Native Youth Grantmakers is designed for Indigenous youth aged 18-24 who are connected to their community (urban, rural, or reservation) and want to grow their leadership skills, advocate for Native youth and youth programs, and learn more about the philanthropic sector.
This year-long course is both in-person and virtual and embraces Indigenous values that can help create conditions for all communities to thrive. As Native people, we are the first philanthropists.
Today, philanthropy is a critical tool because it supports endeavors from which we can all benefit; however, Native youth are largely left out of that process. NAP strongly believes that Native youth bring a critical perspective to the world of philanthropy and deserve decision-making power when it comes to the issues that impact us all.
This leadership program is designed to directly support emerging Native leaders, to center their perspectives, and to build power in a community of practice of grantmakers. The NAP team will work closely with program participants to help cultivate and nurture their strengths and connect them to key Indigenous leaders in the philanthropy sector.
Nicholas Conrad is 22 years old and enrolled in the Osage Nation. He is a senior at the University of Idaho pursuing a Bachelor of Science degree in Political Science. He has worked for Tribal Tech LLC as an intern in the past. During his time at Tribal Tech Nicholas learned about the field of grant administration, processing applications, and more. Nicholas hopes to help Native communities in the future in any capacity he can. He travels to Pawhuska, Oklahoma each summer to attend and participate in the ceremonial dances for his people and has done so since a young age. He is passionate about finding ways to help others and enjoys basketball.
My name is Haley Garreau, I’m 19 years old and I come from the Lummi Nation and I am also First Nations Huu-ay-aht! I work at Children of the Setting Sun Productions, a native-led nonprofit organization based in Bellingham, WA. When I’m not working I enjoy reading, spending time with my dog and being with my friends and family. I’m so excited to be a part of this year’s cohort of Native Youth Grantmakers and can’t wait to start this journey!
Aloha mai kākou!
My name is Kalāmanamana Harman and Iʻm the eldest daughter of Kekoa and Pelehonuamea Harman. I’m a Native Hawaiian. I received my High School diploma from Ke Kula ʻO Nāwahīokalaniʻōpuʻu , a Hawaiian medium School In Keaʻau on the Island of Hawaiʻi and Hilo High School I am a recent BA graduate from Dartmouth College double majoring in Native American & Indigenous Studies and Anthropology. On campus, I was a member of Kappa Delta, the Ultimate frisbee team, the treasurer for the Dartmouth Women’s Club Soccer team and the co-president of Hokupa’a, the Pan-Pasifika club. I’m also an intern at Tamalpais Trust, and Indigenous-led philanthropic trust that provides funding opportunities that support Indigenous-led organizations and funds focused on promoting and revitalizing Indigenous languages, food systems, waterways, and knowledge, and bring Indigenous worldviews, practices, and ceremonies to the field of philanthropy. While I’m at home, I give back to my community by volunteering to coach soccer to kids of Nā Hoa o Puna Soccer club as well as helping my parents with their Hawaiian dance school called Hālau i ka leo Ola o nā Mamo.
Sage Loyema Innerarity (she/her) is a Northern Sierra Miwok storyteller, writer, and citizen of the Ione Band of Miwok Indians from Elk Grove, CA. Sage is a Mellon Mays Fellow and graduated Magna Cum Laude from Amherst College with degrees in English and American Studies. She was awarded the The George Rogers Taylor Prize for her Summa-Recommended thesis entitled “Stealing the Fire: (Re)claiming, (Re)telling, and (Re)covering Miwok Creation Stories and Oral Histories.”
During her time at Amherst, Sage was co-president of the Native and Indigenous Students Association, a Financial Aid Peer Ambassador, a member of the Amherst College Sabrinas, and a varsity softball player. She also served as a DEI representative for her softball team and was a member of the President’s Anti-Racism Student Advisory Committee.
Sage is now spending her gap year working as the Post Baccalaureate Fellow in Native American Literature in the Robert Frost Library at Amherst College. In the Fall of 2023, she will attend Simmons University to pursue a Master’s Degree in Library and Information Sciences with a concentration in Cultural Heritage and serve as the Dean’s Fellow for Social Media and Communications. Sage also plans to pursue a PhD in either Native American Studies or American Studies after obtaining her MLIS. In doing so she would be fulfilling her commitment as a Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellow to obtain a PhD and contribute to efforts to diversify academia and make it more accessible to BIPOC.
