Grantees 2017


This year 41 indigenous grassroots and community native-led organizations across 35 U.S. states, 5 Canadian Provinces, and 1 Mexican state are the beneficiaries of $149,000 in new grants made by Honor the Earth with the generous support of the Kalliopeia Foundation. 

Renewable Energy

REDOIL INC., Anchorage, Alaska The core program areas of REDOIL are on priority Environmental Justice issues in Alaska: 1) Arctic National Wildlife Refuge proposed oil and gas development 2) Proposed offshore oil development of the Beaufort and Chukchi Seas of the Outer Continental Shelf 3) Yukon Flats Wildlife Refuge proposed oil and gas development 4) NPRA expanded fossil fuel development 5) Proposed Donlin Creek, Pebble, Black River and Squaw Creek Mines 6) Proposed Chuitna, Wishbone Hill, Nanushuk and Western Arctic Coal Project 7) Climate Justice and Climate Change issues.

The Center Pole, Garryowen, Montana  Center Pole’s mission is to build knowledge, justice, opportunity and sovereignty in Native communities and preserve and protect indigenous ways. They are an 18-year- old Native non-profit located in Crow country in southeastern Montana. The Ashwapkawia Center is a pilot project for more buildings on Indian lands, with sustainability principles that are replicable.

ecoCheyenne, Lame Deer, Montana ecoCheyenne’s overall goal is to protect Cheyenne tribal homelands and preserve the Cheyenne traditional way of life by transitioning to a clean energy economy. They work to leverage public/private partnerships to prepare for energy-related workforce development on the Northern Cheyenne Reservation.

Pueblo de Cochiti, Santa Fe, New Mexico Pueblo de Cochiti is a sovereign First Nation in the geographical territory of New Mexico. The Pueblo is governed by its traditional government. The Pueblo de Cochiti receives funding from a variety of state and federal government sources and has several small business enterprises. The HAHN Center is funded entirely from tribal funds. The solarization project will be funded through New Energy Economy. New Energy Economy’s lead fundraiser is its Executive Director, Mariel Nanasi. This is a renewable energy project. This project restores self-sufficiency to our community and brings our energy sources in alignment with our traditional values.  

Paxxiwovem Intertribal Canoe Family, Santa Rosa, California  

The Paxiiwovem Canoe Family is an Intertribal and Intergenerational collective made up of both the Tongva people of the Los Angeles basin and Southern California islands, and Indigenous people from many Nations, ranging in age from 16-70. In 2016 we travelled from all over to bring the 2nd traditional Tongva canoe in 200 years to the ocean to pull for Tribal Canoe Journey, to show that even though we are considered extinct, we are bringing back language, culture, food and life ways.

Sacred Sites

Lake Winnipeg Indigenous Collective, Winnipeg, Manitoba  

The Lake Winnipeg Indigenous Collective (LWIC) is a group of First Nations working together to restore and protect Lake Winnipeg as a source of life for all future generations. LWIC is governed by a steering committee of First Nations representatives and through the guidance of the Northern and Southern Basin Representatives.

Owe Aku Bring Back the Way, Manderson, South Dakota Owe Aku’s Radiation Monitoring Project on the Lakota homeland: Owe Aku engaged in a training project and a land protection endeavor in the summer of 2014 at the organizers Unite to Fight training titled "The Waters Connect Use" held at Gila River, Arizona. This event brought together water protectors and land defenders from the four directions across the United States and Canada.

Naamehnay Project, Santa Fe, New Mexico Naamehnay Project, Inc. seeks to create awareness and educate the public regarding environmental and health issues resulting from the energy industrialization of Native American homelands and sacred places. Our goal is the development of resources needed to improve the health and sustainability of Native communities.

Malama Kakanilua, Wailuku, Hawaii “Malama Kakanilua vs. Maui Lani Partners” is the current case taken up by Malama Kakanilua in their efforts towards stopping illegal sand mining and towards protecting ancient burials. Malama Kakanilua has been working as a grassroots organization for over ten years and has exhausted other potential remedies when dealing with corporate developers, county, state and federal agencies. Litigation is their primary path forward at this time towards the protection of the Pu`uone Sand Dune Complex as a Wahi Pana (storied place) and Wahi Kapu (sacred place.)

Arctic Institute of Community-Based Research, Yukon, Canada The long-term vision that is guiding this project is to protect the sacred birthing grounds in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge for all time.The project funds support the hosting of a strategy meeting of multiple groups involved in the fight to protect and preserve the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. This helped define and develop the campaign efforts and inform a Gwich’in-led Arctic strategy for the long-term protection of the Refuge.

