Current Projects

Native Youth and Culture Fund: 2015-2019

First Nations launched the Native Youth and Culture Fund in 2002 with generous support from Kalliopeia Foundation and other foundations and tribal, corporate and individual supporters.

Since then, over 10,000 Native youth have benefited from youth opportunities that support the perpetuation of traditional knowledge, spirituality and the intergenerational transfer of knowledge systems.

Community partners from 2015 to 2019 are listed below.

For the most recent information on the fund, return to the Native Youth and Culture Fund page.

2019: $410,000

Aseshate:ka'te Grief Services, New York, $19,100

Past Meets Future: A youth and elder summer program for 30 youth ages 13-18 years. Attendees will participate in the Haudenosaunee culture utilizing Mohawk language to demonstrate their place within their clan, nation, confederacy and creation while also ensuring mental, emotional, physical and spiritual well-being. This will be achieved by having a seven-day fire where traditional knowledge holders will come together to support these youth in traditional knowledge and language, which will help to overcome the damages of intergenerational trauma and colonization.

Boys and Girls Club of the Northern Cheyenne Nation, Montana, $19,100

This project will help retain Northern Cheyenne customs by involving youth in several cultural enrichment activities from sweats to naming ceremonies, to traditional plant harvesting for ceremonial meals. These activities are meant to teach youth about their customs and traditions.

Children of the Setting Sun Productions, Washington, $19,100

The Youth Podcast Network and Youth Advisory Council is an intergenerational project within the Lummi reservation community. Youth will research, write, interview, record, edit and publish the episodes, learning the requisite skills as they go. Included in this process is learning and practicing the appropriate cultural protocols: respect of elders, gift-giving, strengthening knowledge of the language, and learning and sharing tribal stories. This keeps alive ancient oral traditions with modern technologies while teaching leadership skills and pride in culture.

Dakota Wicohan, Minnesota, $19,100

In the Wikoska/Wiciyenna Dance Regalia project, at least 10 young women from the Upper and Lower Sioux communities of Minnesota will learn about, design and construct their own Dakota dance regalia to wear to area powwows. They will be guided by apprentice artists who have studied extensively with Master Artists. Art forms taught will include textiles, beading, parfleche and quilling.

Igiugig Village, Alaska, $19,100

Reconnecting Yup’ik Youth to the Land will help retain cultural knowledge and empower youth with life skills through flight training, Yup’ik language classes and a culture camp. It will increase the sustainability of life in Igiugig by connecting youth to specialized land-based knowledge from elders and the subsistence lifestyle which is at risk of being lost.

Ke Kula ʻO Piʻilani, Hawaii, $19,100

The Hanai Ai project will help retain the spiritual and physical connection between Native Hawaiians and taro through a series of family-based workshops that will give participants the skills, knowledge and tools to grow taro and prepare poi. Poi is the staple food of the Native Hawaiian. Nutrition and reestablishment of a traditional diet is a pillar of health for the community. This project will equip 20 native youth and families with the knowledge, skills and implements needed to make poi in the traditional way.

Lakota Youth Development, South Dakota, $19,100

Itazipa Kagapi (bow making) will transfer strength and resiliency to Lakota Youth by retaining traditional archery skills and artistry based on the Oceti Sakowin system of societies and allow youth to reclaim their place as archers and competitors among themselves and with other tribal groups across the plains and beyond.

Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa Indians, Michigan, $19,100

Ebishki Wiigwaas Jimaankejik (Youth Birch Bark Boat Builders)- Kamakwendimanaa Mark Wabanimkee Ba (We will remember the late Mark Wabanimkee) will create an opportunity for LTBB youth and elders to work together in order to restore, document, and preserve this cultural teaching of building a Jiiman (canoe) for future generations.

Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe, Massachusetts, $19,100

The “we are the seventh generation” project will offer 30 Mashpee Wampanoag youth ages 10-14, the opportunity to understand the impact of environment on our lives, through introduction to ceremony and traditional activities; and, bridge the gap between youth and culture-keepers, elders who practice ceremony, know the stories and understand traditions. Youth will invest themselves in seasonal cultural activities, with the goal of supporting self-awareness, pride and responsibility.

Menīkānaehkem, Inc., Wisconsin, $19,100

Menīkānaehkem Youth: Connecting to Land for Wellness will utilize inter-generational relationships and traditional knowledge, to foster youth leadership and community organizational skills. It creates a space for youth and elders to build relationships, increase access to traditional tools for empowerment and healing, and connect to the land.


Muscogee (Creek) Nation, Oklahoma, $19,100

The Mvskoke Youth Cultural Arts Mentorship (MYCAM) project will provide an opportunity for 10 MCN citizens to learn and document traditional cultural arts from Mvskoke elders and expert artisans. This project will sustain the Mvskoke way of life through a replicable curriculum focused on intergenerational sharing of cultural knowledge and practices.

Narragansett Indian Tribe, Rhode Island, $$19,100

The Art of Healing will help our Tribal youth retain their cultural and traditional knowledge through youth-elder workshops focused on History and Culture. In doing so it will create a model in which youth will be empowered to “know thyself/heal thyself” with the assistance of the greater Tribal Community. This will be accomplished through many activities including traditional crafts/cultural classes, meeting with elders and constructing/growing multi-generational community gardens.

