Native Americans in Philanthropy Receives $450,000 Grant from Ford Foundation to Support Ongoing Work of Generation Indigenous Response Fund

The genesis of the Generation Indigenous Initiative began with a visit President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama paid to the Standing Rock Indian Reservation in June 2014. White House photo by Pete Souza.

Published February 21, 2019

LOS ANGELES — Native Americans in Philanthropy is proud to announce that it has received a $450,000 grant from Ford Foundation to support the Generation Indigenous Response Fund (#GenIndigenous Fund), a pooled fund housed at The Minneapolis Foundation that supports Native youth organizing by Native-led non-profit organizations.

The Generation Indigenous Initiative was launched by President Obama after listening to Native youth on the Standing Rock Indian Reservation in 2014. It focused on removing the barriers that stand between Native youth and their opportunity to reach their full potential. After the Administration changed, this network of Native Youth-serving nonprofit organizations in the private sector continued to stand in solidarity for Native youth, each creating opportunities for Native youth by promoting Native youth voices in tribal, state and national dialogues, supporting advocacy, changing policy and cultivating a new generation of Native leaders. Native Americans in Philanthropy’s #GenIndigenous Fund was inspired by the President’s drive to respond to the extreme disparities experienced by Native communities.

“I was honored to be at the White House to help organize the last Generation Indigenous convening under the Obama Administration. I am so pleased to now work at Native Americans in Philanthropy who shares a passionate vision to support Native youth and Native youth-serving programs, opening doors, sometimes kicking open doors, to create opportunities for Native youth to have their voices heard, their leadership strengthened and to lead solutions for their communities,” Gina Jackson (Western Shoshone), Program Director for Native Americans in Philanthropy.

Taking the lead in the philanthropic sector, Native Americans in Philanthropy launched the #GenIndigenous Fund in partnership with The Minneapolis Foundation in 2016 to support Native youth leading advocacy especially in land, water and sovereignty protection. The Fund supports expansion from specific advocacy campaigns to long-term movement building across Indian Country. The Fund pools investments from different sources and awards grants supporting youth organizing building long-term power for Native American youth including strategic communications, education, workforce development, juvenile justice, resiliency, traditional knowledge, sustainability, environmental justice, health, and trauma and healing.

“I am grateful to the Ford Foundation, who has long supported NAP’s work of connecting Native communities and funders with a shared vision of healthy and sustainable Native communities,” said Sarah Eagle Heart (Oglala Lakota), CEO, Native Americans in Philanthropy. “This grant from Ford Foundation will have a significant impact in Native Youth leadership development and advocacy with the aim of catalyzing social and policy change. I am grateful to President Obama for uplifting the importance of Native youth and honored to support this ongoing work at Native Americans in Philanthropy.”

Over the past several years, various Native organizations and tribal communities who support Native youth have aligned with My Brother’s Keeper Alliance (MBKA), to address the persistent opportunity gaps faced by boys and young men of color and ensure that all young people can reach their full potential. Native Americans in Philanthropy has been proud to partner with the Center for Native American Youth and United National Indian Tribal Youth in regional thought leadership convenings to support the ongoing funding and research efforts for Native youth.

“The Ford Foundation is proud to partner with Native Americans in Philanthropy and the Generation Indigenous Response Fund to support Native youth leadership,” said Xavier de Souza Briggs, Vice President for US Programs at the Ford Foundation. “We encourage other funders to join this effort and to listen to Native youth leaders as we collectively work to build a more equitable, representative, and just society.”

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