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Native Youth and Culture Funding Opportunity

About First Nations Development Institute For more than 37 years, First Nations Development Institute (First Nations), a Native-led 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, has worked to strengthen American Indian economies to support healthy Native communities by investing in and creating innovative institutions and models that strengthen asset control and support economic development for American Indian people and their communities. First Nations began its national grantmaking program in 1993. Through year-end 2017, First Nations has successfully managed 1,412 grants totaling more than $29.8 million to Native American projects and organizations across the Indian Country. For more information, visit

Grant Overview First Nations began investing in Native youth by launching the Native Youth and Culture Fund (NYCF) in 2002 to partner with tribes, Native nonprofit organizations and Native community groups working in rural and reservation-based communities seeking ways to preserve, strengthen and/or renew Native culture and tradition among youth.

First Nations believes that Native youth represent the future of Native communities, and that their health and well-being determine the future health and well-being of a community overall. By investing in 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.

Specifically, we are 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 knowledge, practices and/or beliefs, where culturally appropriate.

  • 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.

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First Nations expects to award approximately 20 grants of between $5,000 and $20,000 for projects of no longer than one year in length.

All applicants must complete the First Nations online grant application, including submission of necessary attachments.

Stage I proposals are due no later than Thursday, March 8, 2018 at 5:00 p.m. Mountain Time.

Those proposals that score the highest in Stage I will be invited to submit a Stage II proposal.

Stage II proposals will be due Tuesday, May 1, 2018 at 5:00 p.m. Mountain Time.

First Nations recognizes that some of our most rural and remote applicants may have limited access to high-speed Internet. Any exceptions to use of the online system must be made at least two weeks in advance of the application deadline by submitting an email request to Please include your name, organization, contact information, and the name of the RFP for which you are applying. If you do not have access to email you can call our office at (303) 774-7836 and ask to speak with a member of the Grantmaking Department.

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