Navajo-Hopi Nations,Flagstaff & Winslow News
Wed, Feb. 19

Honoring the Past, Giving for the Future
Report finds Native Americans give generously to help tribal communities

WASHINGTON (PRNewswire) - Native Americans are repaying gifts they've received in their lives by giving back to their tribal communities.

A new report from the Forum of Regional Associations of Grantmakers finds Native Americans are changing the traditional definition of a donor in the world of philanthropy. Tribal communities have raised millions of dollars for education, youth programs, social services and other urgent needs.

"Native Americans have a long tradition of using their time, talent and treasure to benefit their communities," says Dana Teutonico, director of New Ventures in Philanthropy at the Forum of Regional Associations of Grantmakers. "Our new report finds Native Americans are building on this tradition by finding new ways to give back while preserving their tribe's close ties and rich culture."

In northern Arizona, the Hopi Foundation has raised over $1 million to help Hopi tribal members sustain their culture while improving jobs and reducing poverty for 7,000 reservation residents. The foundation oversees 17 projects, including a radio station and Gentle Rain, which helps Hopi seamstresses market their traditional designs on fleece made from recycled plastic.

"If we build our own people we will be a stronger tribe," says Barbara Poley, executive director of the foundation.

The Indian Land Tenure Foundation, based in Minnesota, raises money from tribal members nationwide to recover lost Indian land. The foundation has raised over $27 million to help small tribes improve land preservation and management. "The land is our identity, our social customs, our spiritual beliefs," says Jo-Anne Stately, vice president of development for the foundation.

"What is unique about these funds is that they're not the result of a single individual's donation," says Teutonico at the Forum. "They're community efforts that encourage everyone to give a little to make a big difference."

Information is available online at http://www.givingforum.org/retphilanthropy to help Native Americans learn more about options for giving back to their community.

The Forum of Regional Associations of Grantmakers is a national network of local leaders and organizations across the United States that support effective charitable giving. The Forum houses the New Ventures in Philanthropy Initiative, launched in 1998 to encourage the growth of philanthropic giving across the country. For more information, visit http://www.givingforum.org.

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