Giving Compass' Take:
- Here are various avenues for funders to support Indigenous communities, whether through bolstering activism, Indigenous leadership, or investing in language justice.
- What are the barriers to Indigenous sovereignty? How can donor support help?
- Learn more about Indigenous peoples here.
What is Giving Compass?
We connect donors to learning resources and ways to support community-led solutions. Learn more about us.
Vibrant Indigenous-led movements offer solutions to many of the world’s most pressing problems, yet these movements remain dramatically underfunded. Indigenous communities represent some 6.2 percent of the world’s population, but they receive less than one percent of total international giving. Even less funding reaches organisations led by Indigenous communities and Indigenous women. It’s time for funders to abundantly fund Indigenous movements.
Around the world, Indigenous Peoples practice unique cultural traditions and steward their ancestral territories and resources. While they are committed to honoring their traditions and environments, Indigenous communities face resource extraction, environmental degradation, and displacement forced by governments and extractive industries.
These communities also face oppression rooted in histories of colonialism and racism, resulting in high rates of poverty, (sexual) violence, and migration – all of which adversely affect Indigenous people’s health. In response to these intersecting injustices, Indigenous movements are demanding gender, disability, environmental, and economic justice.
At Foundation for a Just Society (FJS), our grantmaking aims to address the many injustices faced by women, girls, and LGBTQI people. Confronting racism and colonialism is central to our work. We particularly lift up the leadership of those who experience oppression at the intersection of race and gender. This leads us to prioritize supporting Indigenous People’s movements and the leadership of Indigenous women and queer people. We invite other funders to join us.
In recent years, philanthropy has started paying attention to ‘decolonisation.’ More foundations are examining the colonial roots of their wealth and the white supremacy in their organisations. Some funders have begun to increase their support to communities marginalized by race, ethnicity, caste, and indigeneity. Yet, Indigenous movements are still not equitably funded. Organisations led by Indigenous women, youth, queer people, and people with disabilities face even greater challenges. According to recent data, just 0.7 percent of all recorded human rights funding reached movements and organisations led by Indigenous women.
To meaningfully show up for Indigenous movements, we must listen to them, learn from their analysis and practice, and act on their priorities and agendas. The good news is that there are many opportunities for meaningful action!
Funders can begin by resourcing the breadth of Indigenous activism. Data shows that the largest share (41 percent) of funding for Indigenous Peoples comes from environmentally-focused funders. While Indigenous activists are doing critical work to mitigate climate change and restore ecosystems, they are also working to secure their citizenship rights, preserve Indigenous knowledge, revitalize their traditions, and advance labor rights, disability justice, and queer liberation. Funders can support Indigenous movements by providing funding from all our programmatic strategies.
Read the full article about supporting resources for Indigenous communities by Prachi Patankar and Juliana Vélez Uribe at Alliance Magazine.