Media and Arts

KKWE Niijii Radio, Callaway, Minnesota  KKWE provides culturally relevant radio programming to the White Earth Reservation. Media is power, and we use this power responsibly for our community to facilitate perspective transformation, of our listeners, to realize a vision, “to recover, revive, and revitalize our culture”. We continue to provide traditional knowledge through the sharing of historic programs, providing educational information, and sharing cultural events and more. We share our history and stories to build pathways for an equitable future so that all involved can learn from past and present trauma, learn to take ownership over who we are as a people, and ultimately stop the cycle of oppression.

New Mexico History Press, Santa Fe, New Mexico “National Sacrifice Lands: History of Environmental Racism in New Mexico”. Through the publishing of this book, a revived sense of reverence for sacred places, environmental stewardship, and the interconnectedness of the web of life on Earth, as well as a feeling of solidarity from outside communities, cultivation of community networking within the state, and concern for New Mexico communities who continue to battle for change will emerge.

Native American Educational Technologies, Hayward, Wisconsin Building upon the strength of the Standing Rock movement, the  all-volunteer non-profit, Native American Educational Technologies (NAET) is building and strengthening local resistance to pipelines that directly impact two Chippewa Tribes in Wisconsin, Bad River and Lac Courte Oreilles. NAET is frequently called upon by these tribes to provide accurate information directly to the tribal councils and legal departments at each tribe. By helping those tribes use their treaty rights and legal standing to Stand Up! Speak Out!  

Food and Agriculture

Malama Kaua’i, Kilauea, Hawaii Kaua`i’s Mala`ai Kula farm-to-school pilot is building resilience through a culturally relevant farm-to- school program, piloted in two Hawaiian immersion schools serving 185 students; 96% of which are Native Hawaiian and 76% qualifying for free and reduced meals. In these schools, students learn standardized concepts through a non-traditional method that better resonates with their cultural education.

Indian Country Grassroots Support, Farmington, New Mexico Indian Country Grassroots Support (ICGS) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, made up of largely volunteer retired Navajo Nation judges, peacemakers, lawyers and law professors. They established an innovative public-private collective entity model, which will be customized to reservation farms and embody k’é and aboolah, characteristics of relationship and compassion that would enable community “ownership” and development of farms based on Diné bi beenahaz’áanii.

Malu’ Aina Center for Nonviolent Education and Action, Kurtistown, Hawaii Malu ʻĀina Center for Nonviolent Education and Action was created in 1979 with a mission to “practice, promote and teach kapu aloha (nonviolence) through ways of living with the land, water and people by embodying aloha ‘āina (love for the land); provide an indigenous healing center for peace and justice advocates to unite their hearts with the earth to regenerate in solitude; and offer traditional food crops, plants and skills to everyone from keiki (children) to kupuna (elders).

North American Traditional Indigenous Food Systems, South Minneapolis, Minnesota Our work is centered on renewing and reimagining traditional foods, including their cultivation, gathering, preservation. We see food businesses – from food trucks to restaurants to catering companies to farmers markets and much more – as ways to both increase economic opportunity in Native communities and also provide access to the healthy foods our Indigenous bodies need. We can take back our health while we revitalize our communities.

Mno Wiisini Gitigaanan (Sacred Seeds Collective), Wyebridge, Ontario MWG is a 2Spirit focused grassroots sustenance sovereignty initiative, with three primary gardens and a sugar bush operation, located within Rontinosaunee (Longhouse), Métis, & Anishinaabek homelands near the shores of the sacred ancestral waters of Wasaagama (Nottawasaga Bay, part of Georgian Bay). We largely focus on decolonization, Indigenous food sovereignty, nation-to-nation relationship building, 2Spirit youth leadership, knowledge sharing, traditional planting & harvesting methodologies, seed saving, and native food and plant medicine distribution in community.

Covenant Pathways, Vanderwagen, New Mexico Our model is used as an example for local Navajo and Zuni tribal reservations in western New Mexico to teach a sustainable way of life through organic farming and food preservation. The funds will be used for so that the organization can continue and increase the “Healing the Soil” on the farm and for outreaches in the community in the forms of classes, demonstrations, and tutoring individuals and families at their gardens. Healthy soil produces better quality and quantity of home grown fruits and vegetables, and generates a healing reaction on the overall environment.

Yukon River Inter-tribal Watershed Council, Anchorage, Alaska The main objective of the Yukon Stewards: Protecting Traditional Food Resources from Impacts of Mining Activity project is to empower indigenous peoples of the Yukon River Basin with the knowledge, skills, tools to effectively protect lands and waters form negative impacts of mining activities and threats to food security. The overarching goal of the YSMW project is to provide training, tools and resources which empower tribes identify mining impacts, collect data necessary for reporting violations of permitted activities, and advocate on local, state and federal levels to protect land and water resources central to indigenous ways of life in the YRB.   

