Almost $1.5 Million Awarded in Emergency Funds

Response to Recovery: First Nations Emergency Funding to Native Communities Hits Almost $1.5 Million

LONGMONT, Colorado (July 16, 2020) – Coronavirus continues to impact the world, with disproportionate effects throughout Indian Country, where social determinants of health already play a compromising role. In response, First Nations Development Institute (First Nations) today announced another round of Emergency Response Fund grants, bringing the total amount awarded to $1,441,500 to 102 organizations (including in Alaska and Hawaii). Again, 100% of Emergency Response funds are being directed to Native organizations, without withholding administrative fees or overhead.

In total in this latest round, 21 Native nations and organization were awarded $257,500. First Nations launched the Emergency Response Fund in April 2020, with an initial round of $635,000 directed to 35 Native nations and organizations. A complete list of recipients and funders can be found here.

Michael Roberts, First Nations President and CEO, shared his gratitude for the many individuals and organizations that have made the Emergency Response Fund possible. “We’re seeing an outpouring of support nationwide and internationally,” he said. “This has resulted in not only financial relief, but also greater awareness of the grave implications of the pandemic on Native communities and the vulnerabilities that have existed all along when it comes to their health, safety, and longevity. Both are essential as we move forward.”

As states push toward reopening and prepare for spikes, Native-led organizations will need funding for general operations and for creating systems for contract tracing, social distancing, and ongoing sanitation protocols. “This is challenging for all communities who are putting safety measures in place for reopening and returning, but for Indian Country, those challenges can be even more overwhelming, making sustainability even harder.” Roberts said.

The Emergency Response Fund is made possible thanks to generous funders as well as an outpouring of support from individual donors. A full list of funders and grantees can be found here, along with a secure donation form to contribute to the response fund. More information about First Nations’ shift to recovery efforts can be found here.

About First Nations Development Institute
For 40 years, using a three-pronged strategy of educating grassroots practitioners, advocating for systemic change, and capitalizing Indian communities, First Nations has been working to restore Native American control and culturally-compatible stewardship of the assets they own – be they land, human potential, cultural heritage or natural resources – and to establish new assets for ensuring the long-term vitality of Native American communities. First Nations serves Native American communities throughout the United States. For more information, visit



Michael Roberts, President & CEO or (303) 774-7836