More California Tribes Receive Funding to Face Challenges of COVID-19

LONGMONT, Colorado (January 19, 2021) – This month, 16 additional Native-led organizations in California received funding through First Nations Development Institute’s California Tribal Fund in support of COVID-19 relief and recovery efforts.

Fund Program Officer Rebecca Tortes said the grant funding is designed to help the selected organizations continue vital programs and services to their communities that have been compromised due to the COVID-19 pandemic. “California’s Native communities have been some of the hardest hit in this country. But we continue to see the resiliency of our people and the many organizations that are focused on growth and renewal,” she said. “Through this fund, we’re able to support their work in creating positive change in Indian Country.”

The funding is made possible through First Nation’s California COVID-19 Emergency Response Fund, sponsored by the Stuart Foundation, The California Endowment Fund, Hewlett Foundation, and Regenerative Agriculture Foundation. The fund is administered through First Nations’ California Tribal Fund, sponsored by The California Endowment, Swift Foundation, Highlands 3:23 Fund, Ceres Trust, and 11th Hour Project, which was created to invest in the viability and visibility of California’s Tribal nations, communities, and families.

Through the fund, the following California Native-led organizations each received grants of an average $10,000 to be used for general operating support and for emergency relief, health care, equipment, and reopening expenses:

  • Advocates for Indigenous California Language Survival, Fresno
  • Bishop Paiute Tribe, Bishop
  • California Indian Museum & Cultural Center, Santa Rosa
  • Fernandeño Tataviam Band of Mission Indians, San Fernando
  • Gabrieleno / Tongva San Gabriel Band of Mission Indians, San Gabriel
  • Indian Cultural Organization, Redding
  • Ione Band of Miwok Indians, Plymouth
  • Mesa Grande Band of Mission Indians, Ramona
  • Miwok Heritage Center, Ione
  • Native American Pathways, Hoopa
  • Northern California Tribal Court Coalition, Eureka
  • Pukuu Cultural Community Services, San Fernando
  • Robinson Rancheria Band of Pomo Indians, Nice
  • Save California Salmon, Orleans
  • Yak Tityu Tityu Yak Tilhini, San Luis Obispo
  • Yurok Tribe, Klamath

These grantees add to the 11 California Native nonprofits that received funding in summer 2020. More information on all grantees can be found at

This California COVID-19 Emergency Response Fund is part of First Nations’ overall COVID-19 funding, which has resulted in over $2.7 million to 215 Native organizations nationwide.

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

Rebecca Tortes, First Nations Lead Program Officer – California Tribal Fund or (303) 774-7836

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