Native Governance Center, Minnesota, $12,400

The Youth Rebuilders: Indigenous Wellness Retreat will bring a culturally-grounded wellness and leadership experience to young leaders from the Turtle Mountain Youth Council. The retreat will prepare these leaders for future success by enhancing their self-esteem, empowering them to model Indigenous ways of leadership and wellness, and inspiring them to create positive change through new ways of thinking about Tribal governance. The session will create a framework that will be used to shape the expansion of a full program in 2020 to serve youth councils across the region.

Oglala Sioux Tribe, South Dakota, $19,100

The Voices of Elders project will utilize the Lakota language and empower youth to take ownership of Lakota values and lessons. The Lakota language efforts will be student-designed and led with an opportunity for elders and youth to connect through stories, oral histories and cultural knowledge sharing.

One Positive Thing In Kiana, Alaska, $19,100

This project will increase leadership and cultural skills among the Inupiaq youth of Kiana, Alaska, through mentoring and direct training. Through this project, youth will develop skills to increase empowerment and resilience as a result of greater knowledge, cultural expertise and confidence, and youth will further develop as Inupiaq leaders.

Reno Sparks Indian Colony, Nevada, $19,100

The project will strengthen Tribal cultural identity, increase self-esteem, and develop leadership skills for 30 youth participants. Youth will research family oral histories and records to document their roots and RSIC lineage. Carefully planned field trips to cultural sites of the Washoe, Paiute, and Shoshone peoples will demonstrate the ancient spiritual and archeological ties to ancestors, and practical leadership training will strengthen self-confidence and communication skills.

Santa Clara Pueblo, New Mexico, $15,000

The Kha P’o Cultural Preservation and IntergenerationalExperience will create an inter-generational sharing opportunity between Kha P’o youth, adults, and elders. This opportunity will assist in retaining the Pueblo way of life through relationship-building opportunities that focus on gardening, craft making and oral storytelling.

Sinte Gleska University, South Dakota, $19,100

Sunkawakan Oyate (Horse Nation) Outreach will create opportunities for Lakota children to develop a relationship with creation and experience the healing gifts of the Sunkawakan Oyate (Horse Nation) through participation in four camps and activities. Teen Horse Handlers will learn to utilize and restore the role of the Sunkawakan Oyate within the school/community/Nation. Camps will incorporate spirituality, healing, language and culture, history, art, caring for and riding horses, and restoring the traditional role of Sunkawakan in health and wellness.

The Hanalei River Heritage Foundation, Hawaii, $19,100

In partnership with practitioners and elders, the Hanalei River Heritage Foundation works with youth to restore Traditional Hawaiian Sailing Canoes damaged by the 2018 April floods. Through Project Waa Kupono, youth will be taught how to restore the canoes using both modern and traditional methods and will receive basic training in traditional Hawaiian canoe sailing and navigation. The canoes are also used as mobile classrooms to teach youth about traditional food systems and conservation practices of natural resources in and around the fragile marine reef ecosystem.

The Hopi Foundation, Arizona, $19,100

This project will serve Hopi/Tewa youth between the ages of 2 and 14, assessing their fluency of the Hopi/Tewa language along with their knowledge level of cultural practices, gender roles, ceremony, spirituality and purpose, which are all aspects that contribute to Hopi/Tewa identity. A series of surveys and focus groups will be conducted to understand the needs to be addressed, enhanced and strengthened in their competency, involvement and practice of Hopi Culture.

Tolani Lake Enterprises, Arizona, $19,100

The Sihasin Garden Warriorship & Leadership Project focuses on creating a culturally significant environment that emphasizes warrior-ship and leadership skill development as the foundation to strengthen k’e (family) and community relationship among Native youth by engaging in several activities related to regenerative farming, water harvesting, transformative art and storytelling.

Zuni Youth Enrichment Project (ZYEP), New Mexico, $19,100

ZYEP’s Youth Advisory Council project facilitates Indigenous learning and mentoring opportunities for inspired young people ages 15–24 who serve as peer mentors and provide a voice for Zuni Pueblo’s 2,900 members under age 18. Youth advisors engage in deep learning of Zuni’s traditional values and practices through intensive workshops offered monthly by cultural bearers. The workshops comprise mentoring and intergenerational engagement where youth advisors gain cultural knowledge, leadership skills, resiliency and develop self-efficacy to proactively engage with their community.

2018: $400,000

Alaska Community Action on Toxics, Anchorage, Alaska, $19,550

ACAT will train Alaska Native adolescent girls from 13 Norton Sound communities using a toolkit created by the Native Youth Sexual Health Network and intergenerational mentoring. The toolkit and mentoring provide a framework for a nascent Alaska Native Girls Network, by offering the historical context for colonization and genocide that colors the contemporary situation in which these girls live, as well as giving them tools to reclaim their voices and control over their futures.

California Indian Basketweavers’ Association, Woodland, California, $14,550

Tending the Wild: Junior Class will engage Native American youth ages 12 to 22 in learning about traditional basket-weaving practices including gathering, preparation and storage of basket-weaving materials. The project will focus on preserving traditional cultural knowledge among youth from Siskiyou and Del Norte County in Northern California through field trips and cultural history talks with tribal elders.

