First Nations Development Institute issues RFP for Native Youth and Culture Fund

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 Native people and their communities.

First Nations invites applications for its Native Youth and Culture Fund, first launched 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.

Through the 2022 RFP, 15 to 18 general operating grants of between $5,000 and $20,000 will be awarded to Native-led nonprofits and organizations focused on providing youth opportunities that support the perpetuation of traditional knowledge, spirituality, and the intergenerational transfer of knowledge systems. Specifically, First Nations seeks programs 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 knowledge systems, practices, and/or beliefs; increasing youth leadership and their capacity to lead through integrated educational or mentoring programs; and 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 the tribal language, arts, history, or other culturally relevant topics.

Applicants must be in the United States or U.S. Territories and be Native-controlled nonprofit organizations or community organizations. First Nations considers “Native-controlled” to mean that the majority (more than 50 percent) of the organization’s Board of Directors is tribally affiliated. Native community organizations may submit applications through a sponsoring organization if the sponsor has 501(c)(3) status and can provide written authorization confirming its willingness to act as the fiscal sponsor.

For complete program guidelines and application instructions, see the First Nations Development Institute website.