Cultural Survival Announces Keepers of the Earth Fund for Indigenous Peoples

May 25, 2017

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:                                                           En Español

Agnes Portalewska, Communcations Manager +011-617 441 5400 x14
Jackie Tiller, Keepers of the Earth Fund Project Manager  +011-617-657-1290

Cultural Survival Announces Keepers of the Earth Fund for Indigenous Peoples   (En Español)

Cambridge, Massachusetts – May 26, 2017. 
Today, Cultural Survival, an Indigenous Peoples’ rights advocacy organization based in Cambridge, MA, publicly announced its administration of the Keepers of the Earth Fund, a small grants fund designed to support Indigenous Peoples’ advocacy and community development projects. This much needed resource fund was established in 2005 by nonprofit First Peoples Worldwide, which is closing its doors with the retirement of its president and founder, Rebecca Adamson in June 2017.

Only 20 percent of global funding goes to human rights issues, and of that, only 3 percent is allocated to Indigenous Peoples. There is a dire need for small funds like Keepers of the Earth Fund as sources of financial backing of projects driven by Indigenous communities.

“Keepers of the Earth Fund is an important source of funding that supports Indigenous Peoples in their efforts to self-determine their futures, strengthen their traditional governance structures, and fight for  Free, Prior and Informed Consent to protect natural and cultural resources. Increased funding to Indigenous Peoples is an imperative in supporting defense and full attainment of our rights,” said Cultural Survival Executive Director Suzanne Benally (Santa Clara Tewa/Navajo).

The Fund provides grants ranging between $500 and $10,000 that go directly to grassroots Indigenous organizations and groups to support their self-designed development projects based on local, traditional values. Projects can address a vast array of economic and cultural development strategies including cultural retention, language revitalization, food sovereignty, climate change, gender equality, battling extractive industries, Free, Prior and Informed consent, leadership and governance, and much more.

Cultural Survival plans to issue its first Call for Applications on July 1st. Jackie Tiller (Tlingit and Filipino), Keepers of the Earth Fund Project Manager states that “Indigenous values-based development through Keepers of the Earth Fund is one way for Indigenous Peoples to make forward progress in a globalized world, and gain footholds on the world economic scene.“

Since 2007, the Keepers of the Earth Fund through small grants and technical assistance has supported  over 350 Indigenous community-led projects in 64 countries around the world, totaling nearly $2.5 million. The Fund hopes to gain additional investors over the next three years in order to make more, longer-term investments in Indigenous values-based innovation and rights-based projects.
Cultural Survival advocates for Indigenous Peoples' rights and supports Indigenous communities’ self-determination, cultures and political resilience since 1972.