Catawba Cultural Preservation Project, Rock Hill, South Carolina, $19,550

The Catawba Culture Fellowship will develop the cultural skills of five Catawba youth. Fellows will be mentored by accomplished traditional artists in their area of interest and later teach their skills to Catawba Youth participating in summer programs. Fellows will host monthly community luncheons and present their skills to the Catawba community. By connecting cultural skill development, elder mentorship, community culture strengthening, and youth leadership development, it will help prepare the youth to become culturally-conscious leaders.

Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs, Warm Springs, Oregon, $19,550

The project will serve 160 youth ages 6-17 and will be guided by local artists and elders with support from the Boys and Girls Club of Warm Springs staff.  There will be four comprehensive sessions, each meeting for six to eight weeks. The summer session will focus on cultural crafts, fall session on traditional regalia, spring session on the wild game and traditional foods that still grow locally, and the winter session will focus on language acquisition.

Five Sandoval Indian Pueblos Inc., Rio Rancho, New Mexico, $19,550

The project will assist 4- to 5-year-old Head Start children in embracing their cultural identity through everyday classroom instructions. The project’s focus is to implement more age-appropriate cultural-related activities such as song and dance, storytelling, and arts and crafts. The project will also be used to increase parent engagement so children will get educational support at home, creating lifelong learners.

Fort Belknap Indian Community, Harlem, Montana, $14,500

This project will engage youth ages 5 to 18, and community elders, in activities targeted at renewing cultural uses of medicinal plants. The project will allow youth and elders to form connections that will firmly establish a learning and leadership model as they design, plant and harvest a medicine wheel garden in each of two established community gardens. Participants and leaders will create a digitally-generated medicinal plant guidebook as a final project, allowing others to access valuable local medicinal plant information.

Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians, Peshawbestown, Michigan, $19,550

The project is to teach dance styles, origins and regalia making to the youth. The Chippewa Indians cultural focus will be Anishinaabek dance customs with emphasis on language use for powwow etiquette. The project will serve students who want to live a healthy lifestyle, are currently participating in Anishinaabemowin classes, attending school regularly, and who show a commitment to preserving the culture and traditions.

Inter Tribal Sports, Inc., Temecula, California, $20,000

The project aims to provide four regional traditional Native artists from within the reservation with opportunities to connect with, teach and engage up to 560 tribal youth ages 4 to 18 through mentoring and teaching of traditional arts. The project is designed to bring together intergenerational teachings, connections and inspire next-generation traditional artists. The Native artists come from Kumeyaay, Cahuilla, Luiseño, Diegueño and Cupeño cultures from the Southern California region.

Kauahea Inc., Wailuku, Hawaii, $19,550

Kupuohi i Paeloko will recruit 20 eighth to 12th graders from the Native Hawaiian population on Maui. Students will learn Mālama ʻĀina (land stewardship), Nā Mea Kanu (Native plants) and the cultural practices that are critical to increasing and maintaining Hawaiian identity. With Hawaiian Kupuna (elders) and practitioners, students will design, coordinate and implement plans using the crops that are planted, nurtured, and produced there. Activities will be based on Hawaiian practices and will incorporate language, ceremony and protocols.

MIGIZI Communications, Inc., Minneapolis, Minnesota, $19,550

The purpose of Wanna Wota (“Let’s Eat” in Lakota) is to investigate, document and share information and ideas concerning the revitalization of traditional food systems among the tribes of Minnesota and the Upper Midwest. Youth media producers with Migizi’s First Person Productions program will produce a media series that features both elders and young activists from the community who are working to preserve traditional foods and lifestyles as well as introduce urban agriculture to the urban Native community.

Muscogee (Creek) Nation, Okmulgee, Oklahoma, $18,150

Connect the Disconnect is a youth-led project focused on strengthening cultural and spiritual practices, beliefs and values and increasing youth leadership through integrated educational and mentoring programs. Mvskoke youth ages 12-24 will develop, facilitate, participate and host three one-day events and one overnight camp to connect youth with the Mvskoke culture, to help them face challenges such as bullying, low self-esteem, and suicide. Youth will also develop a social media campaign to promote cultural knowledge and activities throughout the year.

Nipmuc Indian Development Corporation, Grafton, Massachusetts, $19,550

Nippeash Waapemooash is a developing tribal civics/rites-of-passage initiative addressing the unique challenges Nipmuc youth experience and promoting a positive sense of self-worth and cultural pride within the tribe. The goal is to prepare youth for adulthood through a traditional approach, one that is guided by culture, family and Nipmuc values. Youth, grades 5 to 9, are introduced to histories, traditional arts, farming, and tribal government/civics in a year-long mentoring process with elders and tribal leaders.

Ohero:kon, Akwesasne, New York, $19,550

Ohero:kon, a Mohawk phrase meaning “under the husk,” is a youth rites-of-passage process at Akwesasne. It’s a ceremonial journey culminating in a solo fast to ensure that the needs within the development of Mohawk future leaders are being met. Beginning each January with mid-winter ceremonies in the longhouse and extending throughout the spring in various traditional settings, the youth receive teachings from the elders about Haudenosaunee traditional knowledge, lifeways and practices as they approach adulthood.

