COVID-19 Emergency Support Continues to Native Communities

LONGMONT, Colorado (November 23, 2020) – First Nations Development Institute (First Nations) today announced its latest round of Emergency Response Fund grants, bringing the total amount awarded to $2,508,500 in 191 grants to Native nations and Native-led organizations.

This funding continues to be imperative as the pandemic enters its ninth month of wreaking havoc on the nation. Indian Country remains at high risk due to already vulnerable infrastructures, lack of technology, and effects of poverty. In fact, it’s been reported that the states with the highest levels of COVID-19 cases and deaths per capita this week are in North Dakota, where there are five Native American tribes, and South Dakota, where there are nine Native American tribes.

In response to recent surges, communities across the country are tightening restrictions, including the Navajo Nation, which has reinstated a three-week stay-home lockdown.

Michael Roberts, President and CEO of First Nations, said the multiple closings will have long-term implications on Native economies, health, and well-being, further underscoring the need for emergency funds. “We are so grateful for the support we’ve received from donors and organizations for these Native communities. Their dedication and generosity have made it possible for First Nations to continue issuing regular and significant grants to organizations throughout Indian Country.”

Native-led organizations served through the Emergency Response Fund will be able to use funding for general operating expenses to stay open and to continue essential programs for their communities. Roberts said this unrestricted funding is essential in light of First Nations’ survey finding that Native leaders are operating in an environment of extreme uncertainty about what the future will look like, including the future of funding, organizational operations, and staffing.

Donations to First Nations’ Emergency Response Fund continue to be accepted. To learn more about the fund and make a secure gift, go to

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

Amy Jakober, Senior Communications Officer or (303) 774-7836