Indigenous-led Funds

Tamalpais Trust works with Indigenous-led organizations and other foundation partners to increase grantmaking and decision-making leadership in philanthropy by Indigenous Peoples.

The Pawanka Fund

The Pawanka Fund originated in 2014 and developed through the Indigenous Ways of Knowing and Learning Initiative. The Fund practices Intercultural Philanthropy based on ancestral practices of solidarity and reciprocity of Indigenous Peoples which build from the knowledge Indigenous Peoples have in their own learning processes and systems of knowledge. It focuses on ways of integrating new information, values, evaluation and interpretations, especially with younger generations. Since its inception, a ten-person global Indigenous Guiding Committee has worked collectively to award more than 45 grants a year in 45 countries, and to sponsor multiple Learning Exchanges. Themes have included “Indigenous Peoples Knowledge Systems and Climate Change,” “Initiatives for strengthening Indigenous Food Systems,” “Indigenous Languages,” ” Health, Healing, and Well-being.” NoVo Foundation, Christensen Fund and Swift Foundation have joined with Tamalpais Trust in support of Pawanka Fund.

Arctic Indigenous Fund

The Arctic Indigenous Fund (AIF) held a Learning Exchange focused on “Revitalizing Indigenous Languages” in 2018 and made its first grants in 2019. Grantmaking is led by a collective of young Indigenous Arctic leaders from Alaska, Canada, Sapmi, and Greenland. Their grantmaking supports Indigenous-led philanthropy in the Arctic rooted in Indigenous cultures, traditions, and self-identified goals for the future. The AIF is administratively nested at the Arctic Funders Collaborative. NoVo Foundation and The McConnell Foundation have joined with Tamalpais Trust in support of the AIF.

Both the Pawanka Fund and the Arctic Indigenous Fund are Donor Advised funds which make grants through RSF Social Finance in San Francisco. Please inquire directly to both about how you and your foundation could also contribute resources to Indigenous-led philanthropy.