Ohkay Owingeh, Ohkay Owingeh, New Mexico, $19,550

Ohkay Owingeh tribal youth ages 5 to 18 will be provided with greater cultural exposure through a variety of traditional regalia-making classes that will educate, challenge and inspire youth to form lasting linkages to their Native culture and to participate in their cultural ceremonies.

Pala Band of Mission Indians, Pala, California, $20,000

The Pala Tribe’s Learning Center supports the California American Indian and Indigenous Film Festival (CAIIFF) each year. The Pala Traditional Arts Project links to that previous work by supporting six American Indian students as they create a documentary film based on four Pala Native artists. It will be screened at the 2018 CAIIFF.

Penobscot Nation Boys & Girls Club, Presque Isle, Maine, $19,550

The project will serve the Boys and Girls Club of Presque Isle (BGCPI) Unit youth ages 5 to 18. It will incorporate culture and tradition to address social issues faced in the community while preserving cultural practices, values and beliefs through engagement between youth and elders, which will be recorded and shared on an online Micmac site that will be supported in collaboration with BGCPI and the Micmac youth, and Cultural and Education Departments.

Pueblo of San Felipe, San Felipe, New Mexico, $19,550

This project will serve 25 San Felipe youth between the ages of 10 and 18. Elders will identify and teach youth about traditional plant and animal species common to San Felipe Pueblo lands, and their traditional uses in the San Felipe Keres language. Youth will document and record the names of plants and animals using audio and visual equipment.

Santa Fe Indian School, Santa Fe, New Mexico, $19,550

Brave Girls is an out-of-school leadership and empowerment program for Pueblo Indian girls, grades 7-12, at the Santa Fe Indian School (SFIS). The project directly serves the students attending SFIS. The school is a representative of New Mexico’s 22 tribes, providing a great opportunity to reach out to all of the communities.

Tatanka Wakpala Tiyospaye, Gettysburg, South Dakota, $19,550

Camp Ohokila seeks to bring together a diverse group of Lakota youth to establish a society knowledgeable in Lakota kinship relationships, gender roles, survival skills, traditional food gathering and Lakota crafts and skills. They will commit to protect and support each other while navigating growing up on an Indian reservation. Lakota traditional gender roles include two-spirits. This camp will help combat bullying and suicide, which are both rampant on the reservation.

White Buffalo Recovery Center, St. Stephen's, Wyoming, $19,550

The project seeks to enhance three initiatives of White Buffalo Youth Prevention. The first is a three-day summer camp teaching youth decision-making, problem-solving, self-efficacy, social, and communication and survival skills. The second is an annual medicine-gathering trip whereby knowledge about ceremonies and language is shared with youth by elders. The third is using sweat lodges to teach youth about prayer and songs to strengthen their identity. White Buffalo Youth Prevention serves middle school- and high school-aged youth.

Zuni Youth Enrichment Project (ZYEP), Zuni, New Mexico, $19,550

In 2018, ZYEP will offer its 10th consecutive summer camp (seven weeks long) where 160 youth participants, ages 6-12, will engage in the following cultural activities: Zuni language, traditional gardening, pottery/mural making, Zuni songs/dances, cultural hikes, and Pueblo oven construction. These activities are blended with a curriculum that includes language arts, nutrition, martial arts, swimming, yoga and stress-management. Summer campers will be mentored by 20 Zuni counselors ages 15-24, who are paid by ZYEP and educated/mentored by local cultural advisors.

2017: $410,000

California Indian Museum & Cultural Center, Santa Rosa California, $20,000

The project serves Native youth in the center’s tri-county, rural service area of Sonoma, Lake and Mendocino Counties. The youth, ages 11-18, are members of or descended from five tribes in the region, with the primary affiliations being Pomo and Coast Miwok. They work with Native elders and adults to produce K-12 curriculum videos for a program that serves all Native youth in the region.

Great Lakes Indian Fish and Wildlife Commission, Odanah, Wisconsin, $18,200

“Weshki Niigaaniijig – Young Leaders” serves tribal youth, ages 13-18, in developing leadership and role-modeling skills through projects focused on traditional Anishinaabe harvesting activities. The youth will teach cultural harvesting practices to other youth in four communities, thereby encouraging development of positive cultural role models.

Haliwa-Saponi Indian Tribe, Hollister North Carolina, $20,000

This project focuses on reclaiming traditional coming-of-age ceremonies for boys and girls ages 13-18 by connecting youth and elders, culturally and spiritually, to their history. By engaging the elders to share their wisdom and cultural knowledge, the youth participate in workshops that teach them fundamental lessons and help document disappearing cultural traditions. These youth will then teach the next generation.

Hoopa Valley Tribe, Hoopa, California, $20,000

The xo’ji kya’ project provides an opportunity for young Native women to work closely with female cultural experts/elders/regalia-makers to make ceremonial dresses and document the process to share with the community via videos and manuals. Each young woman is expected to pass on the knowledge to other young women.

Ilisagvik College, Barrow, Alaska, $20,000

During the summer, the college implemented three cultural camps for Alaska Native youth ages 13-25 on Iñupiaq Land Use, Values, and Resources; Iñupiaq Arts and Culture; and an Iñupiaq Immersion camp. The camps focused on traditional hunting/camping/gathering skills; Iñupiaq language, grammar and linguistic development; and exploring art, history, culture and expression through an Iñupiat worldview.

