June 2017 CEO Message

June 2017 CEO Message

Dear Mitakuyapi (“Relatives” is a traditional greeting in the Lakota language),

Cante Waste ya Nape Ciyu zape ye (“I shake your hand with a good heart”). On May 6th, we were joined by over 200 partners and allies for Invisible No More, a Native Movement Building summit and celebration. This was a deeply spiritual day packed with meaningful discussions around movement-building partnerships, youth advocacy, healing, and mass incarceration. We were honored to work with The California Endowment, Partnerships for Purpose, Friends At Work, and Harness in partnership to bring light to the issues that are affecting Native communities, and opportunities for collaboration and intersectional healing. Thank you to our supporters in this endeavor including: W.K. Kellogg Foundation,The California Endowment, Casey Family Programs, Ford Foundation, Marguerite Casey Foundation, Lannan Foundation, and The Annie E. Casey Foundation. Read a full recap of the event and view our online photo gallery here and be sure to follow our hashtag #InvisibleNoMore on social media.

As we move into summer, Native Americans in Philanthropy (NAP) will be ramping up for the CHANGE Philanthropy UNITY Summit on September 18-22. This year our national conference will be a collaborative effort with our CHANGE Philanthropy partners. The 2017 Unity Summit: Investing in Movements for Equity will highlight how philanthropy can align its investments along the themes of Resistance, Protection, and Empowerment. We hope you join us in New Orleans and be sure to save the date for our NAP post-summit session on September 22. Register here between now and June 30th for a discounted registration. An additional discounted rate for NAP members is available.

We are also excited to announce our Generation Indigenous (#GenIndigeous) Funder Tour in Northern California in partnership with The California Endowment.  We invite funders to learn stories of hope and power building in rural and Tribal contexts. Together we can elevate key issues and address the pressing needs of Native youth with innovative and impactful culturally comprehensive approaches. Watch nativephilanthropy.org for registration.

Recently, a report was released titled “Twice Invisible: Understanding Rural Native America” by the First Nations Development Institute (FNDI) that has caused debate within the Native nonprofit sector. A statement from Urban Indian Health Institute highlighting key concerns in the way the report challenges some statistics that are commonly used to describe American Indians and Alaska Natives living off reservation in urban areas. Some of the concerns raised include use of single race analysis, inadequate research methodology, lack of cited data on diversion of federal funds, and lack of information and acknowledgment of the urban Indian experience. In our work to build healthy and sustainable communities for all Native people, NAP hopes to promote dialogue on healing and commentary that unites our communities, rural and urban, rather than segments resources based on location and cultural identity.

Finally, we are ecstatic to see Standing Rock Sioux Tribe receive the Inaugural Henry A. Wallace Award and Pledge of $1 Million in Support for Tribe’s Transition to Renewable Energy and an additional $250,000 cash prize. The Wallace Global Fund first attended our Standing Rock #GenIndigenous Regional Convening and Funders Tour last October. “This all started with (NAP). I could not have predicted the outcome, but I think that is one of the secrets of life–doing things deliberately but knowing the good results are often not foreseeable. The trip put together has stayed with me, an indelible part of the past year,” stated Richard Mott, Director of Environment of the Global Wallace Fund. This is one of the largest awards that Native Americans in Philanthropy is honored to have helped leverage through our deep relationship building with funders. Congratulations to the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe!


Sarah Eagle Heart, CEO
Native Americans in Philanthropy