Headwaters Foundation Announces 2011 Fund of the Sacred Circle Grant Awards
The Headwaters Foundation for Justice is pleased to announce $50,000 in grant awards to four Minnesota- and Wisconsin-based nonprofits through the Fund of the Sacred Circle.
The Fund of the Sacred Circle supports the work of Native urban, rural and tribal groups to address systemic issues affecting American Indian communities. Focus areas include language and cultural revitalization, land and environmental restoration, sovereignty and treaty rights and self-determination and civil rights. Established in 1999, the Fund of the Sacred Circle is operated in conjunction with the Wisconsin Community Fund and directed by Native community leaders who make funding decisions. Since the fund began making grants in 2001, it has awarded 53 grants totaling $490,000.
"The Fund of the Sacred Circle is a unique, community led program," said Headwaters Executive Director Trista Harris. "Native leaders are identifying needs and advocating to ensure a secure future for their communities. The Fund itself is a valuable and permanent resource for the community to utilize."
Grants were awarded to each of the following organizations:
- Dakota Wicohan, an organization working to preserve and revitalize the Dakota language and life ways. While rooted within the Dakota community, Dakota Wicohan works across tribal and political boundaries, working to address the crisis of only eight first-generation speakers remaining in the state of Minnesota. Their vision and philosophy is that language is linked to the regeneration of Dakota identity, health and community, and will heal the inherent relationship with creation which is essential to the continuation of indigenous populations. Dakota Wicohan received a two-year grant of $20,000.
- Waadookodaading Language Immersion Charter School, an Ojibwe language immersion charter school delivers academic core subjects in the Ojibwe language to students in kindergarten through the fifth grade. In 2011 the school will work to improve teacher development, school curriculum and community outreach. Their work will continue to have a sustainable and meaningful impact on the wide-ranging movement to preserve and revitalize the Ojibwe language. The Waadookodaading School received a grant of $10,000.
- White Earth Land Recovery Project - Niijii Broadcasting, a community-based communications strategy which emerged from the White Earth Land Recovery Project (WELRP). The WELRP is a multi-issue Native American organization based on the White Earth Reservation in Minnesota. They know that media is power, and intend to use this power for their community (White Earth members both on and off of the reservation, as well as surrounding communities). Niijii Broadcasting will serve as an important voice in the community and a space for dialogue. Their work will result in providing tribal people with access to an independent voice that is reflective of the community. The White Earth Land Recovery Project received a grant of $10,000.
- WI Tribal Language Consortium, an ad-hoc alliance comprised of language teachers, program staff, and community activists throughout Wisconsin. This organization intends to advocate for support of tribal language maintenance and revitilization throughout the state of Wisconsin. To do this more strategically the consortium will conduct a comprehensive baseline needs analysis across all tribal language communities participating in the consortium. This information will in turn directly inform the strategic planning process, enhance potential funding opportunities and guide the activities of the consortium for the next several years. The WI Tribal Language Consortium received a grant of $10,000.