This is what Native philanthropy looks like: Meet the Fund of the Sacred Circle Grantmakers and Grantees

Today we are celebrating our newest Fund of the Sacred Circle (FSC) grantees and the Native community grantmakers who selected them. The grantmakers chose 19 Minnesota-based organizations to receive multi-year general operating grants from Headwaters. The grants provide each organization with $40,000 of support ($20,000 over two years). In total, Headwaters granted $760,000 to Native-led organizations. This is a major milestone for the program.  

FSC is our longest standing fund. It honors and acknowledges Native-led organizations that nurture vibrant, thriving, just communities—both now and for future generations. Grants support organizations to focus on work that centers culture and tradition; Native leadership; connections to land and language; sovereignty and self-determination; and deep community engagement.  

Headwaters practices a participatory grantmaking model in our core programs, including FSC. This model relies on a community’s wisdom to make decisions about where grant dollars go. Together, community grantmakers reviewed proposals and made funding decisions using FSC criteria. This style of grantmaking is a decades-long practice at Headwaters and is one that shares power with and centers trust in community. 

“Native-led philanthropy means community-led philanthropy. This means doing our best as a social justice funder to bring Native community members in as decision-makers,” says Program Officer, Native Communities Wakinyan LaPointe. Here are the community grantmakers Wakinyan recruited and supported in this round of FSC grants: 

  • Brenda BlackHawk 
  • Hieu Nguyen 
  • Dr. Micah Prairie Chicken 
  • Travis Zimmerman 
  • Pamela Standing 
  • Mishaila Bowman 
  • Nikki Pieratos 
  • Sarah White 

The 2022 FSC grantee organizations are: 

We hope you’ll spend time getting to know each of our newest FSC grantees and their work. Grassroots organizations like these that work on the front lines of our movements for justice are creating pathways towards a just, abundant Minnesota. Join us in celebrating their work today. 

As you get to know the FSC grantee organizations, be on the lookout for summertime announcements from two of our other core community-led grantmaking programs: the Giving Project Grant and Black Seed Fund.