Lakota Cultural Center, Eagle Butte, South Dakota, $20,000

This project passes on cultural arts and knowledge from the elder generation to the next on the Cheyenne River Reservation. A series of cultural arts courses will be held in order to begin building the next generation of culture bearers within the Lakota community.

Lakota Language Consortium, Bloomington, Indiana, $3,300

This project identifies young members of the Lakota Nation and trains them simultaneously as language learners and teachers. The Lakota Summer Institute is a four-week boot camp at Sitting Bull College where youth learn Lakota language, phonology and teaching methods and, empowered with these skills, return to their communities where they will host and teach their own language workshops.

Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe, Cass Lake, Minnesota, $20,000

Our “Heritage, Culture and Traditions – Uniting Youth and Elders” pilot project will bring youth ages 14 to 24 and tribal elders together to plan, implement and evaluate a cultural (aanji-bimaadizi – change life) learning center program for the Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe. This initiative will establish the foundation, tools and community investment required to develop a sustainable program and permanent site for future generations.

Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa Indians, Harbor Springs, Michigan, $18,300

Because of a history of assimilation through education, youth are struggling emotionally and spiritually without purpose or place. Regenerating rites-of-passage ceremonies to connect youth to themselves and their purpose is critical. Because many families are disconnected from traditions, there is unfamiliarity with and lack of access to ceremony. This project addresses this, and will increase the number of youth ages 10-19 who demonstrate positive identity development and increased cultural knowledge.

Medicine Lodge Confederacy, Garrison, North Dakota, $20,000

The Arikara Tribe has historically had young men societies where they were mentored by older men. The confederacy is striving to revive these ways of teaching. The Star Boy Camp will recruit young men ages 12 to 15 and teach them the skills of leadership, communication, confidence and self-discipline. Those who excel will become peer counselors during the next year.

Native Women's Society of the Great Plains, Eagle Butte, South Dakota, $20,000

Native Women’s Society of the Great Plains has a 24 members on reservations on the Northern Plains. There are 10 shelters for women and their children. The Empowering Children in Shelter project will focus on three of the shelters of the Santee Sioux Tribe, Oglala Nation and Rosebud Sioux Tribe. The project will enhance the environment for these children with cultural activities and ceremonies during their healing from trauma.

Navajo Studies Conference, Inc., Albuquerque, New Mexico, $20,000

The organization will work with youth and elders during the school year. The teams will form Diné Alliances and will be responsible for development of a cultural project that responds to a social issue. These partnerships will have a lasting impact for the next generation and will be recorded. The Dine’ Alliances will post their cultural projects online.

Ogallala Commons, Inc., Nazareth, Texas, $14,000

Since 2013, First Nations has funded 13 Native internships through the Ogallala Commons Community Internship Program. This grant will fund additional internships, one each on the Pine Ridge and Rosebud Reservations, and one in North Dakota, as well as intern travel to attend the orientation retreat in Texas and the convening of two youth-engagement days for high school students at Sinte Gleska University and Oglala Lakota College.

Osage Nation, Pawhuska Oklahoma, $19,800

Trunks of culturally and spiritually significant items will be transported countywide by the Osage Nation Cultural Center staff (accompanied by tribal elders and youth to assist as curriculum guides and with interactive presentations) to schools and youth events. This will increase youth access to hands-on, multi-generational interactions that serve to preserve, strengthen and renew Osage traditions and beliefs.

Pyramid Lake Paiute Tribe, Nixon, Nevada, $20,000

The Summer Cultural Day Camp and activities planned throughout the year will teach children their Northern Paiute culture and heritage through language immersion, traditional dances, oral history and the making of traditional Paiute beadwork. Elders and community members will share their knowledge in both hands-on and classroom settings.

Sac and Fox Tribe of the Mississippi in Iowa, Tama, Iowa, $16,600

The grant will serve the cultural needs of youth through the creation of Iowa hand drums, one large drum, two-piece dresses, the learning of traditional Meskwaki songs and the learning of traditional Meskwaki dances. The grant will serve youth ages 10-18.

Santa Fe Indian School, Santa Fe, New Mexico, $20,000

The Leadership Institute will implement the 2017 Pueblo Convocation. The first Pueblo Convocation was held in 2012 and brought together more than 600 Pueblo people to learn about Pueblo priority areas. This project will add a youth track, where youth will be involved in organizing, planning, research and presentations.

Suquamish Indian Tribe of the Port Madison Reservation, Suquamish, Washington, $19,800

The Suquamish Tribe, in collaboration with tribal employees, community members and elders, will provide two one-week trainings to introduce tribal youth to traditions and practices regarding local subsistence foods. This programs will focus on how science and sovereignty support traditional tribal values as well as provide an opportunity for tribal youth to explore career paths within the tribe and develop their mentoring skills.

TC Roughriders 4-H Club, Walthill, Nebraska, $20,000

Children and young adults will learn to identify traditional foods and ceremonial plants that are important to the Omaha Nation. Tribal elders and other experts will conduct educational activities outdoors and in the kitchen. Participants will learn Omaha language words for the plants and food products. The youth will meet the elders and learn their stories of using these foods and of growing up Omaha. These activities will provide alternatives to unhealthful choices for at-risk children.

