News & Updates

Boozhoo! (Hello & Welcome!)

We hope you will enjoy hearing about the good work happening!

Maada'ookiing (“the distribution” in Ojibwe) is a Native-led program of the Northland Foundation designed to strengthen relationships with and offer support to Native American community members doing individual or small group work outside of formal nonprofit organizations or Tribal nation entities.

grant opportunity is offered three times per year, awarding up to $2,500 per grant for Tribal citizens, descendants, or individuals with kinship ties or affiliation to Native American communities for projects happening within the foundation’s geographic service area. Grant applications are accepted anytime using the online grant portal. The next application deadline is February 15, 2024.

Maada'ookiing Grants Awarded

Congratulations & Miigwech to the Fall 2023 Grantees!

LaVonne Cloud, Deer River, $2,500

To support a beading class on the Leech Lake Reservation.


Wendy Jordain, Cass Lake: $2,500

To support community building and cultural connection through weekly sewing sessions on the Leech Lake Reservation.


Stacy Palmer, Orr, $2,500

To support an after school regalia-making class for youth at Bois Forte Reservation.


Annette Humphrey, Deer River: $2,500

To support data collection for improving housing access on the Leech Lake Reservation.


Elizabeth Jaakola, Cloquet: $2,500

To support the creation of an album of original music by Fond du Lac youth.


Victoria McMillen, Cloquet: $2,500

To support cultural leather-working classes on the Fond du Lac Reservation.


Olivia Allen, Duluth: $1,529

To support the creation of solar-powered rice processors for use at a Native American youth summer camp.

Special Grant: Missing & Murdered Indigenous Women & Relatives

Nedahness Greene, Remer: $10,000

To support a community photography storytelling project to bring awareness and healing to MMIW/R survivors, families, and their communities.

Keep in Touch - Photos Wanted!

Are you a current or former Maada'ookiing grantee? We would love to hear from you and possibly share your project with others!

Please contact Cayla at [email protected] with stories or photos of your experiences doing your project work.

Next Maada'ookiing Grant Round

Do you have a great community project idea? You can submit your application anytime!

Applications for the next round of funding are due by February 15, 2024. 


Ojibwemowin-Ojibwe Language Vocabulary


they teach each other


Maada'ookiing Grants Q&A

Do you or someone you know have an idea for a new, Native-led project that might benefit by up to $2,500 in grant funding? Is there an activity happening in the community already that could really use some added financial support? A Maada'ookiing grant might be a solution.

We would like to encourage more community members to explore this opportunity and apply!

The grants are meant to help community-building efforts led by individuals or groups that are not a Tribal entity or a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization. Below are the "big buckets" or categories of qualifying projects.

  1. Supporting Native American youth
  2. Strengthening use of or access to Native American language (including also digital apps, dictionaries, video, and other creative projects) 
  3. Sharing Native American culture/spiritual practices and activities 
  4. Sustaining Tribal civic engagement, sovereignty, and self-determination (including non-partisan get out the vote or civic education) 
  5. Shifting the narrative and increasing visibility of contemporary Native American communities
  6. Promoting Native American leadership and experiences (projects that provide training, networking, and education opportunities) 
  7. Engaging in Native American grassroots organizing (projects that strengthen community well-being and/or respond to Native American community issues)

Some of the dozens of past grant-funded activities have included language teaching; wellness and sobriety circles; drumming, beading, and regalia making; teaching youth traditional ways – such as the healing salves class led by Patra Wise pictured above, and many others.

Who and Where is Eligible for Funding?

map of northland foundation service area with all or parts of the 5 reservations and 7 counties highlighted

This opportunity offers grants to individuals or informal groups (not official nonprofits organizations). Applicants must be citizens, descendants, or have kinship ties or affiliation to Native American communities.

The project or work to be supported must be taking place within the Northland Foundation's service area. This region includes the Tribal lands of the Bois Forte, Fond du Lac, Grand Portage Leech Lake (District 1), and Mille Lacs (District 2) nations and Minnesota counties of Aitkin, Carlton, Cook, Itasca, Koochiching, Lake, and St. Louis.

What Kinds of Costs Could a Grant Cover?

Type of costs a Maada’ookiing grant will help cover:

  • Materials and supplies, including technology, needed to carry out grant activities 
  • Food for program participants 
  • Space rental 
  • Honorarium for Native American knowledge-holders who assist the project (elders, spiritual leaders, etc.) 
  • Compensation for program organizers 


Types of costs a grant will not cover:

  • Capital projects (such as buying or renovating buildings or projects that are mainly to buy large equipment) or costs associated with starting, operating, or expanding business enterprises.
  • Financial assistance to support basic needs of individuals 
  • Political campaigns or other partisan political activities 
  • Sectarian religious activities 
  • Personal compensation that is not related to project activities

How Can I Get More Information?

Click here for more details, the application link, and instructions to help you apply. You can also contact Cayla Bellanger DeGroat at [email protected].

Land Acknowledgement
The Northland Foundation’s geographic service area rests on ceded territory established by the Treaties of 1837, 1854, 1855, and 1866 between the Anishinaabe/Ojibwe Nations and the United States government. This region is the traditional homelands of the Ojibwe, Dakota, Northern Cheyenne, and other Native nations, and Indigenous people continue to live here. We humbly acknowledge that we are on traditional Indigenous land that holds a long history that continues to grow. Our relationships today shape and define our ongoing shared history. Together, we are actively building mutual respect based on trust and understanding. See a more detailed acknowledgement of this land and its history.
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