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Keepers of the Earth Fund

Keepers of the Earth Fund (KOEF) is an Indigenous-led fund within Cultural Survival, which is designed to support Indigenous Peoples’ community advocacy and development projects. Since 2017, KOEF has funded 310 projects in 41 countries, through small grants totaling $1,603,307, as well as technical assistance, which have benefited 328 Indigenous Peoples in total.

The Keepers of the Earth Fund (KOEF) awards grants of up to $12,000 USD, which go directly to traditional Indigenous communities, collectives, organizations, and governments, to support their self-designed development projects based on Indigenous values. KOEF funds projects implemented by grassroots and emerging groups, with or without official registration from their State government, and is the first source of funding that some organizations and communities have ever received.

Rooted the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP), Cultural Survival’s work uses a rights-based approach in our grantmaking strategies to support Indigenous grassroots solutions through the equitable distribution of resources to Indigenous communities. Cultural Survival values ​​collective projects, run by and for the benefit of the whole community.

At KOEF, we believe that Indigenous Peoples are the ones who best know their problems and solutions, which is why we support projects designed and managed by Indigenous members of the same community that the project will serve, identifying and using their own values. We appreciate strategic, innovative, and Indigenous values-based approaches to community development, collaboration for the good of the whole community, and strategic capacity building with specific results. Our fund is led by Indigenous people and projects are collectively approved by an internal committee made up mainly of members of different Indigenous Peoples.

Thanks to the experience gained in these years of KOEF's work and the large and increasing number of applications received each year, we have established a hybrid strategy in our calls for proposals, with one year of public call followed by two years of applications by invitation. The communities and organizations that we invite are selected from a database made up of applicants who submit through the public calls, as well as communities we connect with in other ways. The 2024 Call for Concepts is Open! Apply by February 10, 2024!


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