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DDCF Announces More Than $4.5 Million in Grants Dedicated to the Well-being of Native Communities Skip to main content

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DDCF Announces More Than $4.5 Million in Grants Dedicated to the Well-being of Native Communities

New York, July 7, 2020 – The Doris Duke Charitable Foundation (DDCF) today announced seven grants, totaling more than $4.5 million, to the Association of Tribal Archives, Libraries and Museums; Covenant House Alaska; First Peoples Fund; IllumiNative; National Indian Child Welfare Association; Parents and Children Together; and Standing Rock Community Development Corporation. This investment is part of DDCF’s ongoing commitment to supporting the health, vibrancy and overall well-being of Native communities throughout the U.S., including Alaska and Hawaii.

The grants span from Native-centered and Native-led efforts focused on community development, health, social services and multi-generational family supports to projects that aim to raise the visibility of Native communities in the broader U.S. population and to preserve and make more widely accessible Native American oral histories housed at universities across the country. These critical, Native-led endeavors come at a time when a failed U.S. public health response to COVID-19 outbreaks in Native communities has resurfaced historic trauma, produced outsized negative effects on their economies and health, and amplified existing disparities.

“We are thrilled to support these Native leaders’ efforts to respond to the unique needs of Native peoples in culturally appropriate ways that preserve, build on and amplify the visibility of the rich assets of their communities,” said Lola Adedokun, program director for child well-being at DDCF. “These grantees are passionate about and well-poised to take on the lasting inequities and wounds inflicted by colonization, to revitalize cultural connections, to bolster health and well-being, and to broaden the exposure of the larger U.S. population to accurate depictions of Native American history and cultures. We look forward to observing and learning from these partners in this crucial work.”

The grant recipients will embark on the following projects:

  • Parents And Children Together in Honolulu, HI, with a grant of $1.2 million over four years, will enhance and expand multigenerational, family-centered services and programming at the Kalihi Family and Economic Opportunity Center and strengthen connections with neighborhood organizations and community members;
  • Covenant House Alaska in Anchorage, AK, with a grant of $1 million over three years, will increase access and utilization of comprehensive supportive health, social, and permanent housing services to youth that are homeless in Anchorage, particularly Alaska Native youth, youth transitioning out of foster care, and pregnant and parenting youth;
  • Standing Rock Community Development Corporation in Fort Yates, ND, with a grant of $750,000 over three years, will strengthen organizational capacity to implement community development, youth development, language and culture, and food sovereignty strategies for increased health and well-being of Sioux children, youth and families living on the Standing Rock Indian Reservation;
  • National Indian Child Welfare Association in Portland, OR with a grant of $700,000 over three years, will support a pilot evaluation study of the Positive Indian Parenting program;
  • First Peoples Fund in Rapid City, SD, with a grant of $500,000 over 28 months, will expand and deepen support for Native performing artists and fund the first phase of a national field scan of the Native performing arts community;
  • Association of Tribal Archives, Libraries and Museums in Oklahoma City, OK, with a grant of $300,000 over two years, will partner with Native American communities to increase access to as well as utilization and visibility of the Doris Duke Native American Oral History collection at universities across the country; and
  • IllumiNative in Tulsa, OK, with a grant of $100,000 over three months, will execute strategic communications and a rapid response system for raising national awareness around the impacts of COVID-19 in Indian Country, generate national attention for proactive Native-led responses, and catalyze action to ensure Native communities are not left behind in efforts to address the pandemic.

These seven grantees join a cohort of other Native-centered and -led grantees funded by the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, including the Koahnic Broadcast Corporation, Kōkua Kalihi Valley Comprehensive Family Services, the NDN Collective and Thunder Valley Community Development Corporation, among others.

DDCF’s commitment to supporting Native communities in the U.S. expands the legacy of the foundation’s namesake. Prior to her passing in 1993, Doris Duke, who endowed the foundation, developed deep relationships with Native leaders and culture bearers around the country that dated back to the 1930s. Through these connections, Duke recognized the critical importance of capturing the rich culture and lived experience of Native Americans. In 1966, she launched the Doris Duke Native American Oral History Project to develop robust archival collections that describe the diversity of lived experiences and cultural traditions of Native Americans, and return these stories to the tribes and communities who agreed to share them. This collection is one of the above projects DDCF is now reinvesting in through a 2020 grant to the Association of Tribal Archives, Libraries and Museums.

About the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation
The mission of the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation is to improve the quality of people’s lives through grants supporting the performing arts, environmental conservation, child well-being and medical research, and through preservation of the cultural and environmental legacy of Doris Duke’s properties. To learn more, visit