Current Projects

Colorado Plateau Food Systems Capacity Building Project

Colorado Plateau Food Systems Capacity Building Project

The Colorado Plateau is a large geographic area covering parts of Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico and Utah. The development of power generation on the Colorado Plateau has negatively impacted tribes and Native communities in the area.  In an effort to combat these challenges, The Christensen Fund and the USDA-Rural Community Development Initiatives have each donated $50,000 ($100,000 total) to improve their local food systems and strengthen their economies:

Diné bé Iiná (The Navajo Lifeway), Window Rock, Arizona

Diné bé Iina will work to promote economic development, maintain culture, provide food and restore farming. Diné bé Iiná is a nonprofit organization of producers and weavers that aims to assist sheep, goat and fiber producers on the Navajo Nation with technical and educational information that supports economic self-sufficiency.

Ute Mountain Ute Tribe Environmental Programs Department, Towaoc, Colorado

This grant will be used to implement a community garden and provide related educational and awareness activities. The department has assisted these efforts by organizing the garden planning group and advising on development strategy and funding considerations. Overall, the department is responsible for administering public health and environmental protection programs on the Ute Mountain Ute tribal lands.

White Mountain Apache Tribe Ndee Bikiyaa (People’s Farm), Whiteriver, Arizona

The People’s Farm is focused on achieving certification for their organic farming efforts with a mission to revitalize farming and agricultural practices by involving youth, elders and communities.

About The Christensen Fund

The Christensen Fund is a private foundation founded in 1957 and based in San Francisco, California. Since 2003, its focus has been bio-cultural diversity. Under a complex, holistic approach, the Fund seeks to support the resilience of living diversity at landscape and community level around the world in partnerships with indigenous peoples and others. Its grant-making programs are currently focused around five unusual geographic priority regions and selected global bio-cultural initiatives. More information can be found at

About the USDA-RCDI Grant

The purpose of the USDA-RCDI Grant is to develop the capacity and ability of private, nonprofit community-based housing and community development organizations, and low-income rural communities to improve housing, community facilities, community and economic development projects in rural areas.

This institution is an equal opportunity provider, and employer.