Na'ah Illahee Fund provides resources for Indigenous Communities across the Pacific Northwest who are located in AK, ID, OR, MT, WA and British Columbia. We strive to advance a "just recovery" by helping tribal communities to meet the needs of the people.  We seek to fund projects that aim to revitalize Indigenous lifeways through community programming, capacity building, workshops and skills sharing.

Na’ah Illahee Food Sovereignty Grant

Opens January 10, 2022   |  Applications due by February 17, 2022  | Awards up to $25,000

Na’ah Illahee Fund (NIF) provides resources for Native Communities across the Pacific Northwest who are located in Alaska, Idaho, Montana, Oregon, Washington and British Columbia.

As Native people, Na’ah Illahee (NIF) sees the land as a living entity and we tailor our grantmaking to support this belief. Na’ah Illahee works in relationship with Mother Earth to strengthen her living systems in acts of support, reciprocity, and respect. This Food Sovereignty Grant seeks to support our hunter, gather, grower way of life by funding Native organizations and individuals who preserve and practice these ways. Food Sovereignty is something that we must protect and support because of the history of an oppressive culture forcibly removing the inherent rights of Natives to self- determination – to pray, grow, gather, hunt, fish, feed, share, and care for themselves. NIF is looking to provide grants to Native people who are leading community- based food sovereignty and sustainability efforts in their communities.

NIF supports cultural revitalization and continues to support treaty rights and other legal ways that our ancestors ensured our Indigenous rights to care for ourselves and our right to choose our own foods into the future. One of our valued relatives Demarus Tevuk, beautifully articulated this in an article called, “Food Sovereignty: A Gift From Our Ancestors”, wrote “As Native People, we have a duty to follow Natural Law above all else. I teach my children to feel thankfulness while gathering berries, to feel awe and wonder at the bounty that covers the hillsides and valleys, to respect the plants and animals, to take home only what we need for ourselves and for our gifts to share with friends and family.”  It is that mindset we aim to support with the 2022 NIF Food Sovereignty Grant.

NIF seeks to support the realignment of our relationship with Mother Earth and the water that nourishes the people. NIF strives to advance a “just recovery”  by helping Indigenous communities that are supporting their own food sovereignty as a fundamental right.  NIF places a high value on sharing old teachings of growing and harvesting our own foods and medicines.  NIF also encourages the Native teaching of hunting and fishing practices and passing those teachings on to the younger generations.

WE SEEK TO SUPPORT

We will award financial support to “projects”, or organized activities led by Indigenous people that aim to revitalize or increase the practice of Indigenous lifeways and create access to traditional foods and medicines through community programming, workshops, and skill sharing. Our goal is to fund those uplifting food-sovereign nations and communities that prioritize people and the environment over profit.

Examples of funding requests & projects that qualify:

  • Revitalizing place-based traditional farming and traditional food system practices and lifeways
  • Community gardens, family gardens and food forests to provide fresh food, community building and skills sharing, allowing people to grow their own food
  • Traditional breastfeeding trainings to support our first food and nutritional care for birthing families
  • Sacred plant and seed harvesting, seed saving, libraries & seed sharing
  • Traditional food and medicine gathering, processing, preparation or preservation and incorporation of Native names of plants and Native uses of plants
  • Creating local sustainable, traditional food systems for Native community based on “Traditional Ecological Knowledge”
  • Teaching shared wisdom, respecting game brought to tables, hunting safety, protocols and preparation
  • Installation of community kitchens to can and process food from gardening, hunting or fishing to feed community
  • Resurgence in traditional trade/commerce culture & food cooperatives between communities
  • Food sovereignty assessments and community project planning & design
  • Creating educational materials geared towards traditional food sovereignty
  • Native food system program development, and/or design
  • Transportation programs to bring elders and youth to gathering places to gain and increase access

WHO SHOULD APPLY?

  1. Indigenous or First Nation-led nonprofit organizations: 501(c)3 or Canadian Registered Charities; or community groups with Fiscal Sponsor (Sponsorship Agreement must be included in the application)
  2. Indigenous Individuals, Alaska Natives or First Nation Individuals with Tribal Affiliation
  3. Native American Tribes, Alaska Native Corps, First Nation Bands or Departments of Tribal Governments/First Nation Bands

*For NIF, Indigenous includes anyone who holds tribal affiliation/identifies with Indigenous nations in North, Central, or South America or identifies as Native Hawaiian.