Sage is committed to cultural revitalization efforts within her tribal community, and is excited to learn more about how philanthropic and non-profit work aligns with the needs and goals of her community. In addition to working as a researcher and interviewer with the Miwok Heritage Center, she is also involved in designing and teaching language courses for Miwok youth as well as learning basketweaving with her mother and sister.
Aiy-ye-kwee’ nek-new Ruby King (she/they). Hello, my name is Ruby King and my pronouns are she/they. I’m from the Karuk and Yurok Tribes of Northern California. I am nineteen years old. I grew up on Karuk off-reservation trust land in Orleans, CA. I am currently in my third year of undergrad at the University of California, Berkeley. I’m double majoring in Psychology and Native American Studies. At UC Berkeley, I am a Fiat Lux Scholar and a Berkeley Hope Scholar. While on campus I work as a server and a hostess for mak-’amham, Cafe Ohlone. While at home I Intern with the Karuk Tribes Department of Natural Resources under the Píkyav (“Fix It”) Field Institute which focuses on K-12 Environmental Education through the integration of Traditional Ecological Knowledge and western science. As a youth I participated in several leadership roles as well, such as, serving three years as the Orleans Karuk Youth Leadership Council’s Vice-Chairwoman, and spending a year as a Youth ambassador for Two-Feathers Native American Family Services.
I am very passionate about cultural revitalization, and mental health in my community. My main goal through my education and career opportunities is to learn how to better navigate systems and spaces, that will allow me to help create and broaden opportunities, resources, and pathways for my community– specifically the youth.
Mikayah Oxendine is a member of The Lumbee Tribe of North Carolina who was born and raised within her community of Robeson County. She is currently a senior at The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, pursuing a major in Information Science and a double minor in American Studies and Environmental Justice. Over the past year, she served as the Historian, Treasurer, and Vice-President for the Alpha Chapter of Alpha Pi Omega Sorority, Incorporated, and the Banquet Chair for Carolina Indian Circle (CIC). Mikayah is presently serving as a Southwind Southern Futures Fellow as an emerging Indigenous Archivist; while constructing the first archive to capture 50 years of history for CIC. She is passionate about environmental justice initiatives globally and near her rural community back home. She enjoys traveling to the mountains, canoeing in the Lumbee River, and pursuing the art of sewing at her leisure.
Way’ Hello! My name is Yusn or Letkwu Moore Stanger, I am from the Colville Confederated Tribes and just entered my second year studying Native Environmental Science at Northwest Indian College. I am a part of the 2023 Native Youth Grantmakers Cohort. I am working with Dr. Joseph Garcia, our college’s Grant Coordinator. At school, I am working on a few arts grants to help with our music club and will be working with the AIBL (American Indian Business Leaders) Club and helping our 2SLGBTIQA+ club start up. I will be able to research and learn to grant write for each of these clubs working with Dr. Garcia. Away from school life, I dance fancy shawl at powwows. I helped create the Spokane Falls Two-Spirit Powwow and build a two-spirit canoe to take on journey this year. I study my people’s languages and graduated a year-long cohort this spring, there are other classes that I take, I hope to be able to have language in my life forever because our world today takes away us speaking and I never want to lose our language again. I am a young native ‘agvocate’ (agriculture advocate) which means that I care about taking care of our lands and feeding our people and animal relatives, because of this I became involved in Native Agriculture and have been learning ways to work toward food sovereignty and land stewardship goals for my people. All the aspects in my life align and I am grateful for the connections I have made with young adults like me who I will work with in life to create the changes we need for our future generations.
Wunee Keesuq, nutus8ees Dasia Peters. Nuwtomas Mâseepeeut kah nutây Mâseepeeut. Good day, my name is Dasia Peters. I am from and I live in Mashpee. I am a proud and active member of the Mashpee Wampanoag tribe.
I am currently a student at Bridgewater State University where I am majoring in Communications with a minor in Indigenous Studies. On campus, I’ve worked to reestablish the universities Indigenous Cultural Association and I currently serve as the secretary. I plan to graduate in the spring of 2024.
For work, I currently am a Communications Specialist where I help run communications and public relations for my tribe. This work has been very fulfilling as I get to work with closely with my people daily and actively assist my community.
