First Nations Awards Over $2.4 Million in Funding to Address Climate Change and Promote Environmental Justice

LONGMONT, Colorado (January 18, 2023) – First Nations Development Institute (First Nations) has announced the 25 Native community partners to receive support to conduct and operationalize climate change plans, amplify the power of traditional ecological knowledge, and expand green jobs workforce development. Selected Native-led nonprofit organizations and Tribal governments each received from $40,000 to $100,000 in grant support to create or advance green jobs, implement climate resiliency plans, or facilitate discussions on ways Native Nations are using Indigenous knowledge and practices to mitigate and adapt to climate change. Learn about each of the grantees here.

The grants were part of First Nations’ Climate Change and Environmental Justice project, created in partnership with the Bezos Earth Fund, which made it possible to implement a $1 million grant program, as well as lead multiple efforts to support community partners in addressing climate change and promoting environmental justice.

The Bezos Earth Fund is a $10 billion commitment launched in 2020 to fund scientists, activists, NGOs, and private-sector entities that are taking critical action to combat the climate crisis, preserve and protect the natural world, and support climate justice.

First Nations Director of Programs, Stewarding Native Lands, Shaun Grassel, Ph.D., said the grantees received support through the three targeted aspects of the project. “The project design allows First Nations to take a comprehensive approach to environmental challenges, and empower Native communities to implement and share the traditional ecological knowledge that best stewards our lands.”

The project’s three focus areas are:

Green Jobs in Indian Country supports Native communities that are in the early stages of developing and/or expanding programs that support green job development in response to climate change. First Nations awarded 10 grants averaging $100,000 each to organizations to develop a workforce that is ready to address the ongoing and increasing effects of climate change in Native communities across the country.

Racial Equity Justice40: Climate Resiliency in Indian Country is catalyzing a critical mass of tribes and Native-led nonprofit organizations to conduct and operationalize climate change plans and amplify the power of traditional ecological knowledge. First Nations awarded 11 grants of up to $100,000 each for projects related to the development or implementation of climate resiliency planning.

Racial Equity Justice40: Regional Dialogues on Climate Resiliency supports Native-led organizations to convene Native Nations and organizations to discuss Tribal climate resiliency and the U.S. Justice40 initiative in Native communities. First Nations awarded 4 grants of up to $100,000 each to Native-led projects related to the planning and hosting of regional-focused climate resiliency conversations.

Also through this project, First Nations is leading efforts to increase awareness of climate resiliency efforts happening in Indian Country by amplifying the work of First Nations’ grantees through story-telling, publications, video, and social media. News and updates from First Nations’ community partners will be featured on First Nations’ news channels throughout the funding period to showcase grantee projects as they are developed, implemented, and evaluated.

About First Nations Development Institute
For over 42 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