Indigenous arts and community development organization First Peoples Fund receives transformative $ 6 million gift

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FAST CITY, SD, June 15, 2021 / PRNewswire / – First Peoples Fund – a national non-profit organization that uplifts Indigenous communities by supporting artists and young people through entrepreneurship and cultural practice – was recognized on Tuesday with a $ 6 million the investment of one of the world’s greatest philanthropists, Mac Kenzie Scott. The donation, announced today in a Medium post, is part of a wider $ 2,739,000,000 gift to 286 high impact organizations in historically underfunded and neglected categories and communities.

“We are deeply touched and honored to be part of the organizations chosen to receive such a historic gift,” said President of the First Peoples Fund Lori Pourier, member of the Oglala Lakota Nation. “At First Peoples Fund, we are guided by the belief that art and culture are essential to life. This investment will allow us to expand our work to help Indigenous communities heal and prosper by deepening our collective connection to art and culture.

This announcement comes at a time when philanthropic giving to Indigenous communities has declined sharply over the years. Since 2006, only 0.4% of all philanthropic funding from major American foundations has been directed to Indigenous communities.

“Organizations serving Indigenous communities need more support,” says Pourier. “This major donation helps showcase the vital work being done in Indigenous communities across the country. And as one of the six organizations behind the Cultural New Deal, which calls among other things for deep investment in artistic and cultural ecosystems for Blacks, Indigenous people and communities of color, we hope the sector Philanthropic at large will be inspired to invest more in all of our communities. “

Long-time partners of the First Peoples Fund’s Institute for Intercultural Leadership also receive gifts from Ms. Scott, Alternate ROOTS, the National Association of Latino Arts and Culture, the PA’I Foundation and SIPP Culture. “We have a common commitment to seek cultural equity and to support artists, culture carriers and other arts professionals as agents of change in each of our communities,” Pourier adds.

For the past 25 years, First Peoples Fund has connected Native American, Alaskan Native, and Hawaiian artists with culture carriers – artists and individuals who practice and perpetuate art forms and cultural traditions – with grants, financial services and training to thrive as entrepreneurs and community leaders. Its programs help artists and culture carriers to develop their entrepreneurial skills, helping them to have better access to markets and capital. Data shows that arts and culture are also a primary source of jobs and economic opportunities – more than 40% of indigenous households based on reserves depend on art and culture for their income.

“Supporting indigenous artists and culture bearers is integral to the livelihoods of tribal communities,” Pourier says. “Art embodies the culture, history and strength of Indigenous peoples. From traditional weavers to contemporary fashion designers, people who practice indigenous art forms are helping to heal and support the communities around them, introducing additional sources of income, employment, healing and empowerment. ‘identity. . ”

The First Peoples Fund will use this investment to evolve its innovative grant program model, supporting more artists and culture bearers with grants and support for community development programs that strengthen cultural practice and increase awareness. access to financial resources. With this donation, FPF will expand its decades of impact and success, increasing the number of artists and practitioners funded by the organization, increasing the size of grants artists can receive and expanding to other tribal communities. Across the country.

“This investment in our mission comes at exactly the right time,” Pourier said. “This donation will help launch our Collective Spirit Legacy Fund campaign and is an important milestone for our mission, our work and the Indigenous artists and communities with whom we are connected. We have a lot of hope for our collective future.

First Peoples Fund is a national non-profit organization that helps tribal communities heal and prosper by supporting Indigenous artists and culture bearers – artists and individuals who practice and perpetuate art forms and traditions. cultural. We connect Native American, Native Alaskan, and Hawaiian artists and culture bearers with grants, financial services, and training to thrive as entrepreneurs and community leaders. FPF’s work helps culture carriers and their communities to strengthen the collective spirit, while establishing a full and autonomous artistic life. Visit firstpeoplesfund.org.

SOURCE First Peoples Fund

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