RFP

Luce Indigenous Knowledge Fellowship

Luce Indigenous Knowledge Fellowship Opportunity

Application Deadline:

Thursday, October 22, 2020

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General Information

General Information

In 2019, First Nations Development Institute (First Nations), in partnership with The Henry Luce Foundation (Luce), launched the Luce Indigenous Knowledge Fellowship to honor and support a select cohort of fellows as they work to further Indigenous knowledge creation, dissemination and perpetuation in Indigenous communities. Through this fellowship program, we will award 10 fellowships of $50,000 each to outstanding Native knowledge holders and knowledge makers engaged in meaningful work that benefits Indigenous people.

This fellowship supports the exceptional creativity, progressive and critical thinking, and the potential of Native knowledge holders and knowledge makers as they move forward their field in ways that will ultimately lead to broad, transformative impacts for Indigenous communities.

Fellowship Overview

First Nations will award 10 fellowships of $50,000 each to 10 outstanding Native knowledge holders and knowledge makers engaged in meaningful work that benefits Indigenous people and communities in either reservation and/or urban settings. These fellowships support the work of Native knowledge holders and knowledge makers as they significantly advance their work and spark transformative change in their communities. In this sense, community is broadly defined and can include Native communities and knowledge communities.

The fellowship is a 12-month, self-directed enrichment program designed to support the growth, development, knowledge and networks of Native leaders. This unique and exciting fellowship supports individuals from diverse fields and engaged in different modes of expression. The fellowship is open to both emerging and experienced leaders from a wide variety of fields, including but not limited to, agriculture, food systems, youth leadership development, natural resource management, climate change, economic development, journalism, language and cultural revitalization, traditional and contemporary arts and more.

During the fellowship period, fellows will gather together three times during the year to pool their collective knowledge, and create a community of practice that crosses fields, geographies and tribal cultures. These three required convenings will give fellows the opportunity to engage in rich conversations intended to strengthen their leadership skills, reflect on their impact, share their learning and experiences and promote enduring professional relationships. These cohorts will empower fellows to overcome any geographic and cultural isolation they may experience by being a Native knowledge holder or knowledge maker, possibly as the only one in their field.

Important Note: Pending community and travel restrictions, these convenings may be redesigned to accommodate a virtual setting for the safety and health of all participants.

Award

This fellowship will provide awards in the amount of $50,000 each to 10 individuals. This fellowship is flexible in that it allows emerging and experienced knowledge holders and knowledge makers to determine their own goals, and decide how their funds are best used to make a positive impact for creation, dissemination and perpetuation of knowledge.

Fellows do not have to design or complete a project to be eligible or selected. The goal of this new fellowship is to provide flexible funding to selected fellows as they seek to achieve their goals and further or advance knowledge creation and dissemination in their respective field(s).

The fellowship may be used for a wide range of costs, including living expenses, tuition, conference registration, equipment, travel and childcare. The fellowship cannot be redirected to another person or organization.

Important Note: The $50,000 fellowship is considered taxable income. Fellowship recipients will be responsible for all related taxes resulting from this award.

Fellowship Period

First Nations provides a $50,000 award that may be used flexibly over 12 months. The start date of the fellowship is May 1, 2021, and the end date is April 30, 2022.

After 12 months, fellows will be eligible to apply for a supplemental grant of $25,000 to extend and deepen their work.

Submission Deadline

The deadline to apply for the Luce Indigenous Knowledge Fellowship is Thursday, October 22, 2020. Complete applications must be submitted no later than 5 pm Mountain Daylight Time.

Download a PDF Version of this 2021 Fellowship Application Information Here
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More Answers Here. Download our FAQ Sheet.
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Eligibility

Eligibility

The fellowship is open to emerging and experienced Native knowledge holders and knowledge makers actively engaged in meaningful, positive work that benefits Indigenous people and communities in either reservation and/or urban settings.

