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Open Call for Indigenous Youth Changemakers

Deadline to apply: November 30, 2023
Fellowship range: $2,500 - $6,000

Cultural Survival has defended Indigenous Peoples’ rights and supported the self-determination, cultures, and political resilience of Indigenous communities since 1972.

Cultural Survival's Indigenous Youth Fellowship Project was started to support young Indigenous leaders aged 17-28 in creating and disseminating knowledge through creative forms and critical thinking. It is an opportunity to develop capacities in Indigenous rights, Indigenous languages, cultures, and traditional knowledge. Fellows work to represent the voices of their communities and bring awareness of local issues to global conversations through their proposed projects while strengthening their cultural identities and leadership.

General Information

Area of focus:

Currently, the world is immersed in the challenges of mitigating the impacts of natural resource exploitation and its effects on the well-being of the planet. The demand for transition minerals (nickel, lithium, cobalt, and copper), related to the production of electric vehicles, wind turbines, and solar panels has skyrocketed due to the demand for renewable energy for a green, low-carbon economy. The field of green economy envisions this as a solution to address climate change issues, arguing that these energy generation technologies have low carbon emissions.

However, these minerals are mostly found on or near Indigenous territories, and their extraction is often linked to the violation of the rights of Indigenous Peoples. Furthermore, local biomes and environments have been severely affected by these extractive industries, degrading ecosystems and exacerbating natural disasters caused by climate change, with the deforestation, erosion, and contamination of water and soil due to the infiltration of toxic chemicals into the ground.

These factors, the extraction of transition minerals and natural disasters caused by climate change, directly affect Indigenous communities worldwide. This call aims to encourage response projects from Indigenous youth and promote actions that counteract or mitigate these situations.

Who can apply?

  • Indigenous youth between 17 and 28 years old: The application can be individual or collective.
  • Residents of the United States, Canada, Mexico, Central America, Panama, South America, Nepal, India, Bangladesh, DRC, Uganda, Kenya, Nigeria, Mali, Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe, South Africa, Taiwan, Indonesia, Philippines, Papua New Guinea, Sweden, Finland, Greenland, and Norway.
  • Those with access to the internet can collaborate creatively with other fellows, the Cultural Survival team, and can participate in video conferences.
  • We highly value the participation and inclusion of women and underrepresented genders (cis women, trans women, trans men, Two-Spirits, non-binary people, and other marginalized genders).
  • Individuals previously receiving a Cultural Survival grant will not be prioritized.

Type of Project:

Creative and innovative projects that are community-based and involve actions pertaining to transition minerals (nickel, lithium, cobalt, and copper) or climate change-related disaster prevention and response, climate change solutions, and a land and livelihoods approach.* 

  • Advocacy: campaigns, lobbying, and proactive strategies. 
  • Writing: journalism, storytelling, investigative reporting, community research, articles.
  • Capacity Building: training and workshops, meetings and exchanges.
  • Arts and Multimedia: audiovisuals, photography, cinema, documentaries, radio, podcasts, graphic illustrations, murals and paintings.
  • Technological Innovation: development of alternative technologies that do not harm the environment or protect the environment and strengthen communities without altering Indigenous traditions.

*The health of Indigenous lands, including the forests and rivers, is also integral to Indigenous livelihoods. The ability of Indigenous Peoples to maintain their traditional livelihoods and economies, harvest foods, fish, hunt, keep bees, herd animals, and gather materials for housing, crafts, clothing, and ceremony are all dependent on uninterrupted access to their land; hence, we include livelihoods in our land approach.

Application process closed:

  1. Indigenous youth interested in participating in this call must fill out a form with general information about your proposed project. 
  2. Cultural Survival will conduct a first review and invite some applications to the second phase of the process to present a complete proposal narrative which will include a proposed budget.
  3. During the third and final stage, interviews will be conducted with the finalists.
  4. During the first stage of the review, unselected applicants will be notified within three months. In the second stage of the review of full narrative proposals, unselected applicants will be notified within three months.
  5. Awarding the fellowship will take up to 6 months.

General Information:

As this is a global call, we receive many applications that we read carefully. We ask for your patience and understanding of the process which will take 3-6 months. If you have any questions, please write to

General Information

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