Continued Funding From Kalliopeia Foundation Supports First Nations’ Native Youth and Culture Fund Program for 2020 and 2021

Requests for grant proposals open now

Longmont, Colorado, UNITED STATES

Longmont, Feb. 13, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- First Nations Development Institute (First Nations) has received $850,000 from Kalliopeia Foundation to continue support of First Nations’ Native Youth and Culture Fund (NYCF) grantmaking program for 2020-2021. Since 2002, Kalliopeia Foundation has generously provided the bulk of funding for NYCF, which annually awards grants to Native American youth programs across the U.S. to support the perpetuation of traditional ecological knowledge and spirituality, as well as the intergenerational transfer of knowledge systems, resulting in compassion, respect, dignity, and reverence for nature, the earth and each other.

Thousands of tribal youth across the country have been served by NYCF programs over the years. Recent projects focused on enhancing spiritual, cultural and language awareness, and promoting youth empowerment, leadership and community building. Since 2002, with the support of Kalliopeia Foundation and other supporters, First Nations has awarded 393 grants through the program totaling $6.7 million to support programs serving Native youth. 

The NYCF continues to be one of First Nations’ most popular grant opportunities. (To see grantees from recent years, visit

"The political and sovereign identity of tribes is in many ways predicated on their political and cultural uniqueness. As well, we know that youth succeed when they have a strong sense of their culture and therefore themselves," said Michael E. Roberts, First Nations President & CEO. "These modest grants, made possible by the continued generosity of Kalliopeia Foundation are in many instances instrumental in the creation and continuation of youth programming that connects Indian youth to their ecological, cultural and spiritual selves and in turn to their tribal communities."

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.

First Nations began the NYCF 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 NYCF 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:

  • 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 NYCF 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:

About First Nations Development Institute

For 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

About Kalliopeia Foundation

Kalliopeia Foundation is responding to a need — a global challenge — to take spiritual as well as physical responsibility for our common home. Our programs and those we support engage with contemporary issues at their root, with the understanding that ecological, cultural and spiritual renewal are interdependent.

We envision a future rooted in fundamental values, such as compassion, respect, dignity, reverence for nature, and care for each other and the Earth. Our work strives to embody the following core principles:

  • Life is Sacred: Honoring all life as sacred; expressing reverence for one another, the Earth, and life as a whole.
  • Interconnectedness: Approaching ecology, culture, and spirituality as inextricably interdependent.
  • Innovation: Generating creative ideas and outcomes through simple, meaningful engagement with others and the Earth.
  • Service: Embracing an ethic of care — the essential and natural aspiration to respond to needs beyond our own.

In 1997, Barbara Sargent founded Kalliopeia as an independent private foundation to help support people and organizations who are working to bring spiritual values into institutions and systems of everyday life and work. The name “Kalliopeia” means beautiful voice and refers to the first of the nine Greek muses. She is associated with heroic poetry, justice, and transforming lower qualities into higher. Visit


Abi Whiteing, First Nations Program Officer or (303) 774-7836 x213 x205

Jennifer Churchill, First Nations Senior Communications Officer or (303) 774-7836 x213