizations:

Chilkat Indian Village, Klukwan, Alaska
Mississippi Band of Choctaw, Choctaw, Mississippi
Native American Youth and Family Center (NAYA), Portland, Oregon
Kualoa-He’eia Ecumenical Youth (KEY) Project, Kane’ohe, Hawaii
Hanalei River Heritage Foundation, Anahola, Hawaii
Isle de Jean Charles Band of Biloxi-Chitimacha-Choctaw, Montegut, Louisiana
Indigenous Women Rising (Fiscal Sponsor New Mexico Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice), Albuquerque, New Mexico
Santa Rosa Rancheria Tachi Yokut Tribe, Lemore, California
Ilisagvik College, Barrow, Alaska
Native American Health Center, Oakland, California
Hesapa Birth Circle (Fiscal Sponsor NDN Collective), Rapid City, South Dakota

10th Round – August 29, 2020, $123,000 dispersed to 12 Native nations and organizations:

Wukchumni Indian Tribe, Tulare County, California
Picuris Pueblo, Penasco, New Mexico
Lunalilo Home, Honolulu, Hawaii
Saint Regis Mohawk Tribe, Akwesasne, New York
Hawaiian Community Assets, Honolulu, Hilo & Anahola, Hawaii
Native Women Lead (Fiscal Sponsor New Mexico Community Capital), Albuquerque, New Mexico
Change Labs, Tuba City, Arizona
Alaska Village Initiatives, Anchorage, Alaska
Euchee (Yuchi) Language Project, Sapulpa, Oklahoma
Ida’ina K’eljeshna Friendship Dancers (Fiscal Sponsor Tebughna Foundation), Anchorage, Alaska
StrongHearts Native Helpline (Fiscal Sponsor National Indigenous Women’s Resource Center), Eagan, Minnesota
Native Peoples Action Inc., Anchorage, Alaska

 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)
Wallace Center at Winrock International
Watters, LLC

Emergency Response Funders – Thank you!

American Express
Calhoun/Christiano Family Fund of the Community Foundation for San Benito County
Ceres Trust
CSAA Insurance Group, a AAA Insurer
Ford Foundation
Globetrotter Foundation
Henry Luce Foundation
Hill-Snowden Foundation
Nell Newman Foundation
Northwest Area Foundation
Proteus Fund
Swift Foundation
The California Endowment
The Schmidt Family Foundation
W.K. Kellogg Foundation
And numerous generous family foundations, donor-advised funds, and 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.