The Sovereign Equity Fund is proud to announce the first cohort of Cultural Foodways grantees, six Tribal Colleges and Universities, each with grants of $200,000 for activities over two years. The Cultural Foodways Fund is a grant opportunity to reclaim and revitalize the intersection between Indigenous cultural identity and foodways. The grant is dedicated to projects focused on safeguarding the cultural and humanities aspects of work that address the traditions, ceremonies, language, art, storytelling, cosmologies, belief systems, customs, and ways of being intertwined with Indigenous foodways.
Earlier this year, Founding Funding Partners, Mellon Foundation, and the Native American Agriculture Fund announced their $2.4M collaborative investment towards the Cultural Foodways Fund. The partnership between the two entities was established in an effort to expand the cultural connections of that work and sustain the ancestral knowledge that serves as the foundation for tribal food sovereignty.
“We at Mellon are proud to partner with the Native American Agriculture Fund to support the crucial intersection of humanities and agricultural knowledge in Native communities. Tribal colleges and universities are ideally positioned to connect Indigenous foodways knowledge to relevant courses, research, and programming that can both serve their own communities and advance higher learning that lays the foundation for more just and equitable futures for all,” says Maria Sachiko Cecire, Program Officer in Higher Learning at the Mellon Foundation.
“At the Native American Agriculture Fund, we are committed to reducing and eliminating barriers for Native American farmers and ranchers advancing Indigenous agricultural economies. This partnership with the Mellon Foundation aims to expand the cultural connections of that work and sustain the ancestral knowledge that serves as the foundation for our food sovereignty. This funding will be available to TCUs, and as a proud TCU graduate myself, I look forward to supporting and strengthening the opportunity for TCUs to provide important curriculum and resources through a respectful cultural lens and expand their role as a vital vehicle for education in our Tribal communities,” says NAAF CEO Toni Stanger-McLaughlin.
If you are a TCU and wish to apply for the Cultural Foodways Fund, watch for the second grant cycle request for applications in the spring of 2024.
Below are the six awardees of the 2023 Cultural Foodways Fund: