Indigenous Cultures

Advocates for Indigenous California Language Survival

The Advocates for Indigenous California Language Survival is an organization devoted to implementing and supporting the revitalization of Indigenous Californian languages. Its mission is to assist Native Californians in Indigenous language restoration, renewal, and maintenance in order to secure these languages as a permanent part of the living cultures of Native California. Kalliopeia provides general support and support for the Master-Apprentice Language Learning Program, an innovative model that pairs a fluent Elder with a younger tribal member committed to learning the language, and which trains the pair in intensive immersion techniques.

Alaska Conservation Foundation

Founded in 1980, Alaska Conservation Foundation (ACF) acts as a funder, fiscal sponsor, and supportive community resource to take care of wild lands, waters, and wildlife, which sustain diverse cultures, healthy communities, and prosperous economies. ACF and an Alaska Native Steering Committee recently launched the Alaska Native Fund, whose goals include supporting Alaska Native self-determination in environmental issues, strategies, and solutions. Through its support of high quality Indigenous re-grants programs such as the Alaska Native Fund, Kalliopeia affirms its belief in the capacity for Native peoples to heal their communities and culture on their own terms and draw upon their ancient wisdom and resources to protect and revitalize their culture and worldview.

American Indian College Fund

The American Indian College Fund supports Indian higher education by funding and raising awareness about Tribal Colleges and Universities, which offer students access to knowledge, skills, and cultural values that enhance their communities and the country as a whole. Kalliopeia supported scholarship funds for Native-language teacher training programs, including the Ojibwe-based Gekinoo’imaagejig (“the ones who teach”) at Fond du Lac Tribal and Community College, a culturally-based teacher education curriculum.

American Indian Institute

Kalliopeia provided support for the 2007, 2008, and 2009 Ancient Voices Cross-Cultural Forum, created in response to the desire of Indigenous Elders to “get the Elder voice out.” This forum gathers Native spiritual leaders to share cultural and spiritual wisdom to address contemporary social and environmental problems with both Native and non-Native people. The Elders’ message offers new ground from which to address these issues, revealing that “the current environmental crisis is, in fact, a spiritual crisis, stemming from our forgetfulness of who we are, and from our disconnection from the sacred quality of the earth,” and that “the uncertainties brought by global climate change reinforce the reality that a spiritual connection is the path to survival of humankind.”

View a video clip of: Pauline Whitesinger’s keynote to the Flathead Ancient Voices Forum.

Cante Sica Foundation

The Cante Sica Foundation emerged from a 2012 PBS documentary, The Thick Dark Fog, which tells the story of Walter Littlemoon’s journey of healing from his childhood boarding school experiences on a Lakota reservation. After screenings in several Native communities, elders who have never told their stories began to open up about their own boarding school experiences, and younger Native Americans gained a better understanding of what their parents and grandparents went through. Kalliopeia supports the follow-up Boarding School Stories project, which films the oral histories of boarding school alumni, shares the stories through a forthcoming website and archive, and provides education and opportunities for healing.

Watch the video series Cante Sica Boarding School Stories.
Read an article from the Autry Institute about Boarding School Stories.
Watch the trailer for The Thick Dark Fog.

Cultural Conservancy

The Cultural Conservancy’s mission is to protect and restore Indigenous cultures, empowering them in the direct application of their traditional knowledge and practices on their ancestral lands. Through research, education, media, and advocacy The Cultural Conservancy offers a variety of projects and programs to support Indigenous communities in the protection and revitalization of Native lands and cultures. A Native-led organization, The Cultural Conservancy has a special focus on protecting and restoring Native earth-based cultural traditions and ways of knowing – especially songs, stories, and languages related to ancestral land. The Cultural Conservancy’s core values include:

  • Respect for all life, indigenous rights, and environmental and social justice
  • Remembering the ancestors by honoring oral traditions and life affirming practices
  • Health and Healing from historical trauma and oppression
  • Reciprocity with each other and native lands and waters
  • Intercultural dialogue and cultural respect
  • Ecoliteracy and nurturing ecological awareness
  • Imagination and creativity for health, renewal, and community transformation

Eyak Preservation Council

Eyak Preservation Council is recognized as a leading Native-founded and -led conservation organization, working to foster truly sustainable communities in which culture, economics, and education all reinforce preservation of the environment. Located in Cordova, Alaska, the Eyak Preservation Council (EPC) was founded following the Exxon Valdez oil spill “to preserve, restore, and celebrate wild salmon culture and habitat through awareness, education, and promotion of sustainable livelihoods within the communities of the Copper River and Prince William Sound Watersheds.” Emphasizing the connection between people and preservation, EPC is a unique collaboration of First Nations with non-native fishermen and environmentalists dedicated to the permanent protection of wild salmon, and therefore the Eyak culture and “salmon way of life.”

