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Now Accepting Proposals for 2014 Native Youth & Culture Fund

First Nations Development Institute (First Nations), a national Native nonprofit organization, established in 1980 and dedicated to strengthening Native American economies, is pleased to announce that it is now accepting proposals for its Native Youth and Culture Fund (NYCF) program.

First Nations is a catalyst for social and economic justice. Our mission is to assist Native peoples to control and develop their own assets and, through that control, build the capacity to direct their economic futures in ways that fit their cultures. First Nations funds Tribal programs and Native nonprofits located in or near Indian Country, including Hawaii and Alaska.

First Nations believes that Native youth represent the future of Native communities, and that their health and well being determines the future overall health and well-being of a community. By investing in its youth and giving them a sense of place and tradition in the community, a community ensures that it will have bright and capable future leaders.

We are pleased to announce this 2014 Request for Proposals (RFP) for projects that focus on youth, and incorporate culture and tradition to address social issues such as drug and alcohol abuse, teen pregnancy, mental health or other social issues. Specifically, we are seeking projects that focus on one or more of the following four priority areas:

• Preserving, strengthening or renewing cultural and/or spiritual practices, beliefs and values.

• Engaging both youth and elders in activities that demonstrate methods for documenting traditional knowledge, practices, and/or beliefs, where culturally appropriate.

• Increasing youth leadership and their capacity to lead through integrated educational or mentoring programs.

• Increasing access to and sharing of cultural customs and beliefs through the use of appropriate technologies (traditional and/or modern), as a means of reviving or preserving tribal language, arts, history, or other culturally relevant topics.

First Nations expects to receive 200 proposals. From these submissions, approximately 45 will be invited to submit full proposals. From those applicants asked to submit full proposals First Nations will award approximately 20 grants. Some of the projects ultimately to be selected may have previously received funding through the Native Youth and Culture Fund (NYCF), and are seeking additional support to expand the original project, with a view toward sustainability. First Nations prefers to fund projects no longer than one year in length, and with budgets between $5,000 and $20,000.

Eligible applicants include Tribal governments, Tribal programs or Native nonprofits in or near Indian Country. First Nations does not fund individuals. Organizations that are not a tribal government, 501(c)(3), or a 7871 but must have a fiscal sponsor that is a qualifying entity. We do not require federal recognition for tribal governments; however, organizations must be able to provide proof of official state recognition. Non-profits that apply must be located in a tribal community or have a very close tie to a particular tribal community(ies). This program does not fund publicly funded schools. Urban groups that work with off-reservation populations only are very unlikely to receive funding as our focus is on tribal economies.

Because First Nations is committed to empowering the organizations it funds, each applicant will be required to allocate and set aside a minimum of $1,000 of its proposed requested funds for attendance at a mandatory technical assistance and training event to be hosted by First Nations. This amount must be included in the total amount requested which should not exceed $20,000 as noted above. The monies will be utilized for travel, travel-related costs and lodging for this First Nations NYCF Training Summit. It is anticipated that the required (one staff person per grantee) NYCF Training Summit will be held in September, 2014.

First Nations seeks projects that:

• Are solid matches between the project purpose and one or more of the NYCF priorities.

• Demonstrate innovative and comprehensive activities.

• Have a clear focus on building healthier communities through preserving, strengthening, or renewing Native culture and cultural traditions among youth.

• Demonstrate the ability and/or experience necessary to accomplish the project.

• Have a clear plan of action, specific goals and objectives, and a process to periodically assess, document, and disseminate progress and lessons learned.

• Are feasible, cost-effective, and sustainable.

• Form partnerships and engage broad community participation and support.

• Have the potential for application and replication in other Native communities.

Proposals must be submitted using our online form. The online proposal must be completed and submitted no later than 5 p.m. Mountain Time on March 20, 2014. Please read the official request before you decide to submit a proposal.

For more information and to begin the application, visit:

If you have questions about the RFP process, please contact Marsha Whiting at (303) 774-7836, ext. 208 or email her at


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