I have previously served as my tribes 2021-2022 Mashpee Wampanoag Powwow Princess. During my reign, I acted as an ambassador for my people where I represented our nation at powwows, community events, and other important meetings. The experience was fundamental in shaping who I am as an Indigenous woman today, and I will continue to cherish all that I have learned from that opportunity. In my spare time I preform with the Wampanoag Nation Singers and Dancers where we display traditional eastern woodlands social songs and educate non-natives about Wampanoag culture.
I also volunteer as the secretary to the Mashpee Wampanoag Youth Advisory Committee, which aims to support Wampanoag youth and create positive opportunities and experiences that will benefit them.
Over the past few years, I have made a conscious effort to learn as much as I can about my people. While I continue to do that today, I also look forward to learning more about tribes throughout Indian Country and the ways that I can support them best.
Ahapây (Humbly) Dasia Peters
Pōsōh māwaw-new weyak! Hello everyone, I am McKaylin Peters or Osāmetok. I am 21 years old and I come from the people of the Menominee, Oneida, and Forest County Potawatomi nations. I was raised on the Menominee Reservation and I currently reside in Madison, Wisconsin.
As an undergraduate student at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, I am studying Community & Nonprofit Leadership (B.S). I am currently a fellow and working on a current project under the Earth Partnership Fellowship. My fellowship consists of incorporating Menominee language into mental health resources and focuses on language representation throughout the community. I will also serve as the Indigenous Student Intern at the Multicultural Student Center this fall.
I am passionate about serving my community, especially the youth. After graduation, my plans are to go back and help my community. One of my goals is to turn the mental health group I created with two of my closest friends into a nonprofit. Our group is called “Bucket of Support,” which was named after my brother. We cannot plan for the next seven generations if our youth doesn’t have guidance to reach their full potential. I was fortunate enough to have a great support system and mentors growing up, I hope I can be that person for our youth in need. I consider myself extremely lucky to have discovered a supportive community at a young age and to have a platform to share this sense of belonging with others. This opportunity will allow me to expand my ability to provide support to my community and acquire valuable knowledge on enacting meaningful transformations. I am honored to represent the Menominee people within the Native Youth Grant Makers Program! Waewaenen.
Quinn Smith is a Chickasaw and Choctaw storyteller and aspiring policy practitioner who aims to utilize storytelling to advance the flourishing of Indigenous peoples and the environment. He earned his BA in Public Policy from Duke University in 2023 and won the Terry Sanford Leadership Award for his advocacy work as President of the Native American/Indigenous Student Alliance.
Quinn has directed creative projects for the U.S. Department of the Interior, All My Relations Podcast, the Chickasaw Nation, and Duke Gardens, as well as several independent documentaries and multimedia exhibits. As a freelance writer, Quinn has written about Native American history, Tribal sovereignty, and other contemporary issues for Ancestry.com and ClickView Education. Through the Studio Duke program, Quinn wrote a TV pilot about Native college student experiences with the co-executive producer of ABC’s Blackish. He is currently co-authoring a paper about the Cherokee Industrial School, a Federal Indian Boarding School formerly run by Duke University.
Quinn was awarded the prestigious Hart Fellowship and will spend the next year working for Nia Tero and the Indigenous Leadership Initiative on advancing Indigenous land guardianship in the U.S. and Canada. Quinn was recently admitted to the Southern Exposure Film Fellowship and will be creating a film about advancing Indigenous land guardianship in Alabama. He is also a recipient of the Benenson Art Award through which he will be creating a documentary about the multiplicity of contemporary Chickasaw experiences from a Chickasaw perspective. In his free time, Quinn is a singer and guitarist for The Debris, an alt-rock band from Albuquerque, New Mexico which he founded with his high school friends. He is also a passionate learner of the Chickasaw language and a lover of green and red chile.
Weather you are seeking information about how to support this important effort, or if you are a Native youth interested in applying, we welcome your connection. Getting involved with Native Youth Grantmakers is a powerful way to make a meaningful impact on the lives of Indigenous communities. You can start by becoming a donor, supporting our initiatives financially to provide much-needed resources and opportunities for Native American youth. Additionally, you can participate in mentorship, sharing your expertise and guidance with young grantmakers as they navigate the world of philanthropy. We also encourage you to attend our events and conferences, where you can connect with like-minded individuals and organizations, fostering collaborations that amplify the reach of our collective efforts. Together, we can empower Indigenous youth, build resilience, and create lasting change for generations to come.