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News Release

First Nations Development Institute

First Nations Development Institute (First Nations) is now accepting proposals for its Native Youth and Culture Fund (NYCF) for projects that focus on youth and support the perpetuation of traditional ecological knowledge, spirituality and the intergenerational transfer of knowledge systems, resulting in compassion, respect, dignity, reverence for nature, and care for each other and the Earth. First Nations expects to award approximately 20 grants of between $5,000 and $19,500 each for projects of no longer than one year in length.

The deadline to apply is March 12, 2020. Meanwhile, there is a free informational Q&A webinar scheduled for Monday, March 2, 2020. The one-hour webinar starts at 1 p.m. Mountain Time. You can register at

Native Youth and Culture Fund - First Nations Development Institute

First Nations began the Native Youth and Culture Fund in 2002 with the belief that Native youth represent the future of Native communities and that their health and well-being determine the future overall health and well-being of a community. By investing in its youth and giving them a sense of place and tradition in the community, a community ensures that it will have bright and capable future leaders.  

The Native Youth and Culture Fund grant program is made possible through generous funding from the Kalliopeia Foundation and other entities. 

Specifically, First Nations is seeking projects that focus on one or more of these four priority areas:

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  • Preserving, strengthening or renewing cultural and/or spiritual practices, beliefs and values.
  • Engaging both youth and elders in activities that demonstrate methods for documenting traditional ecological knowledge systems, practices and/or beliefs.
  • Increasing youth leadership and their capacity to lead through integrated educational or mentoring programs.
  • Increasing access to and sharing of cultural customs and beliefs through the use of appropriate technologies (traditional and/or modern), as a means of reviving or preserving tribal language, arts, history or other culturally relevant topics.

First Nations expects to receive about 200 proposals in Stage I of this process. From these submissions, approximately 40 will be invited to submit full proposals in Stage II. From those applicants asked to submit full proposals, First Nations will award approximately 20 grants. Some of the projects selected may have received previous Native Youth and Culture Fund funding and are seeking additional support to expand the original project, with a view toward sustainability. First Nations will fund projects no longer than one year in length and with budgets between $5,000 and $19,500.  

Applications are due by 5 p.m. Mountain Time Thursday, March 12, 2020. All applicants must fully complete the First Nations online grant application. Eligible entities include but are not limited to federal- and state-recognized tribal governments, tribally-run programs, tribal colleges and Native American-controlled 501(c)(3) nonprofit organizations. This program does not fund individuals or public schools. 

Organizations that are not a tribal government, 501(c)(3) or a Section 7871 must have a fiscal sponsor that is a qualifying entity. All entities that apply must be located in a tribal community or have very close ties to one or more tribal communities.

Please read the official request before you decide to submit a proposal. More information and the online grant application can be found here:

First Nations will host an optional Question & Answer (Q&A) webinar Thursday, February 20 at 1 p.m. MST for interested applicants. The Q&A webinar will provide an opportunity for applicants to ask general questions about the Native Youth and Culture Fund, the grant application, selection criteria, guidelines or other related questions. Participation in the webinar is NOT mandatory, but applicants are strongly encouraged to register and attend.

About First Nations Development Institute 

For more than 39 years, using a three-pronged strategy of educating grassroots practitioners, advocating for systemic change, and capitalizing Indian communities, First Nations has been working to restore Native American control and culturally-compatible stewardship of the assets they own – be they land, human potential, cultural heritage or natural resources – and to establish new assets for ensuring the long-term vitality of Native American communities. First Nations serves Native American communities throughout the United States. For more information, visit

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