Our Values

Our Mission

Our mission is to strengthen American Indian economies to support healthy Native communities. We invest in and create innovative institutions and models that strengthen asset control and support economic development for American Indian people and their communities.

With the support of individuals, foundations, corporate and tribal donors, First Nations Development Institute improves economic conditions for Native Americans through technical assistance & training, advocacy & policy, and direct financial grants in five key areas:

  • Achieving Native Financial Empowerment
  • Investing in Native Youth
  • Strengthening Tribal & Community Institutions
  • Advancing Household & Community Asset-Building Strategies
  • Nourishing Native Foods & Health

First Nations is the most highly-rated American Indian nonprofit in the nation. Indeed, for the seventh year in a row, First Nations has received the top 4-Star rating from Charity Navigator — only 4% of the nonprofits it rates achieve this highest distinction for seven consecutive years.

Founded in 1980, First Nations began its national grantmaking program in 1993. Through mid-year 2018, we have successfully managed 1,489 grants totaling more than $31.7 million to Native American projects and organizations in 39 states, the District of Columbia and U.S. Territory American Samoa.

  • See our Core Values and Guiding Principles here.
  • Read about the first 35 years of First Nations’ history here.
  • Follow a timeline of our evolution here.

See our Core Values and Guiding Principles

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Read about the first 35 years of First Nations' history

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Follow a timeline of our evolution

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