Apply today for Indigenous Environmental Network COVID-19 Emergency Mutual Aid Fund
Indigenous Environmental Network
Our Friends and Relatives,
The Indigenous Environmental Network (IEN) hopes this posting finds you well. As we all know, these times have become very difficult for our Indigenous peoples, families and our leadership. This is especially concerning for our elders and those struggling with their health. While the coronavirus affects all people in North America, and throughout the world, the effect it has on our Indigenous peoples looks different.
Many of our friends and relatives are more at risks with high rates of diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, weakened immune systems, with conditions of overcrowding in our homes and in some areas, access to water. Whether it is in the rural reservations of the Lower 48, in Alaska, Canada, or the urban cities and towns, our Indigenous peoples are being hit first, but also hit the hardest economically.
Economic relief is needed. Many of our communities have high unemployment and poverty rates with poor economic conditions. Tribal and First Nation leaders rightfully have been demanding U.S. and Canada to fulfill their duties and obligations under treaty and other agreements with funding to allow our Native Nations to have the flexibility to address the coronavirus pandemic in their lands and territories.
The virus has hit many of your communities and Native nations hard. There have been tribal employee layoffs and closing of tribal businesses. Many tribes are financially dependent on tribal operated businesses such as casinos, that have been closed. There is less money to make ends meet and to maintain ourselves. There are emergencies.
Indigenous Environmental Network has launched a COVID-19 Emergency Mutual Aid Fund to quickly mobilize resources to our frontline communities and groups that have a demonstrated need experiencing financial hardship due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Community-based Indigenous peoples and organizations from the U.S. and Canada (Central and South America on a case-by-case basis), are eligible to apply.
Small grants up to $2,000 are being offered to assist with either of the following three situations:
- Purchase of essential provisions: food, water, medication, diapers, cleaning supplies, pet food, etc.
- Support with transportation for essential needs and provisions, such as medical appointments and clinic/hospital visits, medication, groceries etc. This includes deliveries, gas money, local transport and getting a ride from your relatives, so long as everyone is practicing precautionary measures to avoid transmission of the virus. In some situations, this can also support getting/leaving home from long distances to care for family members as long as all legal guidelines around travel restrictions are recognized and "Stay in Place" mandates, curfews, etc. are observed.
- Home business slowdowns in sales and other cash flow difficulties (maybe your supplier is shut down, or a big order for an event is canceled). For this support “home business” is referring to things like quilting, regalia making, bead and quillwork, moccasin making, basket making, pottery, silversmithing, etc.Original Nations of Abya Yala of the South.
There are many needs out there in “Indian Country”. Some of these funds will be available for our Indigenous brothers and sisters from the Original Nations of Abya Yala of the South.
In line with the Principles of Respect and the Consciousness of Caring for our Relatives, Indigenous Environmental Network invites those in need, to apply for support.
All Our Relations,
Indigenous Environmental Network Leadership Team
Established in 1990, The Indigenous Environmental Network is an international environmental justice nonprofit that works with tribal grassroots organizations to build the capacity of Indigenous communities. IEN’s activities include empowering Indigenous communities and tribal governments to develop mechanisms to protect our sacred sites, land, water, air, natural resources, the health of both our people and all living things, and to build economically sustainable communities.
Learn more here: ienearth.org