We are living in a pivotal moment for youth-led movements. Across the country, and at Standing Rock in their fight against the Dakota Access pipeline, young people are playing leading roles in social justice movements that advance a vision for a just society. Now is a critical moment to support Native American youth who are showing a readiness to organize in building lasting movements for social change. The movement at Standing Rock provided Native Americans in Philanthropy (NAP) with an unprecedented opportunity to advocate for immediate support in response to the current situation and to leverage this opportunity to encourage a long-term commitment from philanthropy to Native communities.
The Generation Indigenous Initiative was first launched by the Obama administration in 2014 to focus on improving the lives of Native youth by removing the barriers that stand between Native youth and their opportunity to succeed. NAP was first brought on as a partner for #GenIndigenous in 2016 for the philanthropic event Generation Indigenous: Raising Impact with Innovation and Proven Strategies at the White House. This event called upon the philanthropic community to take action to elevate key issues and to address the pressing needs of Native youth with culturally comprehensive approaches to ensure all Native youth reach their full potential. In recognizing the need to bridge funders and youth organizers, NAP has continued the Generation Indigenous work through webinars, regional convenings, and the new #GenIndigenous Response Fund.
The #GenIndigenous Response Fund, housed at The Minneapolis Foundation, provides grants on a rolling basis to selected groups of up to $5,000. The grant focuses on strategic communications, education, workforce development, juvenile justice, resiliency, traditional knowledge, sustainability, environmental justice, health, and trauma and healing. This fund will provide grants to organizations playing leadership roles in current movements while considering efforts to support the long term engagement of youth leaders in advocacy efforts. We believe that youth engagement, organizing, and leadership is central to this movement moment, therefore we will prioritize funding efforts that are Native and youth led.
Native Americans have long standing traditions and practices of giving and reciprocity with potlatches and giveaways. At NAP, we hold a vision of healthy and sustainable communities enhanced by the Native spirit of generosity. As a connector between grantmakers and Native organizations and communities, NAP has engaged and educated philanthropic leaders about the issues facing Native communities for the health and well-being of the next seven generations.
All donations made to the #GenIndigenous Response Fund from May 1-14, 2017 will form the first ever #GenIndigenous Virtual Giving Circle. Virtual Giving Circles allow donors to pool resources and increase impact in unified support. Help carry on the Native American tradition of giving by donating online today. Together, we can empower Native youth movement building!