To be eligible for the Luce Indigenous Knowledge Fellowship:

  • Applicants must be a member of a federal- or state-recognized Native American or Alaska Native tribe; Native Hawaiian; or demonstrate significant and long-standing engagement with and commitment to an Indigenous community in the U.S. and U.S. Territories.
  • Applicants must be engaged in the creation, dissemination and/or perpetuation of knowledge in their field.
  • Applicants should have experience or expertise within the knowledge field/area they are pursuing.
  • Applicants must be at least 18 years old.
  • Applicants must be U.S. citizens or permanent residents.
  • Applicants must be able to clearly demonstrate how their work can impact and benefit an Indigenous community or communities in the U.S.

Individuals may apply directly for this fellowship OR individuals may nominate Native knowledge holders and knowledge makers for this fellowship.

First Nations and Luce launched this fellowship to recognize and reward outstanding Native knowledge holders and knowledge makers for their important community contributions, and commitment to preserving and perpetuating Indigenous knowledge systems. However, we understand that some Indigenous people might be hesitant to identify themselves as knowledge holders, knowledge makers, or culture producers. For many, this kind of terminology may seem contrary to community beliefs on ownership of knowledge and recognizing leaders.

Thus, individuals can nominate their family, friends, neighbors or colleagues for this fellowship opportunity. To do this, a nominator must work collaboratively with the knowledge holder or knowledge maker they wish to nominate to complete all application materials. Before applying on behalf of another individual, you must contact the nominee in advance to fully discuss the parameters and guidelines of the fellowship.

Important Note for Nominators: The nominee will need to sign a Consent Form indicating that they have agreed to work with the nominator to complete the application, and that they have read and agreed to the fellowship terms. For more information about applying directly for this fellowship or applying on another individual’s behalf, please see the “Application” tab.

Application

Online Application Process & Required Attachments

The application process is a two-stage competitive process.

All applicants are required to submit a Stage 1 application form. These will be reviewed and approximately 100 applicants will be invited to submit a full Stage 2 application.

The Stage 1 deadline to apply for the Luce Indigenous Knowledge Fellowship is Thursday, October 22, 2020. Completed applications must be submitted no later than 5 pm Mountain Daylight Time.

First Nations recognizes that some of our most rural and remote applicants may have limited access to high-speed internet and be unable to submit the application in First Nations’ online system. Applicants who are unable to use the online system must request approval from First Nations at least two weeks in advance of the application deadline by submitting an email request to grantmaking@firstnations.org. Please include your name, contact information and the name of this fellowship opportunity in your message. If you do not have access to email you can call our office at (303) 774-7836 and ask to speak with a member of the Grantmaking Department and we will discuss submission options.

Any requests for exemptions to using the online system must be received by October 8, 2020.

Important Note: Please allow yourself enough time to submit a complete application before the deadline, as the system will shut down automatically at 5 pm MDT on THURSDAY, OCTOBER 22, 2020, and no data may be entered thereafter. Partial, faxed, emailed or mailed applications that are not received on time due to user error will not be considered.

ONLINE FELLOWSHIP APPLICATION FORM: The online fellowship application form includes several sections that ask applicants to provide their contact information, demographic information, and three short essays. The online application also requires that applicants upload several attachments during the online submission process.

All applicants will receive a confirmation email following the completion of the Fellowship Application Form. This confirmation will be sent via email to the primary email address provided in the application.

Stage 1 Application

ESSAYS: In the application, applicants will be asked to respond to two short essays. These statements are designed to yield more insight about applicants’ knowledge, experience, potential and vision. In addition to aiding with the selection process, these essays are intended to help applicants define their vision and goals for the fellowship year.

  • Statement of Community Impact: In 500 words or fewer, please share more about your personal and/or professional background as it relates to your knowledge field(s) and working with Indigenous communities. Please make sure to address how you have been actively engaged in your knowledge area(s) and how your work supports Indigenous people and communities.
  • Vision for Fellowship Year: In 500 words or fewer, please explain how you will use the fellowship to advance your personal and professional goals. Please make sure to address any plans for creating, disseminating, and/or perpetuating knowledge within your community or to Indigenous peoples at large.

