New Report Updates Grantmaking Trends under First Nations’ Native Youth and Culture Fund

Published February 4, 2019

LONGMONT, Colo. — First Nations Development Institute (First Nations) today released an updated report on grantmaking trends under its Native Youth and Culture Fund (NYCF) for the years 2015 through 2017. The NYCF provides financial support, technical assistance and training to tribes and Native American organizations dedicated to youth empowerment and culture and language awareness.

The NYCF is one of First Nations’ most popular grant opportunities. From 2002 through 2017, First Nations awarded 378 grants through the NYCF, totaling $6.33 million. In partnership with the Kalliopeia Foundation and other supporters, the NYCF has become one of the largest grantmaking programs to support community-based efforts that connect Native youth with programs that promote youth leadership and advance Native culture, language and spirituality.

The new report, Investing in Native Youth: Grantmaking Trends from the Native Youth and Culture Fund 2015-2017, shares NYCF grantmaking activities from 2015 through 2017, and compares these statistics with First Nations’ original report covering the years 2010 through 2014 in order to document continued trends and/or changes related to the status of funding for youth programs in Indian Country.  The updated report shows that First Nations was able to fund only 12.5 percent of the $10.38 million in requests it received under the NYCF during those three years.

Overall, the report highlights the extreme need for foundation investment in programs that support Native youth, especially programs that connect them to their cultures and build esteem, leadership skills and confidence.

In addition to shedding light on these financial trends, the new report highlights several innovative grant programs, including the Pyramid Lake Paiute Tribe’s language immersion camp, the California Indian Museum & Cultural Center tribal ambassadors’ business program, and more.  These exciting programs emphasize the critical role that Native-led nonprofits play in administering youth-based programs and activities that have the potential to inspire young tribal leaders and transform their communities.

Nationwide, youth in this country are being called to action to serve as leaders in their communities and to speak up for the causes that matter to them the most. Native youth are doing the same in their communities. With increased investment, Native communities will be able to grow the future generation of Native leaders that have a strong sense of place and tradition.

The full report can be downloaded for free from the First Nations website at this link.

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