Giving Compass' Take:
- The Indigenous Earth Fund helps empower Indigenous-led organizations to drive climate and conservation solutions.
- How can funders replicate the approach of 'decolonizing philanthropy'? How can donors better acknowledge and utilize Indigenous knowledge?
- Read more about Indigenous peoples here.
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Amid a cacophony of proposed solutions and doomsday naysayers flailing to address a growing climate crisis, Indigenous voices are being uplifted over the din by a wave of grant funding dedicated to healing both the Earth and the wounds of colonialism.
"We're presenting a new way to do philanthropy — 'indigenizing philanthropy,' so to speak — so that both practices and the amount of resources change," explained Edgar Villanueva, founder of the Decolonizing Wealth Project, author of the "Money as Medicine" guided journal, and creator of the "7 Steps to Healing" giving framework.
The Decolonizing Wealth Project is a network of community members, donors, and philanthropic recipients who have banded together to create more equitable, unrestricted capital opportunities for communities of color, including Indigenous land keepers, cultural preservationists, and political advocates. Through the project and its associated grant opportunities, Villanueva and the rest of the network are setting out to address the trauma of financial inequality and extractive colonialism — systems that have exacted devastating tolls on Indigenous communities in the United States — as well as challenge the inherent dynamics of control that are attached to material giving. In doing so, the project is designed to foster a sense of sovereignty among organizations and greater trust between giver and recipient, shifting power out of ivory towers and toward those on the ground.
The organization launched its Liberated Capital funding arm in 2019 to disrupt an inequitable giving structure through a reparations- and justice-based model. "One of the driving forces behind it is that Indigenous communities are grossly underfunded and underrepresented in the sector," Villanueva explained.
They've also launched the Indigenous Earth Fund, an annual grant opportunity for Indigenous-led organizations targeting climate and conservation issues, acknowledging the pressing need to address this disparity in light of the growing climate crisis and increased environmental activism.
The fund supplies varied amounts of untethered grants, ranging from $50,000 to $75,000 a year, to groups working within these communities, all of which offer their own solutions and Indigenous frameworks for fixing our relationship with the Earth. Solutions range from the conservation of traditional practices and the preservation of native flora and fauna, to landback initiatives(opens in a new tab) and alternative energy sources.
Read the full article about native climate solutions by Chase DiBenedetto at Mashable.