grants $2 million to Native-led organizations

Editor’s note: Today’s post is by Brittany Schulman (Waccamaw Siouan), Senior Vice President of Programs at Native Americans in Philanthropy (NAP). NAP is a Native-led organization that applies Indigenous values to increase Native representation and support within the philanthropic sector.

There are hundreds of unique and distinct Tribal Nations — each with their own body of government, set of laws, written and verbal language, and way of living. But Native communities have long been made into a monolith and underrepresented in society. This is particularly true in philanthropy, despite the fact that Native and Indigenous peoples have been practicing philanthropy since time immemorial. Our goal at Native Americans in Philanthropy (NAP) is to build a powerful and growing network of Native and non-Native nonprofits, tribal communities, foundations and community members in the philanthropic field.

Our most recent focus is on bridging the digital divide: Federal Communications Commission data from 2019 shows that only 65% of housing units on rural American Indian and Alaska Native lands have access to broadband service. The federal government has made an unprecedented investment in broadband across the U.S. However, without information, support and trust, those who could benefit most from this investment — rural and tribal communities — are at the greatest risk of missing out on it.

Since 2022, we’ve been working with to explore how philanthropic organizations can better serve the needs of Indigenous communities. We’re proud to see support the following Native-led organizations with a total of $2 million in grant funding. Each organization will provide Native communities with the infrastructure and skills needed to secure, and advance, their capacity to meaningfully participate in the digital economy.

  • The American Indian Science and Engineering Society (AISES) will provide infrastructure support to tribal colleges to advance data sovereignty for their respective communities.
  • IndigiGenius will train more than 60 educators and more than 600 Indigenous youth in culturally relevant coding and AI curricula.
  • Native Realities will launch a community of practice focused on developing sustainable technology plans and strategies that are culturally dynamic, holistic and authentic.

This support builds on’s previous $10 million grant to the National Digital Inclusion Alliance (NDIA), which will help thousands of rural and tribal community members build the skills and confidence to be users of broadband internet.

It’s investments like these that center our peoples, and ensure that Indigenous communities have the tools they need to build a future rooted in Indigenous values.

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