Cheyenne River Youth Project, Eagle Butte, South Dakota The Wiyan Toka Win Garden is the cornerstone in our efforts to build a more sustainable food system on the Cheyenne River Sioux Reservation, while fostering environmental stewardship.  The garden project is guided by traditional and spiritual principles and incorporates our Lakota values and is built upon a unique combination of spiritual, human and land-based resources. Children, teens, their families and community elders are involved in the 2-acre garden, as one of its most important aspects is to foster community participation so the value of gardening and knowledge of traditional agricultural methods can be transferred from generation to generation.   

Ogema Organics, Callaway, Minnesota Ogema Organics mission is to support and encourage the health and well-being of life on the White Earth Reservation. Ogema Organics is conducting a survey of all the residents of the Reservation, in attempt to identify opportunities and constraints pertaining to the reservation’s current food system. Ogema Organics programs and initiatives are the 1) Elder Farm to Plate Initiative, 2) Local Native and Heirloom Produce Initiative, 3) Tribal Youth Incubator Training and Education Program, and the 4) Climate Adaptability Research and Education Program. 

Four Bridges Traveling Permaculture, Pueblo, New Mexico  Agri-Kidz “Growing Together” involves building raised bed gardens at senior centers and other sites.  This will involve the Eight Northern Pueblos, Tewa Women United, and Moving Arts Espanola. We are also working with Not Forgotten Foundation, focusing on disabled veterans.  Raised beds will be designed at a height and structure that will enable individuals using wheelchairs, walkers, canes and other special needs to work in the gardens comfortable.  This will be an opportunity for elders to share their knowledge of traditional foods and seeds with our youth.

Indian Cultural Organization, Redding, California  The Indian Cultural Organization (ICO) is as a tribal, community-based non-profit that focuses on supporting the Winnemem Wintu Tribe’s efforts to preserve and revitalize culture and traditions; restore traditional teachings and preserve songs, dances and language and to develop leadership among diverse and disadvantaged American Indian youth.

Native American Food Sovereignty Alliance, Taos, New Mexico NAFSA is dedicated to restoring supporting and developing Indigenous food systems through best practices and advocacy that place Indigenous Peoples at the center of national, tribal, local and international policies. NAFSA also focuses on natural resources management to ensure food security and health of all future generations; as well as is committed to taking collective and individual actions to address sovereignty and build necessary relationships among our Peoples, Nations, leaders, youth and coming generations to make it a continuing reality. Furthermore, NAFSA offers resources, mentorship, and technical support to native grassroots communities, Indigenous Nations and organizations in developing their food and seed sovereignty.

T’Sou-ke First Nation, British Columbia, Canada Our gardens play an important role within our community by providing fresh affordable produce and herbs for our community cooks (weekly meals on wheels, community luncheons and cultural gatherings); promotes food security and sustainability; promotes the usage of traditional medicinal teas and gathering them; provides youth-engaged hikes for exercise and for gathering traditional Indigenous foods on our Traditional Territories lead by Mentors.   

Traditional Native American Farmers Association, Santa Fe, New Mexico  TNAFA proposes to host (3) community based events to educate and celebrate our “Genetic Seed Heritage” . One spring event, one mid-summer and one fall event. The spring event invites local and regional farmers, youth, traditional leaders, to a Seed Celebration / seed exchange and cultural celebration. This event is a collaborative effort of local land based cultures, both Hispanic and Indigenous farmers are invited. The celebration is hosted in alternating villages, pueblos, with prayer, song, and traditional dances performed from respective communities. Seeds a blessed by both participating cultures before the exchange. Local and regional foods are shared.

Yellow Bird, Lame Deer, Montana  As Indigenous Peoples to this specific land we are tasked with the responsibility as stewards. For us, the first frontline of environmental justice is our connection to the land, air and water. Our program will reconnect our community members by empowering them to provide fresh produce for their families from their garden. Then, enhance that connection through the sharing of knowledge about gardening techniques, botany, healthy & traditional foods. When we are reconnected to the environment, Mother Earth, we are less likely to allow for the destruction that comes with extreme energy extraction. The program will create and increase awareness of Food Sovereignty amongst the Northern Cheyenne families by utilizing gardens: To grow food; reconnect to the land; become healthier; share important intergenerational knowledge; and increase family connectedness. This program helps us retain our “Way of Life” which gives our people strength.

Unist’ot’en Camp, British Columbia, Canada Unist’ot’en Camp, started in 2010, is an Indigenous homestead that was formed in order to reoccupy our traditional territory and to ensure sustainable access to natural food sources for present and future generations. In order to protect these territories, the camp has taken a strong stance against the multiple pipelines proposed to cross the traditional territories of the Unist’ot’en people.

Youth and Education 

Mauna Kea Education and Awareness, Kamuela, Hawaii Mauna Kea Education and Awareness was created in April 2015 by Native Hawaiians with a mission to educate and raise the awareness of communities in Hawai’i and beyond on the spiritual, historical, cultural, environmental, and political significance of Mauna Kea, and to provide cultural learning opportunities to everyone including our youth and elders, residents, visitors and others concerned about indigenous rights and responsibilities.

