Giving Compass' Take:

• Native American communities receive a very low percentage of philanthropic dollars, making it harder for them to address numerous challenges. 

• How can we help bring more awareness to the plight of Native Americans? Providing a seat at the table to those affected by current policies is one step. 

 Studies show that opportunities for young Native-American boys in the United States are extremely limited. 

A value shared by many Native Americans is that all suffering is reciprocal, as is all healing. Each of us can only thrive when everyone does well.

The power of this wisdom is enormous. And it has endured despite a long history of genocide and racism toward Native Americans, helping our communities remain resilient in the face of tragedy, discrimination, and neglect.

Yet much like youth of color more generally, Native American and Alaska Natives face enormous challenges. And because Native Americans are often categorized in data and reports as "statistically insignificant" or "other," too many programs, policies, and systems — not to mention philanthropy — ignore or overlook them.

In recent years, philanthropy has expressed growing interest in, and taken steps to address, issues of racial equity in America. It's an encouraging trend, but the sector has much work to do if it truly wants to reverse its history of neglect of Native American-serving organizations. To put it in perspective, Native Americans make up 2 percent of the country's population, but Native communities receive less than 0.3 percent of the philanthropic dollars awarded annually — numbers that haven't changed in decades.

The philanthropic sector needs to commit to long-term, sustained investments that address economic and racial disparities and opportunity gaps affecting Native youth. We must do more to ensure that Native youth have access to a comprehensive system of supports so that they reach adulthood healthy, educated, and prepared to join the next generation of leaders. And we must fundamentally change how we approach equity with respect to marginalized populations, how we define success, and what we mean when we talk about bringing new voices to the table.

Read the full article about opportunities for Native Americans at PhilanTopic