For over 40 years, First Nations Development Institute (First Nations), a Native-led 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, has worked to strengthen American Indian economies to support healthy Native communities. First Nations invests in and creates innovative institutions and models that strengthen asset control and support economic development for American Indian people and their communities. First Nations began its national grantmaking program in 1993. Through mid-year 2021, First Nations has successfully managed 2,276 grants totaling more than $46 million to tribal and community institutions across Indian Country. For more information, visit www.firstnations.org.
Because Native cultures and languages are, collectively, key assets for all Native communities, First Nations has long included a concentration on supporting their preservation and proliferation. Since 2002, First Nations has supported tribes and Native communities working to maintain and strengthen cultural connections, identities and practices maintained through language, land/place, food, traditional art mediums and other forms of cultural expression.
First Nations launched the Native Language Immersion Initiative (NLII) in 2017 as a three-year project to build on longtime efforts to support the revitalization and perpetuation of Native languages. The NLII program is designed specifically to build the capacity of and support Native language immersion education programs in tribal communities. With generous support from several foundations and numerous individual donors across the U.S., the NLII program has continued beyond the original three-year investment. Support for the 2022 grant cycle is made possible through funding from the NoVo Foundation.
During this funding cycle, First Nations will award 5 to 8 grants ranging from $45,000 to $75,000 to build the capacity of and directly support Native-controlled nonprofit organizations and tribal government programs actively supporting Native language immersion programs.
Languages are the vehicle through which cultural traditions are passed and values – such as respect for elders, community, and the Earth – are taught. Research has also shown that learning a language increases the emotional health and social development of children. Fortified by learning their Native language, Native youth build a positive cultural identity and resiliency to face life’s struggles.
Since the NLII began, more than 30 Native organizations and tribes have received over $4 million in funding to build the capacity of and directly support their Native language immersion programs. In addition to direct financial resources, this initiative seeks to build a dialogue and community of practice among Native language immersion grantees and momentum for supporting Native language programs.
Funding under this grant will support capacity-building activities designed to improve and enhance the language immersion program’s ability to achieve its mission. This may include curriculum development, technology access, instructional courses and materials, mentorships, teacher training and other kinds of organizational infrastructure.
The grant period for this funding opportunity is January 1, 2022, to December 31, 2022.
Grant Award Ceilings
Total requests for project budgets within this funding opportunity should not exceed $75,000.
Grant Submission Deadline
Applications are due WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 10, 2021, no later than 5 pm Mountain Time.
First Nations recognizes that some of our most rural and remote applicants may have limited access to high-speed internet. Any exceptions to use of the online system must be made at least two weeks in advance of the application deadline by submitting a request to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please include your name, organization, contact information and the name of the RFP for which you are applying. 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.
Unfortunately, First Nations cannot make any emergency exceptions to application deadlines. Partial applications, incomplete applications due to user error, or faxed/emailed/mailed applications will not be considered unless they have received prior approval.