First Nations Receives Grant to Bolster Strategies to Educate, Advocate, and Capitalize

First Nations Receives Grant to Bolster Strategies to Educate, Advocate, and Capitalize

Funding from The Schmidt Family Foundation/The 11th Hour Project to help advance Native communities

LONGMONT, Colo. (February 10, 2021) – First Nations Development Institute (First Nations) is honored to announce the receipt of funding from The Schmidt Family Foundations The 11th Hour Project to support First Nations’  investment in the genius of Native communities and their efforts to build the physical, cultural, environmental, social, and economic assets for their people and to strengthen First Nations’ capacity for this work. First Nations President and CEO Michael Roberts said the generous grant of $250,000 will support First Nations’ strategies to educate grassroots practitioners, advocate for systemic change, and capitalize Indian communities.

“This work directly translates into jobs, health, food security, family financial management, education, and more for Native communities,” Roberts said. “And this support from The Schmidt Family Foundation/The 11th Hour Project is a testament to both their ongoing generosity and their vision when it comes to investing in the strength and resilience of Indian populations.”

“First Nations Development Institute is doing essential work to ensure the resilience of Indigenous communities and cultures,” said Wendy Schmidt, president and co-founder of The Schmidt Family Foundation. “It is our privilege to help increase the capacity of Indigenous-led organizations, including First Nations, to exercise their power and their voices for change.”

Over the next year, funding from The Schmidt Family Foundation/The 11th Hour Project will support First Nations’ strategies to build strong, well-managed and sustainable community organizations; encourage the larger philanthropic community to overcome their overall lack of familiarity with Native American issues and to recognize the worthiness of Native-led programs and organizations; and provide grants that augment the priority of educating grassroots practitioners.

Short- and long-term goals of this work include but are not limited to:

  • Continue to operate the COVID-19 Emergency Response Fund to provide financial support to Native-controlled nonprofit organizations and tribes on the front lines of meeting their communities’ urgent daily needs (including food, clean water, and personal safety) and longer-term economic and cultural resiliency related to the pandemic.
  • Further develop the Stewarding Native Lands program to focus on conservation of natural resources and protection of resources through environmental justice.
  • Communicate research findings and messages to raise the profile of tribes, Native nonprofit organizations, and Native issues; counter false narratives; and put forth more accurate Native-led narratives about poverty issues in their communities.
  • Create platforms for systemic and policy changes in Native communities that will contribute to social, physical, cultural, and economic health.

More information about First Nations’ programs can be found at

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