Watch founder Dune Lankard at the 2008 Bioneers Conference.

First Nations Development Institute

The First Nations Development Institute works to support Native Peoples in claiming ownership and developing culturally compatible management of Native resources – be they land, human potential, cultural heritage, or natural resources – in order to ensure the sustainable economic, spiritual, and cultural well-being of their communities. Kalliopeia provides support for The Native Youth and Culture Fund, which is dedicated to projects organized by or for Native youth in order to ensure bright and capable future leaders with a sense of place and tradition in their communities.

View a short video of First Nation’s president Mike Roberts describing their work.

Four Bridges Traveling Permaculture Institute

Four Bridges is an educational organization and demonstration farm established to address the needs of Indigenous and other communities to address poverty and lack of sustainability. Through a skillful cross-pollination of traditional Indigenous agriculture and innovative permaculture techniques, Four Bridges seeks to support the revitalization of traditional agriculture for Indigenous communities as well as generally promote an agricultural paradigm rooted in the sacredness of earth and aligned with place, cultural restoration, and healing. Kalliopeia provides general operating support as well as project support for the annual Traditional Agriculture and Sustainable Living Conference.

Friends of the Akwesasne Freedom School

Akwesasne Freedom School is an independent elementary school run by the Mohawk Nation that operates a pre-K to 8th grade language immersion program conducted entirely in the Kanien’keha (Mohawk) language. The Akwesasne Freedom School combines solid academics with a strong foundation in Mohawk culture, rooting the curriculum in the Haudenosaunee “Thanksgiving Address,” which teaches gratitude to the earth and everything on it. On this basis and the guiding principles of Peace, Power, and Good Mind, students study reading, writing, math, science, history, and the Mohawk ceremonial cycle.

Read The Iroquois Thanksgiving Address, “Ohenton Kariwahtekwen,” a beautiful prayer of gratitude.


Gedakina is an innovative, multigenerational collaborative among First Nations in the New England region dedicated to conservation of Native lands and the strengthening of cultural knowledge and identity of Native youth. Gedakina seeks to reconnect Native people from across the region, from family bands to tribal nations, deconstructing lateral oppression and healing violence. Kalliopeia supports the History, Language, and Environmental Justice Initiative, which works with Native youth and elders to revitalize connections to place, language, and tradition through cultural immersion.

Honor the Earth

(Grant to Headwaters Foundation for Justice)
Honor the Earth’s mission is to create awareness and support for Indigenous environmental issues and to leverage needed financial and political resources for the survival of sustainable Native communities. By providing financial and organizational support for grassroots Native environmental groups, Honor the Earth supports Indigenous struggles to protect land, water, communities, and ways of life. Kalliopeia provides support for The Building Resilience in Indigenous Communities Program, which focuses on developing culturally-based food and energy solutions in Indigenous communities facing daunting environmental and social realities.

Hopi Foundation

Kalliopeia provides general support to The Hopi Foundation, whose mission is “to help people help themselves.” Established by the Hopi to promote self-sufficiency, pro-active community participation in the Hopi destiny, and local self-determination, the Hopi Foundation serves a population of 12,000 Hopi across twelve villages on the Hopi Reservation as well as other Indian tribes and Indigenous societies. The Hopi Foundation’s programs mobilize local talent to provide broad-based social support for the Hopi community.

International Funders for Indigenous Peoples

The mission of International Funders for Indigenous Peoples (IFIP) is to expand, enrich, and increase the effectiveness and commitment of grantmaking for international Indigenous development by improving networking opportunities, enhancing collaboration, building capacity, and promoting advancement of philanthropic leadership. IFIP and its members work to increase knowledge and understanding of the unique issues related to funding Indigenous projects, encourage innovation and increase effectiveness within the grantmaking community, foster an interdisciplinary understanding of Indigenous Peoples and the holistic contexts in which they live and work, and to mobilize and coordinate philanthropic resources for the nuanced, often-overlooked, and severe challenges faced by First Nations around the globe.

“International Funders for Indigenous Peoples celebrates 10 years of growing philanthropy”an article in Mother Earth Journal.
“Indigenous Peoples Funding and Resource Guide,” available from their site as a pdf download.

Native American Academy

(Fiscal sponsor: Silver Buffalo Consulting)
The Native American Academy (NAA) was founded by a circle of Native scholars and Traditional Knowledge Holders with the goal of preserving and protecting Indigenous knowledge as well as fostering partnerships between Native and Western worldviews. NAA brings together Native and non-Native scientists, scholars, educators, and knowledge holders to explore parallels, differences, and possibilities for meaningful innovation and societal benefit. Ceremonial dialogue, traditional learning circles, and informal conversation create “ethical space” for generative change arising from people sharing their common concerns and aspirations, and finding creative potential in their differences. By making Indigenous learning processes visible in local, national, and international forums, NAA fosters trans-cultural collaboration and encourages the opening of education to include systems of knowledge that are attuned to the deep interdependence of a relational universe.

