Native Americans & Philanthropy

Indigenous Ways of Giving + Sharing

by Itoah Scott-Enns

Dec 1, 2020

This body of work is a gathering place to bring together the wealth of knowledge about Indigenous-led funds and the wisdom of Indigenous leaders in philanthropy; to create a space where Indigenous leaders in philanthropy can learn from each other, and where funders can understand effective and decolonial approaches to grantmaking. This body of work is also a call to action. An invitation for actors within the philanthropic community to reflect upon their power and privilege, and listen to the leadership of Indigenous peoples. The International Funders for Indigenous Peoples commissioned this work in 2020, to amplify the voices of these Indigenous leaders and Indigenous-led funds, so that their calls for stronger support can be answered. To embark on this journey of greater understanding, one must start by humbling oneself to listen deeply and learn; to step outside of the Western and non-Indigenous notions dominating philanthropy; and to open the mind to Indigenous worldviews. This landscape scan will take you on a journey to Indigenous communities,cultures and worldviews all over the world. It will take you into communities who have their own history and understanding of,visions for philanthropy that is richly rooted in ancestral knowledge and cultural values of giving and sharing. If we can make space for the leadership of the Indigenous peoples and communities demanding respect and recognition in philanthropy, together we can transform the way we do grantmaking.