Cross-Cutting Programs Indigenous Proposals May Be Comprehensive in Nature

Funders who work with indigenous peoples will often receive proposals that do not fit neatly into a single program area, but cut across several. For example, a community’s intention to map their ancestral lands could fall under different focus areas such as environmental protection, human rights, or cultural survival, to name a few. 

A lot of indigenous groups tend to propose projects that are comprehensive in nature,” said Jennifer Barry, director of development for the Mexican Society for Women's Rights (Semillas), a Mexico-based funder that supports indigenous women’s groups. “They deal with a lot of issues at the same time that don’t fall into a single thematic funding area.”

IDEX employs a strategy that funds at the intersection of food sovereignty, climate change, and alternative economics, which indigenous peoples surveyed identified as priority issues. IDEX-funded seed saving projects in indigenous communities are an example of this cross-cutting strategy at work.

The Swift Foundation also created wide program areas that recognize how different program areas overlap. Indigenous communities can apply to five program areas: land stewardship; biodiversity and cultural diversity; climate advocacy; resilient local economies; and global networks and collaborations.

Takeaways are critical, bite-sized resources either excerpted from our guides or written by Candid Learning for Funders using the guide's research data or themes post-publication. Attribution is given if the takeaway is a quotation.

This takeaway was derived from Funding Indigenous Peoples.