White Mountain Apache Tribe - Water Resources, Ndee Bikiyaa, The People's Farm, Fort Apache, Arizona, $20,000

The summer farm camp is a learning opportunity for local tribal students ranging from grades 5 to 8. This serves as a bridge between youth and elders by providing hands-on cultural crafts, traditional farming techniques, Apache language, wild foods gathering, food preservation, and education on food sovereignty. All major communities on the reservation will be included.

Woodland Boys & Girls Club, Neopit, Wisconsin, $20,000

The project aims to “Build Brighter Futures through Language & Culture” by incorporating the use of the language in programs, teaching traditional songs and dances, and teaching hunting, fishing and gathering. This will help youth develop mind, body and spirit as Native people who understand the balance in their lives. The teaching of language and culture also helps with youth self-esteem and identity issues, and builds resiliency to negative behaviors.

World Indigenous Nations University, Hula, Hawaii, $20,000

The OPIO Leadership Academy will provide training by elders/cultural Hawaii Pasifika (WINU HP) mentors/master practitioners to 20 aspiring Native youth in Hawaii, in the traditional practices of Hawaiian healing arts. Training will incorporate traditional protocols, practices, performance and proficiencies specific to each healing art. Youth participants will demonstrate their understanding, knowledge and application of these principles and practices in family, school and community settings through a community-wide Hoike or public performance.

2016: $432,000

Assiniboine and Sioux Tribes of the Fort Peck Indian Reservation, Poplar, Montana, $18,615

The grant will support activities in the Fort Peck Language and Culture Department Summer Program, including field trips, medicinal plant digging, cultural activities, and language lessons in both the classroom and within ceremonies.

Bad River Housing Authority, Odanah, Wisconsin, $20,000

The “Baaga’adowe (lacrosse)” project returns a sporting tradition to Bad River. Mentors, players and others will reintroduce baaga’adowe to the community. The program will include training in the history, language, team-building, values and technical skills of the sport.

California Indian Basketweavers Association, Woodland, California, $10,000

“Awl Yeah” (Youth Engaging in Arts History) will engage youth in learning about traditional basketweaving from elders, including gathering, preparation and storage of materials. Youth will create videos of their experience and share them through social media.

Cheyenne River Youth Project, Inc., Eagle Butte, South Dakota, $10,000

This project will engage youth in traditional art mediums such as drum making and beading while providing them with professional development to help turn their artistic ideas into businesses. It will also engage elders who will create art with the youth while sharing their wisdom and traditional knowledge.

Chief Joseph Foundation, Lapwai, Idaho, $18,900

“Riding in the Roundup” gives reservation youth an opportunity to learn about traditional Nez Perce culture and the historical and cultural significance of the horse. Tribal elders will share their knowledge and hand down traditions to the youth through the creation of traditional dress and regalia.

Dzil Dit L’ooí School of Empowerment, Action and Perseverance, Navajo, New Mexico, $20,000

“The “Strengthening and Reclaiming Diné Culture and Tradition through Kinaaldá (Puberty Ceremonies)” project will provide important rites of passage for both boys and girls, connecting youth culturally and spiritually to their history and place, supporting holistic wellness, and reinforcing bonds between youth, elders and family.

Four Directions Development Corporation, Orono, Maine, $20,000

Under the “Wabanaki Marketplace Youth & Culture Program,” students will develop products to sell online, attend small-business and financial capabilities workshops, and connect with others in Maine and beyond with whom they can share the beauty and richness of Wabanaki art.

Great Lakes Indian Fish and Wildlife Commission, Odanah, Wisconsin, $18,250

In the “Waatebagaa (Changing Leaves) Gathering,” tribal elders will engage numerous tribal youth in learning traditional Anishinaabe autumn activities during a two-day event. Conservation officers will also demonstrate procedures for utilizing treaty-reserved rights, as well as safe harvesting skills. This program aims to increase tribal youth knowledge in harvesting and protecting natural resources and environmental stewardship, while promoting natural resource careers.

Ho-Chunk Nation, Black River Falls, Wisconsin, $14,630

In the “Digital Storytelling Pilot,” students will learn to understand their own identities and what it means to be Ho-Chunk through the creation and publication of an online story that discusses an object from their own homes. These stories will utilize museum terms, Ho-Chunk terms, historic information and cultural knowledge about their chosen objects.

The Hopi School, Inc., Hotevilla, Arizona, $17,380

The “Hopitutuqaiki Summer Arts Program” serves students in the areas of Hopi language, arts and crafts, and values and culture. This project develops basic Hopi language skills for children ages 4 and 5 through daily preschool activities in the arts and academics, and field trips that bring together classroom and cultural ideas.

Keres Children's Learning Center, Pueblo de Cochiti, New Mexico, $20,000

The “Across the Generations: Elders to Children” program serves children ages 2.5 to 7 and involves elders who are helping identify traditional knowledge, practices and beliefs to develop into lessons for the classroom, cementing intergenerational relationships traditional to Cochiti. This is a crucial step in reclaiming the education of children and revitalizing the language. Cochiti elders will also continue to build the library by recording books in the Keres language.

Lumbee Tribe of North Carolina, Pembroke, North Carolina, $20,000

Under the Lumbee Chapter’s “Unlocking Silent Histories” project, youth will produce short documentaries that capture, represent and revitalize disappearing cultural knowledge, traditions and languages. The program is designed to develop youth leaders who use the film production and technology skills they acquire to teach new groups of youth. Unlocking Silent Histories is a nonprofit that opens spaces for Indigenous youth to critically analyze how they are represented in the media and to creatively express their perspectives.

