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Helping Hands | NDN Collective awarded $50M grant for Indigenous communities


On Tuesday, the NDN Collective announced that it was selected by the Bush Foundation to establish a Community Trust Fund which will be used to redistribute $50 million to Indigenous communities.

Nexus Community Partners, a group selected for an additional $50 million grant, will be working to redistribute funds to Black communities in Minnesota, South Dakota, and North Dakota.

NDN Collective and Nexus Community Partners released a joint statement as the two recipients chosen for the Community Trust Fund.

NDN Collective has been redistributing funds to Indigenous communities for three years through their Changemaker Fellowship, Radical Imagination Grant, Community Self-Determination Grant, and COVID-19 Response Project.

Last year, the organization issued $12 million in grants to Indigenous communities across Turtle Island.

Comprehensive planning and design around the grant will begin immediately in January 2022. It will include input from community partners and advisors.

Grantmaking will emerge from that planning process, and NDN Collective expects to begin distribution in late 2022.

“Indigenous people have had our lands and children stolen from us, and were left to live in poverty – all while this country became one of the richest in the world,” said Nick Tilsen, president and CEO of NDN Collective. “Yet we not only survived these struggles as a people, we have begun to rebuild our nations and communities on our terms.”

Bank of America’s Native support tops $17 million

PHOENIX – Bank of America announced Dec. 1 that it has directed more than $17 million to support Native communities since the onset of the pandemic.

Funding includes capital investments and philanthropic grants to nonprofits and institutions providing services to Indigenous communities. This is part of the bank’s effort to advance racial equality and economic opportunity through a $1.25 billion, five-year commitment.

In 2020, the company saw the impact of the health crisis and directed more than $13 million to Native communities across the U.S.

This included $10 million to the Native American Bank. The company also donated personal protection equipment including more than 1 million masks, 222,000 gloves and hand sanitizer to Native communities.

In observance of Native American Heritage Month, the company on Dec. 1 announced an additional $4.7 million to support nonprofits working to meet needs in Native communities. This includes grants to 39 nonprofits and institutions.

Many of the bank’s partners also received funding, including First Nations Development Institute, the National Congress of American Indians, the National American Indian Housing Council, and First Nations Oweesta.

The bank is also expanding its partnership with the American Indian Higher Education Consortium and education company EAB to support student success and institutional transformation at 37 tribal colleges and universities.

Lastly, the company is launching a $1 million, four-year partnership with Water First in Canada to support access to clean drinking water for Indigenous communities, including the training young Indigenous adults for a career in water science.

Andrew Plepler, global head of Environmental, Social and Governance for Bank of America, said, “We recognize that more needs to be done, and we continue to explore partnerships and expand our commitment to invest in Native American-owned small businesses, jobs development, and critical needs.”

Founded in 2003, the bank’s Native American Professional Network helps recruit, retain, and develop careers. Its membership has grown more than 80% in the past five years.


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