Applicants must be located in the Pacific Northwest region: Alaska, Idaho, Montana, Oregon, Washington, and British Columbia, and are eligible for funding under this program.

Grantees are only eligible to receive one Na’ah Illahee Fund grant award per calendar year, as funding is limited and we wish to empower as many Native communities as possible.

WHAT TYPES OF GROUPS ARE WE UNABLE TO SUPPORT?

We are passionate about our beliefs and we want to be sure that the organizations that we support match our ethics.  As a result, our Food Sovereignty grant does not provide grants to:

  • Groups that practice or promote racism, sexism, homophobia, or any form of oppression or exploitation of other humans or the natural world
  • Promote or support violence, aggression, or oppression or any infringement on other people
  • Force, coerce or exclude others based on religious or spiritual beliefs
  • Are not making an effort to be environmentally responsible
  • Are connected to political parties, political rallies or otherwise partisan in their work

HOW DO YOU APPLY?

Applications are submitted via our online granting system or platform called Submittable.  Submittable is an online platform that you can pull up on your phone or computer and it is a free service to applicants. Please go to www.Submittable.com to create an account, then fill out the step-by-step application.

Through Submittable we ask for your basic contact information, organization name, project name, name of Tribal community served, governance structure and 501(c)3 EIN #, Registered Charity number; groups Fiscally Sponsored (signed agreement must be attached). The budgetary information we will ask for will be total project budget (will ask for general breakdown) and total organization budget.

We ask for: a brief history of your project or organization, tell us how your project works, how it will address concerns in your community, who is involved, what benefits it will have, and other resources you have access to.  To save you time during the application process, we suggest you prepare answers to those questions in a document in advance to think your answers through, then when you apply in Submittable it easily allows you to copy and paste into your application.  Most questions about your project leave you the space (500 or so words) to discuss your projects in your words: like “tell us how your project works”, “tell us about the history of your work and project”, and “how will it benefit your community”. Please take the time to thoroughly explain your dreams and vision – we truly want to hear.

We understand that access to online platforms can be its own form of exclusivity. If you need to fill out an application in writing, by email, or by phone please contact the Grants Program Officer.

HOW DO WE MAKE DECISIONS?

NIF funding priorities & how proposals are evaluated:

  • Applications must be submitted by the Indigenous applicant
  • Incomplete applications will not be considered
  • We make grants in support of innovative, solutions-oriented projects that are rooted in cultural traditions
  • We support community projects that help connect people to the things that grow (plant relatives), Na’ah Illahee (Mother Earth), four leggeds (animal relatives), fish, birds (those that fly & swim) and cultural teachings
  • Preference will be given to intergenerational activities that pass critical knowledge from elders to youth
  • We will award grants that reach those most vulnerable, often in hard-to-reach places
  • We aim to support those populations with little or no access to financial resources
  • Grantees receiving Year 2 funds for 2021 Green Infrastructure Capacity Building grants are not eligible

Please understand that applications often exceed available funding. Our goal is to fully fund all applications, but the amount provided will be based on the availability of funds and the number of requests under review.

WHAT IS OUR GRANT MAKING PROCESS?

  1. Apply  Indigenous-only applicants will completely fill out the application via Submittable before the deadline.
  2. Review Once the grant period has ended, the Grants Committee (made up of community members,NIF staff & a board member) will convene to review all applications, select recipients and award funds.
  3. Notify Recipients will then be notified via U.S. mail, so please ensure your current address is on file.  If approved, an award letter will be sent along with a check for the approved amount.
  4. Reflect  We expect follow up from you about the impact and benefits your project provided to your community.

WHAT ARE THE NEXT STEPS IF YOUR APPLICATION IS APPROVED OR DENIED?

The grantmaking committee review of submitted applications will occur Feb. 18-28, 2022, award letters and denials will be sent in March 2022.  Na’ah Illahee Fund will send checks with award letters via U.S. mail.

Na’ah Illahee Fund appreciates your efforts and the contributions your work adds to your community. Our reporting requirements are not burdensome and we will follow up to find out what impact your efforts have had in your Native community. That is all we ask of you!

NEED ASSISTANCE?

If you have questions, seek clarification or assistance with your application, please contact:  Joni Crines, Grants Program Officer via email:  joni@naahillahee.org or phone: (206) 565-8041.

Na'ah Illahee Fund