Grants Awarded


View First Peoples Worldwide Grantees in a larger map

JUMP TO:     2015  -  2014  -  2013 -  2012  -  2011  -  2010  -  2009  -  2008  -  2007

In the first year of grantmaking, First Peoples funded projects totaling US$123,777.

Central America

The Sarstoon Temash Institute for Indigenous Management (SATIIM)– SATIIM works with Maya and Garifuna communities surrounding the Sarstoon Temash National Park (STNPeconomic context of the park for the first time. Community residents, particularly the elders in the eqchi Maya and Garifuna communities, participated in two studies which documented Indigenous traditional knowledge about the park and its natural resources. Community participation in park management has also led to the creation of a groundbreaking management plan for the STNP, hailed by the government as the most comprehensive in Belize, which includes environmental education and development of livelihood alternatives as two key strategies to relieve some of the pressure on the natural resources in and around the STNPfertilization to occur.

Universidad del Valle de Guatemala (UVG)There are 23 Indigenous groups, predominantly Mayan, living in Guatemala representing 6 million individuals or 60 percent of the population. With Keepers of the Earth funds, UVG collected and disseminated traditional Indigenous knowledge and Stewardship practices in conjunction with scientific research related to sustainable rural development needs to Indigenous communities in the Guatemalan highlands. UVGcards illustrating the best methods to restore Indigenous knowledge and Stewardship practices to communities. Through their grant activities, UVG made a valuable contribution to Guatemala and its Indigenous population by demonstrating the value of Indigenous Stewardship in a model that can be replicated elsewhere.

South America

Fundación Zio IThis indigenous group constructed a Cofán Community Ceremonial House. Upon completion, the House served as a community center for the Cofánancestral knowledge of traditional medicine. The community has a central gathering place to discuss protection of their communities, territories, natural resources, education systems, traditional medicine sources, recuperating Indigenous production methods, and the condition and quality of life of the Cofán people. They also planted and maintained a garden using traditional growing and cultivating methods. Keepers of the Earth helped the Cofán community to grasp their roots while moving forward into the future with valuable sustainable practices that are imperative for the survival of their community and land.

Federación Indígena de la Nacionalidad Cofán del Ecuador (FEINCEWorking with the Cofán in Ecuador, FEINCE recovered maps of Cofán territory and other protected areas, forest cover, and proposed land management plans. Such maps may be found in offices in Quito and Washington, D.C., but are not housed in Cofán communities. These recovered documents were provided to 10 Cofán communities. FEINCE developed workshops to introduce community members to the maps and strengthen their understanding of their assets. Because assets are the building block of wealth and Indigenous communities are rich in a number of assets from land and resources to knowledge, this innovative project led the Cofánmaking about how to utilize their assets in the most effective and efficient manner within their communities and when engaging with outside interests from corporations to conservationists.

Federación de Centros Awá del Ecuador (FCAE)The Awá, an Indigenous group in Ecuador, strengthened its institutional capacity by promoting sustainable development, recovering the values and identity of their culture. With Keepers of the Earth funding, this group implemented a Natural Resources Program to establish systems for sustainable harvest of common game species, regulations for the use of fauna, monitoring this use through a database, and developed a plan to control poaching and regulate game assets. These infrastructures helped the Awá to document how traditional and introduced practices affect their resources. With better control of their resources, the Awá manage their resources more efficiently within their community and while engaging with outsiders. Creating a database to track resource use is an avant-gardesupport.

Creative Visions FoundationThe Ashaninkas largest Indigenous group. The Keepers of the Earth Fund helped the Ashaninka document their homelands and culture through photography. By recording their valuable culture, the Asháninkamanagement practices through documented successes, and educate the general public about their culture. Dedicated to protecting the remaining members of the Asháninka tribe, they worked to resettle their homelands after being displaced during the violent 20ths history. The Asháninka worked extensively to map their land in Otishifunding was vitally important to their cultural survival and continued defense of their homelands.


DitshwaneloThe Botswana Centre for Human Rights, First People of the Kalahari, and LetloaThese are all local Indigenous groups in Botswana helping the San people. First Peoples has long supported the San through generous contributions from The Bay and Paul Foundations to claim legal tenure to their land. First Peoples was instrumental in the landmark court case taken before the Supreme Court of Botswana in 2004, with a ruling given at the end of 2006 in which the San won legal rights to their land in the Central Kalahari Game Reserve (CKGRgrants, these three organizations worked to promote and enhance the livelihoods of the San people in their ancestral land in the CKGR by providing water, transportation to the reserve, and transportation between the reserve and health facilities outside the reserve.

