Native Communities

Native Communities

The Northwest is and has always been Indian Country. Nearly half a million Native Americans and Alaska Natives call the Northwest home. The joy of working with our neighbors in Indian Country is that we deepen our commitment to values of relationship, reciprocity and honesty. We learn more about our shared landscapes and history. We strengthen our conviction that all Northwest communities, when properly understood, respected, and supported, have within them the capacity to create a vibrant, healthy future.

To learn more about our work to build relationships between organized philanthropy and Native Americans and Alaska Natives, please read our report, Journey into Indian Country.

Native Partners

Native Americans in Philanthropy
A growing circle of nonprofits, tribal communities, and foundations committed to the beliefs, traditions and gifts of Native peoples.

First Nations Development Institute
The institute is a a Native-run nonprofit that strengthens Native American communities and economies.

First Alaskans Institute
The institute works through community engagement, research, collaboration, and leadership development to advance Alaska Natives.

Reports on Giving in Native Communities

Assessment of Assets and Opportunities of the Seattle-King County Urban Indian Population
Published in 2014, this report was developed by Kauffman and Associates, Inc., under contract with United Way of Seattle-King County, and with the support of the City of Seattle, the Seattle Foundation, and the Muckleshoot Indian Tribe.

Partnering with Native Communities
Published in 2012 by the Paul G. Allen Foundation, the report highlights work by key nonprofit organizations working in Tribal communities throughout the Pacific Northwest.

Journey into Indian Country
Published in 2011 by Philanthropy Northwest, the report describes work in Indian country.

Native Voices Rising: A Case for Funding Native Led Change
Report on the practices and challenges of community organizing and advocacy in native communties. Published jointly by Native Americans in Philanthropy and Common Counsel Foundation, 2013.

From Transactional to Transformational
The Cherokee Preservation Foundation's interactive report about place-base grantmaking strategies that work, published in September, 2012.

Economic Development in Indian Country

Growing Economies in Indian Country: Taking Stock of Progress and Partnerships
A Summary of Challenges, Recommendations and Promising Efforts. Published by the Board of Governors, Federal Reserve Bank, April, 2012.

Northwest Area Foundation, Investing in Indian Country
The Foundation service area includes eight states  and the 75 Native nations that share this geography. Grants to Indian Country support efforts to build the private business sector in Indian Country and to strengthen the Native American nonprofit sector.  

The Harvard Project on American Indian Economic Development
The Harvard Project aims to understand and foster the conditions under which sustained, self-determined social and economic development is achieved among American Indian nations through applied research and service.

Tribal Leaders Speak: The State of Indian Education, 2010
Report from consultations with tribal leaders in Indian country, published by the U.S. Department of Education. November 30, 2011. (PDF, 1.8 MB)

Native Entrepreneurship in South Dakota’s Nine Reservations
New report on small business development environment on South Dakota's nine Indian reservations. November, 2011. (PDF, 1.2 MB)

More Resources