Ogallala Commons, Inc., Nazareth, Texas, $10,200

This grant supports Community Internships for Native Partners 2016. These internships can range from four to 10 weeks and are available for students who are sophomores in high school to college and graduate students, or adults looking to build new skills. Interns are exposed to experiences essential to living in the Great Plains, such as supporting local food production, stewarding natural resources, learning and sharing local history, youth engagement and entrepreneurship, community celebrations, public speaking, fostering a sense of place, and career-path development.

Pascua Yaqui Tribe of Arizona, Tucson, Arizona, $20,000

Working with Dina Kagan, an award-winning local filmmaker, the “Pascua Yaqui Youth Filmmaking Project” will teach youth the basic skills of documentary and narrative filmmaking. They will produce three short films on the subject of their choice and will also record several Pascua Yaqui elders sharing Native legends and myths, creating a compilation of all recordings to be preserved at the reservation library. A longer narrative film based on one of the stories will be produced and screened on the reservation and at the Native Eyes Film Showcase.

Pyramid Lake Paiute Tribe, Nixon, Nevada, $20,000

The “Cultural Summer Day Camp” is designed to teach elementary youth Paiute culture and heritage through language immersion and through classes on traditional Paiute dances, songs, games and construction of traditional clothing.

Quileute Tribe, La Push, Washington, $20,000

The “Quileute Youth Telling the Quileute Story” project will provide tribal youth with new skills in the field of video production. Youth will complete 64 hours of workshops provided by area television professionals. They will apply the skills they have learned to create a series of videos and documentaries that capture Quileute history, culture and contemporary life, and which will serve as means of preserving and documenting the history and traditions of the tribe.

Santa Fe Indian School, Santa Fe, New Mexico, $20,000

“Brave Girls,” a project of the Leadership Institute at the Santa Fe Indian School, develops leadership skills and provides mentoring opportunities for the young women who are part of the Student Living Program. Community partnerships assist in serving and educating the young women with professional guest speakers and mentors who further their leadership development.

Santo Domingo Pueblo, Santo Domingo Pueblo, New Mexico, $19,705

The “Pull Back to Launch Forward” project will utilize approximately 30 Native youth ages 13 to 21 as mentors to 50 youth ages 9-12 in teaching the traditional practice of bow and arrow making, traditional hunting, and other cultural practices.

Suquamish Indian Tribe of the Port Madison Reservation, Suquamish, Washington, $14,320

The Suquamish Tribe’s Sports and Recreation Department, in collaboration with the tribal language program and the Natural Resources Department, will provide two one-week-long cultural day camps for youth ages 8 to 14. The culture camps will be based around the theme “the teachings of the Longhouse” and will introduce youth to Suquamish language and culture.

Tewa Women United, Española, New Mexico, $20,000

The “Butterfly Wings” project will implement an innovative and comprehensive approach to sexual and reproductive health education by strengthening and expanding the core components of the A’Gin Healthy Sexuality Body Sovereignty Project. It will serve girls and young women from the Tewa-speaking pueblos of Nambé, Ohkay Owingeh, Pojoaque, San Ildefonso, Santa Clara and Tesuque.

Thunder Valley Community Development Corporation, Porcupine, South Dakota, $20,000

Lakȟotiya Škiŋčiyapi develops the leadership skills and cultural knowledge of high school students in order to help mentor elementary and middle school children in athletics and health. Mentors are taught Lakota vocabulary, athletic and health information, and will learn about how the ehaŋni Lakȟol wičhouŋ was bound with physical activity. Youth will also develop personal success plans for their future, including education, job, language and culture goals, and healthy lifestyle goals.

Turtle Mountain Tribal Arts Association, Belcourt, North Dakota, $20,000

The “Artistic Renewal and Preservation Native American Dance Troupe” provides an opportunity for Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa youth to learn traditional dances, create traditional regalia, beadwork and moccasins, and showcase their artistic skills through performances in the community.

University of Arkansas / Indigenous Food and Agriculture Initiative, Fayetteville, Arkansas, $20,000

The grant supports the Native Youth in Food & Agriculture Summer Leadership Summit III (2016). The summit encourages, supports and provides education and development to Native youth, with the intention of developing the next generation of food leaders in Indian Country.

Utah Diné Bikéyah, Salt Lake City, Utah, $20,000

The “Building Native American Youth Cultural Awareness and Leadership” project aims to engage, motivate and train local Native youth in documenting, mapping and archiving traditional knowledge and activities across the Bears Ears landscape. Working with tribal elders and spiritual leaders, the project will provide exposure and training for Ute Mountain Ute youth in the methods and applications of utilizing traditional knowledge and mapping cultural values.

2015: $460,000

Boys & Girls Club of Rosebud, Mission, South Dakota, $20,000

Approximately 100 youth will participate in activities involving Lakota culture and language, lacrosse, archery and gardening.

California Indian Museum & Cultural Center, Santa Rosa, California, $20,000

Twenty Native youth will participate in a business program that teaches skills and strategies needed to establish a successful Native arts microenterprise.

Club Unity, Arlee, Montana, $14,362

Twenty youth and elders from the Flathead Indian Reservation will make a documentary to help preserve their culture, language and traditions.

Euchee (Yuchi) Language Project, Inc., Sapulpa, Oklahoma, $20,000

Four youth interns will shadow professionals working in the field of Yuchi cultural revitalization. Additionally, they will host a culture camp for other youth that focuses on Yuchi ceremonial dances and songs.

Great Lakes Indian Fish & Wildlife Commission, Odanah, Wisconsin, $10,300

Forty youth will participate in a camp that focuses on Anishinaabe baboon (winter) activities, including traditional practices such as setting snares and tanning deer hides.

Hawaiian Community Assets, Honolulu, Hawaii, $20,000

One hundred youth will participate in a youth-led financial literacy workshop that introduces basic financial concepts based upon the Kahua Waiwai Keiki Edition curriculum.

Indigenous Food and Agriculture Initiative, Fayetteville, Arkansas, $10,000

Approximately 75 youth representing many different tribal communities will participate in the 2015 Summer Leadership Summit to learn food and agriculture business and legal skills.

Jicarilla Apache Nation, Dulce, New Mexico $25,000

More than 100 youth will attend three weekly language-immersion sessions to learn the Jicarilla Apache language.

Lower Brule Community College, Lower Brule, South Dakota, $13,000

Thirty youth will participate in a nine-month Lakota language-immersion program. Elders will teach the language to tribal college students who will then teach the language to elementary students.

Lummi Nation Service Organization, Bellingham, Washington, $20,000

Thirty youth will participate in a multimedia project. They will make a documentary about building a traditional longhouse that will be incorporated into future curriculum.

Mvskoke Food Sovereignty Initiative, Okmulgee, Oklahoma, $20,000

Sixty youth will work with community elders to learn about traditional methods of plant literacy. Youth will learn how to clean, prepare, cook and preserve wild foods.

Northern Arapaho Tribe, Fort Washakie, Wyoming, $20,000

Approximately 300 youth and young adults will participate in two Arapaho language camps led by tribal elders, spiritual leaders and local artists.

Northwest Native Plants and Foods Collective, Olympia, Washington, $20,000

More than 100 youth will participate in a series of workshops that focus on first aid and herbal medicine knowledge as well as traditional canoe journey teachings and community gardening.

Ogallala Commons, Nazareth, Texas, $9,200

This project will support four summer or semester-long community internships.  Each community intern will work on local food projects and activities that promote and enhance Native food sovereignty.

Oklahoma Native Assets Coalition, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, $17,482

Eighty youth will participate in a financial education program. They will design, market and sell an art project then use the funds raised from their project to open a Youth Savings Account.

Penobscot Nation Youth Program, Indian Island, Maine, $20,000

Youth ranging from ages 7-18 will construct a traditional birch bark canoe and also learn Penobscot language, history and stories.

Pueblo of Acoma, Pueblo of Acoma, New Mexico, $20,000

Thirty youth will participate in a new series of youth classes at the Acoma Learning Center that focus on Keres culture, language, health and religion.

Pueblo of Nambe, Santa Fe, New Mexico, $17,596

Thirty youth will participate in a renovation project. They will help rebuild the local basketball and tennis courts to include more seating and a fire pit. This new space will be used to host community events.

Red Cliff Band of Lake Superior Chippewa, Bayfield, Wisconsin, $19,502

Twenty youth will participate in weekly lessons about the Ojibwe tenets of good citizenship and the nine universal lessons of courage, cooperation and honor through traditional stories and activities.

Santa Fe Indian School, Santa Fe, New Mexico, $20,000

Expand existing program that focuses on female empowerment. Specifically, create a new mentorship program that emphasizes academic success and professional development.

Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, Fort Yates, North Dakota, $20,000

Establish curriculum for a language nest for pre-school students. A translator will translate activities, lessons and videos into the Dakota and Lakota languages for students and parents.

Sus’tainable Molokai, Kaunkakai, Hawaii, $17,434

One local college student will be trained in food sovereignty leadership. This student will design and pilot a mentorship program with other local youth that focuses on agriculture, business and entrepreneurship.

The Hopi School, Hotevilla, Arizona, $19,724

Students K-12 will participate in several classes that seek to strengthen and renew Hopi cultural weaving practices, values and language.

Thunder Valley Community Development Corporation, Porcupine, South Dakota, $20,000

Twenty-five youth will participate in a leadership program where they will visit seven sacred Lakota sites, prepare traditional Sun Dance grounds and participate in professional development classes.

Wopanaak Language and Cultural Weetyoo, Inc., Mashpee, Massachusetts, $6,400

More than 40 youth will participate in a series of classes and workshops on Wampanoag culture and language that are intended to increase cultural pride and self-esteem.

Zuni Youth Enrichment Project, Zuni, New Mexico, $20,000

Fifteen youth will participate in a leadership retreat that will teach them the skills and knowledge they need to mentor younger community members. After the retreat, they will host a camp for 65 youth ages 6-11.

California Native Youth Share Legacy, Build Knowledge, September 2016

Teens at the California Indian Museum and Cultural Center are taking part in Tribal Ambassadors Through Business, an initiative that teaches young people business skills through both online courses and the opportunity to open and run a museum store.