Nawayee Center School (Center School Inc.), Minneapolis, Minnesota Nawayee Center School’s goal is to provide disadvantaged youth with access to the resources, opportunities and caring relationships that will propel them to a successful life. Nawayee is an Ojibwe word that means "center" and for over 40 years Nawayee Center School has been a fixture in the Phillips neighborhood, the heart of the Minneapolis Native American community, by providing educational resources for students struggling in a traditional academic environment.

Brave Heart Society, Lake Andes, South Dakota Brave Heart Society and its Traditional grassroots grandmothers’ group have been prominent in the fight against the Tar Sands oil pipelines intrusions into our lands and the skin of Mother Earth. We feel a generational responsibility to develop, mentor, and inspire our youth to further protect the land and water. We organize youth, host a series of climate change educational workshops, and utilize peer leaders to present workshops and training. Many of our youth have asked for more training and involvement.

Moon Lodge Society, Akwesasne, New York The Moon Lodge Society exists inside a sisterhood of spiritually grounded women practicing Haudenosaunee lifeways. Since 2009 the Moon Lodge Society at Akwesasne, founded by Kanien’kehá:ka women from the Mohawk Nation Territory, pools its resources and efforts to support a sisterhood of spiritual women and the practice of Native American ceremonies in honor of the sacred feminine.The Moon Lodge Society, run by Mohawk Clan Mothers, traditional women leaders, and young women apprentices, exists to support the spiritual and cultural needs of women and youth primarily, and for the community overall, inspiring thought (Good Mind) into action.

Poo-Ha-Bah , Tecopa, California The mission of Pooha-Bah Traditional Native American Healing Center is to provide a healing environment centered around water. Our goals are to continue to provide learning opportunities for all people centered around water. Requested funds will support the Shoshone led conference focusing on nuclear threats to water. Providing a Native American experience will teach people to be mindful of, and respect water wherever they are. The goal is to add a water conference to the cultural sharing activities of Pooha-Bah with an emphasis on nuclear threats. Water is life, and we only have one water. Pristine water is needed to heal the people who have suffered adverse health effects that result from exposure to radiation.

Schools for Chiapas, Chiapas, Mexico Our vision is of a new and better world where Mother Earth is respected and guarded in a sustainable manner without war or exploitation; we dream of another world where every person is valued and respected. As the Zapatistas say it, " Queremos Un Mundo Donde Quepan Muchos Mundos" ( We Want a World where all the Worlds Fit). 

Walk of the Warrior, Alpine, California Walk of the Warrior is a nonprofit outreach program delivering recovery from substance and alcohol abuse and related issues to State and Federally recognized reservations brought from American Indians to American Indians.

Nibi Walks, Minneapolis, Minnesota The Nibi Walks were created after the Mother Earth Water Walk was concluded.  The Mother Earth Water Walks led by Grandmother Josephine Mandamin in 2011 brought water from the 4 oceans to the heart of Turtle Island at Lake Superior.  The waters were co-mingled then in ceremony were emptied into Lake Superior to find their way back to their respective oceans. Through the thirteen Nibi Walks, the enduring power of this relationship and the transformation it creates has become clear. It is in the practice of carrying the water, making the offerings and singing the water songs that this transformation takes place with the walkers.

Slim Buttes Riders, Pine Ridge, South Dakota We are a non-profit riding group that participates in horse rides, races, memorial and honor rides. We attend rides on and off the pine ridge reservation, and in other states. We teach the youth their culture, history, and take them to sites where their ancestors lived and traveled. We encourage the youth to live a drug and alcohol free lifestyle. We teach them the responsibilities of taking care of horses, themselves, others, and the elders, and their families.

Wase Wakpa Winter Camp Retreat, Wakonda, South Dakota Funds were used to support the Dakota 38 and other Traditional and spiritual horse riders who will undertake a spiritual horse ride in Lakota, Cheyenne, Arikara, Mandan and Hidatsa Territory to protect the river and the future generations.

Camp Makwa, Cloquet, Minnesota This is an indigenous led camp trying to stop Enbridge Line 3 pipeline. These are water protectors from Oceti calling for solidarity. They are currently on the front line fighting and are in desperate need of water protectors to take part in direct peaceful action.

American Indian Institute, Bozeman, Montana The mission of the American Indian Institute is to perpetuate the ancient wisdom and cultural heritage of North America’s Native peoples, and to promote a greater understanding of that wisdom among all people.  The Institute achieves its mission by serving as the administrative agency and support source for the Traditional Circle of Indian Elders and Youth, a coalition of grassroots spiritual leaders from Indian nations throughout North America.

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