ATTACHMENTS:

  • Resumé/Curriculum Vitae/Biographical Sketch: All applicants must submit a detailed, up-to-date résumé, curriculum vitae or biographical sketch that summarizes their background and experience working with Indigenous people and communities in either reservation and/or urban settings. This attachment must be uploaded as a .pdf file.
  • Consent Form (REQUIRED FOR NOMINATIONS): Nominators submitting applications on behalf of another individual must upload a signed consent form. This form indicates that the nominee consents to working with the nominator to complete the fellowship application. It also indicates that the nominee has reviewed and agrees to the terms of the fellowship. Download First Nations’ Consent Form here.

Stage 2 Application

ESSAYS: In the application, applicants will be asked to edit, update, and expand on their previous essays, up to 1,000 words, and provide additional information regarding use of funds for the fellowship year.

  • Use of Funds: In 500 words or fewer, describe how the fellowship funds will support your vision and goals for the fellowship year.

ATTACHMENTS:

  • Three (3) Letters of Reference: Applicants must submit three letters of reference with their application. References should be from 1) An individual in the same knowledge field who can speak on the importance of your work, 2) An individual from the community you serve who can speak on your experience working with and supporting Indigenous communities, and 3) A personal character reference. This attachment must be uploaded as a .pdf or Word file.In the application, applicants will be asked to submit the names and contact information of three individuals who will upload reference letters on their behalf. Please note that applications will not be able to be submitted until all referees have uploaded their letters.
  • One (1) High-Quality Photo: For potential use in First Nations’ publications. Please submit a high-quality photograph of yourself in JPEG format. The photo can be a headshot or portrait and must clearly show your face.
  • Additional Supporting Materials (OPTIONAL): Applicants can attach up to three (3) supporting documents or materials that demonstrate the applicant’s commitment to his or her tribal community (awards, newspaper clippings, magazine articles, etc.). Supplemental materials are optional but highly recommended. These attachments must be uploaded as .pdf files.

All applicants must complete the First Nations online grant application, including submission of necessary attachments, no later than THURSDAY, OCTOBER 22, 2020, at 5 pm Mountain Daylight Time.

Download instructions for First Nations’ Online Application System here.

Access First Nations’ Online Application system here.

Selection Criteria

Selection Criteria

In 2020, First Nations will award 10 fellowships of $50,000 each. Our criteria for selecting each fellow is based on a combination of the applicant’s community knowledge, experience, potential and vision.

KNOWLEDGE: Applicants must be actively engaged in the development, perpetuation or dissemination of Indigenous and/or Western knowledge. They must have a cultural grounding and connectedness to community.

EXPERIENCE: Applicants must be engaged in relevant work that seeks to grow and advance knowledge. They must demonstrate a record of success of working and collaborating with Indigenous people and communities, and preserving and perpetuating Indigenous knowledge systems.

POTENTIAL: Applicants must demonstrate continuing promise in their field of endeavor. They must embody exceptional creativity, progressive and critical thinking, and the potential to significantly move forward their field in ways that will ultimately lead to broad, transformative impacts for Indigenous peoples.

VISION: Applicants must clearly articulate how the fellowship will support or accelerate their work. They must develop a unique plan of action that details their vision for preserving and perpetuating Indigenous knowledge in either reservation and/or urban community settings.

The selection of fellows will be made by First Nations’ Fellowship Selection Committee. The Fellowship Selection Committee includes First Nations staff and an Advisory Committee of nine Native American intellectual leaders representing a diversity of geographies, tribes and fields. Selection will be based on each candidate’s application.

Selection Process

First Nations recognizes that there is not one form of Indigenous knowledge; rather it takes many forms. Indigenous knowledge is diverse and reflects unique cultures, languages, geographies, histories, traditions and values. The fellowship selection process is designed to be inclusive and benefit all applicants.