Native Arts and Cultures Foundation

Recognizing that flourishing Native arts and cultures are essential to the integrity of the cultural landscape, Native Arts and Cultures Foundation is dedicated to the revitalization, appreciation, and perpetuation of Indigenous arts and cultures. Through grantmaking, capacity-building, convening, advocacy, and research, this Native-led foundation provides support to the field and fosters creativity amongst American Indian, Native Hawaiian, and Alaska Native artists and communities.

Pollen Circles, Inc.

Pollen Circles, Inc. is a community resource in Navajo Nation that offers culturally relevant wellness activities to local schools, youth homes, adolescents under psychiatric care, elders, and other groups who lack opportunities to learn and practice traditional ways. Kalliopeia provides project support for Preserve the Tradition, a special project that exposes youth on the Navajo Nation to traditional knowledge and skills taught by local elders through workshops, presentations, and weeklong intensive Diné cultural camps.

Potlach Fund

Potlatch Fund is a Native-led community foundation that provides capacity building training, leadership training and other services to Tribal leaderships, Native communities, nonprofit leaders, and Native artists throughout their service area of Washington, Oregon, Idaho, and Montana. Potlatch Fund’s mission is to inspire and build upon the Native tradition of sharing wealth and building community, using education, advocacy, and re-granting to help revitalize Native communities. Kalliopeia provides project support for Potlatch Fund’s re-granting program.

Sacred Land Film Project

(Fiscal sponsor: Earth Island Institute)
The Sacred Land Film Project produces a variety of media and educational materials to rekindle reverence for land, deepen understanding of Indigenous cultures, stimulate dialogue about connections between nature and culture, and protect sacred lands and diverse spiritual practices. Kalliopeia provides project support for Standing on Sacred Ground, a film series that tells eight distinct stories from the viewpoints of diverse Indigenous communities — stories that evoke ancient and contemporary spiritual connections to earth, while exploring how the health of our global environment can be sustained through respectful understanding of the sacred lands and traditions of these native peoples.

Watch the Standing on Sacred Ground film trailer.

Seventh Generation Fund for Indian Development

The Seventh Generation Fund is an Indigenous capacity-building and grantmaking organization dedicated to promoting and maintaining the culture of Native Peoples throughout the Americas. The Seventh Generation Fund lends support and extensive expertise to Indigenous grassroots communities through advocacy, small grants, training and technical assistance, media experience, and fiscal management. Kalliopeia supports grantmaking in four areas: language recovery, sacred sites protection, women’s healing and leadership, and youth and culture.


Terralingua is dedicated to protecting biocultural diversity: i.e., the languages and cultural traditions around the planet that help sustain the whole web of life. Recognizing that biological, cultural, and linguistic diversity are co-evolved, interdependent, and mutually reinforcing, Terralingua documents and supports the revitalization of Indigenous oral traditions; creates maps, indicators, and toolkits to make biocultural diversity visible to policymakers; and hosts a community of practice connecting scholars and researchers across the globe. Terralingua honors the ancestral wisdom and ecological lifeways of cultures around the world as “humanity’s life insurance,” and strives to strengthen and support them amidst converging crises of natural and cultural extinction.

Tierra Madre Fund

Tierra Madre is an Indigenous women’s fund in the Pacific Northwest dedicated to building leadership and supporting innovative projects that honor and sustain Traditional Knowledge. With the conviction that Indigenous knowledge can, should, and will play an invaluable role in the re-aligning of systems to move our societies toward sustainable ways of living with all of creation, Tierra Madre seeks to catalyze intergenerational arts and cultural projects, women’s giving circles, and the reinvigoration and contemporary applications of Traditional Ecological Knowledge (TEK). “By honoring Indigenous women’s brilliance and bridging TEK developed over thousands of years with innovative technologies, we can chart a path towards intergenerational unity that honors our interdependence and engages the talents of our exciting, diverse, and collective energies today and for the future.”

Yubulyawan Dreaming Project

(Fiscal sponsor: Western Rock Art Research)
Kalliopeia supports the effort by the Yubulyawan clan of the Wardaman people in Northern Territory of Australia to preserve the language, oral culture, and traditions associated with the sandstone rock art across Wardaman country that represents Dreamtime Stories. Through archives and a documentary film project, the Yubulyawan Dreaming Project documents the oral tradition associated with the rock art at a new level of depth. Struggling against the near-complete loss of native language speakers and overwhelming threats to their culture, the Yubulyawan Dreaming Project aims to assure the availability of these critical stories, traditions, and ceremonies for future generations.