Action for Environmental Public Advocacy (AEPA)- s mission to  empower Indigenous communities to play decisive roles in conserving their bio-cultural diversity, promoting environmentally friendly livelihoods, and ensuring environmental sustainability of any development actions is directly in line with the aim of the Keepers of the Earth Fund. The Mursi are a pastoral community living in the South Omo Valley in Southwest Ethiopia, numbering between 6,000 and 10,000. Because their homelands in the Omo Valley are so rich in resources and biodiversity, the Mursi were facing potential eviction for the creation of a national park. The Mursi successfully resisted eviction threats, realizing that eviction would render their communities completely dependent on outside aid. The AEPA facilitated the creation of a Mursi-designed organization which allowed them to work with local government officials and development organizations to improve their lives. The institutional asset contributed to the overall effectiveness and sustainability of development in the Omo Region through community-based projects.

Native Solutions to Conservation Refugees (Ethiopia) - This organization works closely with Mursi communities who are threatened by displacement from their land by conservation and environmental factors. Through community-based efforts, the Mursi developed a network of communities to unite their people. With a grant from First Peoples, Native Solutions purchased a satellite laptop and phone system, which, for the first time in history, allowed Mursi communities the power to interact and connect with the global community by means of the Internet and to gather a broad base of support for their work. Ultimately, the Mursi united to negotiate co-management rights in the parks in the Omo Valley.

Union of Associations for Gorilla Conservation and Community Development in East DRC (UGADEC) in conjunction with Pygmee Integration and Development Program (PIDP)These two groups collaborated to aid the survival of the Batwa (Pygmies) of Central Africa. The 9,000 Batwasponsored health services, shelter, and civil rights. Beyond this, Batwa homes were destroyed during civil war, leaving the community in a humanitarian crisis and on the verge of extinction. UGADEC worked with the Batwa of Cyanzufunds, the Batwa received tarps and tools to create shelter and increase food security.


Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG)s population of 3.5 million and are a minority group suppressed by the Burmese government for fear of their attempts to disrupt power. They have long desired the opportunity to govern themselves, apart from the Burmese government. The Karen formed an army of guerrilla fighters dedicated to protecting the Karen people, and have been targeted more acutely by the Burmese government. This group worked directly with rural villagers suffering abuses such as forced labor, systematic destruction of villages and crops, forced relocation, extortion, looting, arbitrary detention, torture, sexual assault, summary executions, and inadequate health, education, and cultural resources. The vast majority of these abuses were committed by soldiers and officials of the State Peace & Development Council (SPDC), Burma's ruling military junta. KHRG members worked in areas where it was possible to avoid SPDCs story to the international community, the Karen gained greater international attention and support. The sworkshops, helped villagers identify and strengthen resistance strategies, which they had already employed to resist abuse and claim their rights.


Locally Managed Marine Area Network (LMMA)sharing and allocation of funds, this intermediary group assisted a diverse population of Indigenous communities in the Pacific Island region spanning Fiji, Indonesia, the Philippines, the Solomon Islands, and Vanuatu in this innovative pilot project. It was primarily focused on supporting marine protected areas (MPAsdefined MPAson activities.

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

Apply for a Grant

Keepers of the Earth Fund is closed and we are no longer accepting grant applications.

Start Application

Fund a Project

Donate funds to get one of our grantee projects off the ground.

Fund a Project

From Our Blog

  • Month of Action #DAPL

    By: Rebecca Adamson Founder/Executive Director, First Peoples Worldwide In August 2016 the Standing Rock Sioux Tribal Chairman and Council asked First Peoples Worldwide to lead an investor engagement strategy to stop the financing going to Energy Transfer Partners (ETP) for the construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL). Working with tribal governments, Native leaders, grassroots […]

    Read More
  • Call For YOUR Help!

    Dear First Peoples Worldwide Community, The Standing Rock Sioux Tribal Chairman requested one-on-one meetings with each of the 17 banks providing project level finance to the Dakota Access Pipeline. We asked them to respond by January 10. Here is the break down of the responses so far. We are making good headway. Any help with […]

    Read More
  • Mining on the Guajira Peninsula: Wayuu Communities Fight Against Coal Extraction

    Located on the border of northern Colombia and northwestern Venezuela, the Guajira Peninsula was once an ecologically rich territory, full of tropical rainforests and an array of biodiversity, flowing with a plentiful supply of clean water and air. However, since transnational companies began buying land across the peninsula in the 1980s, principally for coal extraction, […]

    Read More
Visit Our Blog