The application process allows applicants to reflect on their previous accomplishments and create a plan that will allow them to achieve personal and/or community goals. The stages and timeline of the Luce Indigenous Knowledge Fellowship are as follows:

  1. Application for the Luce Indigenous Knowledge Fellowship opens Thursday, September 10, 2020.
  2. Stage 1 applications are due Thursday, October 22, 2020, at 5 pm Mountain Daylight Time.
  3. Stage 1 applicants will be notified regarding the status of their applications on or before January 5, 2021. Those advancing to Stage 2 will be able to access their application forms at this time.
  4. Stage 2 application are due Thursday, February 4, 2021, at 5 pm Mountain Daylight Time.
  5. Stage 2 applicants will be notified regarding the status of their applications on or before March 9, 2021. 25 semifinalists will be selected to advance to the final interview stage of the selection process.
  6. Semifinalists will travel and participate in an in-person (pending community and travel restrictions) interview with the Luce Indigenous Knowledge Fellowship Selection Committee the week of April 5, 2021, at First Nations’ headquarters in Longmont, Colorado. First Nations will cover all travel and accommodation expenses for semifinalists’ travel.
  7. After the interviews, the Fellowship Selection Committee will select 10 fellows. Semifinalists will be notified on or before April 12, 2021.
  8. The fellowship will begin May 1, 2021, and conclude April 30, 2022.
Grant Requirements

Requirements and Guidelines

For 40 years, First Nations has had the privilege of working with countless Native American leaders including elders, knowledge keepers, cultural advisors, language experts and other members of Indigenous communities dedicated to using their wisdom and ingenuity to restore, rebuild and/or perpetuate Indigenous knowledge systems. First Nations has witnessed such individuals spark significant innovation and positive change in their communities.

This fellowship is designed to honor and support individuals as they work to further Indigenous knowledge creation, dissemination and change in Indigenous communities. This fellowship will give Native knowledge holders and knowledge makers the funding and connections necessary to maximize their potential and realize their vision for their communities. This fellowship will provide cultural producers with the resources to match their existing knowledge, passion and drive to achieve their personal and community goals.

Broadly defined, Native knowledge holders and knowledge makers are individuals engaged in the creation and dissemination of knowledge that advances their respective field or expertise area. This includes those engaged in either and/or both Western knowledge fields or traditional Indigenous fields of knowledge development and dissemination, including:

  • Cultural Leaders and Activists
  • Linguists and Language Preservationists
  • Artists, Craftspeople and Designers
  • Writers, Storytellers and Media-Makers
  • Curators, Conservators and Educators
  • Food System Workers and Food Justice Advocates
  • Small Business Owners and Entrepreneurs
  • Healthcare Professionals and Practitioners
  • Environmentalists and Conservationists
  • Academics, Researchers and Scientists
  • And many more

As part of the application process, fellows will be expected to define and articulate Native knowledge within the context of their own communities and knowledge field. Fellows will create a unique plan of action that will empower them with the leadership skills and strategies necessary to preserve and perpetuate Indigenous knowledge in either reservation and/or urban settings.

Help

Application Q&A Session

First Nations will host two optional, informational Question & Answer (Q&A) webinars for interested applicants prior to the application deadline. These Q&A webinars will provide interested applicants with information about the fellowship program, eligibility criteria, and allowable activities and requirements. During the webinars, First Nations will also discuss specific questions in the fellowship application and sample responses. Attendees are encouraged to ask questions about the Luce Indigenous Knowledge Fellowship application and this funding opportunity.

Participation in these webinars is NOT mandatory, but applicants are strongly encouraged to register for and attend one or both of the webinars.

Q&A Sessions Will Be Held on:

Tuesday, September 22, 2020, at 2 pm MDT. Register at:
https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/1279605444120069134

Thursday, October 8, 2020, at 1 pm MDT. Register at:
https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/4741724567916978958

Questions

More information can be found in our Frequently Asked Questions.

If you have any additional questions about the Fellowship program, please contact Kendall Tallmadge by email at ktallmadge@firstnations.org or by phone at (303) 774-7836.

If you need assistance submitting your application in the online system, please contact First Nations’ Grantmaking Department by email at grantmaking@firstnations.org or by phone at (303) 774-7836.