Less than .01% of the world’s development funding goes directly to Indigenous communities, including the funding that is intended to benefit them. We believe that donors are failing to recognize the capacity of Indigenous communities to assess and meet the challenges they face. Putting resources in the hands of communities on the local level allows them to address their specific challenges in ways that best suit their people, their culture, and their unique set of assets. Our goal is to ensure that Indigenous communities have access to funds through a channel that values and respects their expertise, their ideas, and their voices.

At the center of First Peoples Worldwide’s Indigenous development work is our Keepers of the Earth Fund, which is designed to provide funding to locally-initiated development projects in Indigenous communities around the world. Our grants range from US$500 to US$20,000, and go to projects that are conceived and implemented by Indigenous communities themselves.

We award grants to projects that seek to control, utilize, leverage, retain, create, and increase the assets of Indigenous communities. Among these assets are land, culture, language, kinship networks, subsistence activities and personal efficacy. Projects may be geared toward addressing issues such as food security, securing rights to ancestral lands, mitigating the effects of climate change, or preserving and renewing cultural values and traditional knowledge. We follow an Indigenous development model that values wholeness and balance, in which the diverse assets of the community must be developed in synchrony.

Click here to learn more about the impact our grants are having, or visit our Grantee Highlights page to learn more about specific projects.

Our grant applications are open-format and are intended to allow prospective grantees to propose projects in whatever manner suits them. We also accept video applications in order to provide an alternative to inherently confining written proposals, and to reduce our reliance on the English language and linear proposal structures. This helps ensure that the grant proposal, and the project itself, truly originate with and represent the worldview of the community.

For us, grant making is not about making financial transactions. We focus on culturally appropriate development, which means facilitating changes within our communities that are consistent with their values, not just better for their economies. We also connect grantees with each other, and provide new ways to share what they are learning with a broader community. We use the grant making process to build a collaborative network of Indigenous and non-Indigenous communities around the world.

Guidelines for Grant Applicants and Frequently Asked Questions

Want to support a community project? Learn how to get involved on our Join A Project page.

E-mail Share to Facebook Share to Twitter Share to Twitter

“We all have oral traditions, a community that we’re part of, family, culture, ancestors and leaders that we look up to. Every day, Indigenous people are losing these things. With the help of our partners and supporters, First Peoples Worldwide is working to make sure all of our cultures survive.”
-Katie Cheney, Communications Assistant

Apply for a Grant

To request funding for your Indigenous-led community project, apply for a Keepers of the Earth grant now.

Start Application

Apply for a Grant: Video!

First Peoples Worldwide is now accepting grant applications in video form as an alternative to our written application!

Learn More >>

From Our Blog

  • Indigenous Youth Speak on the White House Initiative on American Indians and Alaska Natives in Education

    This article was originally reposted from Cultural Survival on January 28, 2015 By Hauʻolihiwahiwa Moniz In early November, I was lucky enough to be asked to testify at a White House Initiative on American Indians and Alaska Natives in Education at Russell Sage College in Troy, New York where I attend as a sophomore. The […]

    Read More
  • The Importance of Inclusiveness

    Following fines and delays at its Pascua-Lama project in Chile, Barrick Gold signed a Memorandum of Agreement (MoU) with twelve Diaguita communities and three Diaguita associations that provides “a six-month period in which mining details will be divulged to the communities for discussion.” The MoU does not indicate community support for the project, but provides […]

    Read More
  • The Importance of Culture

    For several years, the Wixarika Peoples of Mexico have urged First Majestic Silver Corporation to cancel a planned mining project on Wirikuta, a sacred mountain that has been the site of ceremonial pilgrimages for generations. In November 2014, the company made headlines again when a film about the Wixarika’s ongoing struggle was released. In its […]

    Read More
Visit Our Blog