Giving Compass' Take:

• In this podcast, two Indigenous leaders discuss how their organizations are re-writing the narrative for Native peoples to increase visibility. 

• How will investment for Indigenous-led organizations make an impact? In what other ways can donors increase visibility? 

• Learn about how philanthropy can help indigenous communities. 

Invisibility and harmful stereotypes are two of the biggest foundational challenges facing Indigenous people today. According to research conducted by The Reclaiming Native Truth Project nearly 80% of Americans know little to nothing about contemporary Native peoples.

Many of the reasons for this widespread invisibility are systemic. The Project found that among all K – 12 schools in the United States, close to 90% do not teach about Native American life, history, or culture past the year 1900. Indigenous representation in popular culture and in the media are shockingly rare (between zero and 0.04%). And the few stories and images of Native peoples that are widely shared are typically problematic. This rampant invisibility and stereotyping has led to bias, racism, and neglect of Indigenous people and communities. The worlds of philanthropy and impact investing have not been immune. Less than .04% of philanthropic funding currently goes to Indigenous communities.

On a new episode of Money + Meaning, Lindsay Smalling talks with Crystal Echo Hawk and Nick Tilsen, two Indigenous leaders who were part of The Reclaiming Native Truth Project that are now leading organizations that are working to change the narrative and the status quo in order to help Indigenous communities thrive.

Echo Hawk, a member of the Pawnee Nation, is Founder and CEO of IllumiNative, a nonprofit initiative with a mission to “fight the invisibility and stereotypes against native peoples and to really increase the visibility of contemporary native peoples and the incredible things that we have happening in our communities and our tribal nations today.”

Listen to the full podcast about the invisibility of indigenous people at Social Capital Markets.