February 24, 2020

Filling the data and knowledge gap: How philanthropy can better partner with Indigenous communities

Author: Grace Sato, Sarina Dayal and Supriya Kumar

‘Philanthropy has consistently under-funded Indigenous communities and, particularly, Indigenous-led organizations,’ said Edgar Villanueva, chair of Native Americans in Philanthropy’s board and author of Decolonizing Wealth. Over the last 30 years, the proportion of grantmaking by large U.S. foundations for Native American communities and causes has only marginally increased—from less than 0.2 per cent to 0.4 per cent, even though Native Americans make up two per cent of the population. In Canada, charities serving Indigenous peoples receive only one per cent of overall donations, even though Indigenous peoples make up 4.9 per cent of the population.

This piece highlights some of the positive ways in which philanthropy is shifting away from these patterns and towards being more inclusive of indigenous communities. Further, the authors outline key ways in which grantmakers can further move towards developing more partnerships with indigenous communities and some resource available for them to learn more about philanthropy and indigenous people.