For more than 39 years, First Nations Development Institute (First Nations), a Native American-led 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, has worked to strengthen American Indian economies to support healthy Native communities by investing in and creating 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 2019, First Nations has successfully managed 1,648 grants totaling more than $35 million to Native American projects and organizations across the Indian Country. For more information, visit www.firstnations.org.
First Nations began investing in Native youth by launching the Native Youth and Culture Fund (NYCF) in 2002 to partner with tribes, Native nonprofit organizations and Native community groups working in rural and reservation-based communities and seeking ways to preserve, strengthen and/or renew Native cultures and traditions among youth.
First Nations believes that Native youth represent the future of Native communities and that their health and well-being determine the future health and well-being of a community overall. By investing in youth and giving them a sense of place and tradition in the community, a community ensures that it will have bright and capable future leaders.
We are pleased to announce this 2020 Request for Proposals (RFP) for projects that focus on youth and support the perpetuation of traditional ecological knowledge, spirituality and the intergenerational transfer of knowledge systems, resulting in compassion, respect, dignity, reverence for nature, and care for each other and the Earth. Specifically, we are seeking projects that focus on one or more of these four priority areas:
- Preserving, strengthening or renewing cultural and/or spiritual practices, beliefs and values.
- Engaging both youth and elders in activities that demonstrate methods for documenting traditional ecological knowledge systems, practices and/or beliefs.
- Increasing youth leadership and their capacity to lead through integrated educational or mentoring programs.
- Increasing access to and sharing of cultural customs and beliefs through the use of appropriate technologies (traditional and/or modern), as a means of reviving or preserving tribal language, arts, history or other culturally relevant topics.
First Nations expects to award approximately 20 grants of between $5,000 and $19,500 for projects of no longer than one year in length. We may consider projects that have previously received funding through NYCF and are seeking additional support to expand the original project, with a view toward sustainability. Only in very exceptional cases will we consider projects that do not fit these guidelines.
The grant period for this funding opportunity will commence June 1, 2020, and end May 31, 2021.
Total requests for project budgets within this funding opportunity should not exceed $19,500.