When Eagles Hatch: Native Americans in Philanthropy and Native Youth Activism

When Eagles Hatch: Native Americans in Philanthropy and Native Youth Activism

The history of Native American mistreatment in the U.S. is a deep and largely unhealed wound—one that philanthropy has mostly side-stepped. Native Americans, a diverse cohort of about 5.4 million, make up almost 2 percent of the U.S. population, but philanthropic support for their communities and causes remains low—the focus of less than 0.5 percent of annual foundation grant dollars.

Sarah Eagle Heart, CEO of Native Americans in Philanthropy (NAP), tells Inside Philanthropy that, over time, “The government’s behavior gave cues to philanthropy, and the result was and is a severely under-resourced and vulnerable Native population.” She mentions hundreds of violated treaties, the erasure of culture existence and the physical erasure of Native populations as some of the factors that can influence “how non-Natives consider funding priorities.”

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