Spend Down

We are returning SAF’s assets to Indigenous communities and are pleased to announce these disbursements.

These payments help fulfill our pledge to support California Native programs as well as Native-led national and local organizations.

We will continue to make our final grants through early 2024.

We were honored to be invited by Grantmakers in the Arts to write about our transition: Land Acknowledgement: Sunsetting as a Gesture of Reconciliation.


February 12, 2024
Our third round of grants again comes at the recommendation of Native awardees, finalists, and allies of the foundation; they have introduced us to a diverse group of organizations supporting Native interests. In a world that has tried hard to erase Native culture, they are doing essential work.

We’d like to thank the following individuals for their insight and input: Èlan Cadiz, Kelli Jo Ford, Jennifer Givhan, Lily Hope, Toni Jensen, Jessica Mehta, Dallin Maybee, Loretta Miranda, Christine Howard Sandoval, Tyra Jade Shackleford, and Denise Silva.

Chickasaw Foundation ($10,000)
Established in 1971, the mission of the Chickasaw Foundation is to promote the general welfare and culture of the Chickasaw people by supporting educational, health, historical, and community activities.
Forge Project ($5,000)
Launched in 2021, Forge Project is a Native-led organization whose mandate is to cultivate and advance Indigenous leadership in arts and culture. Forge offers workshops and fellowships on their campus within the ancestral homelands of the Moh-He-Con-Nuck. They also maintain an art collection, for research and exhibition purposes, with an emphasis on the work of living Indigenous artists.
Indigenous Nations Poets (In-Na-Po) ($10,000)
Founded in 2020, In-Na-Po is a national Indigenous poetry community committed to mentoring emerging writers, nurturing the growth of Indigenous poetic practices, and raising the visibility of all Native Writers.
Lightning Boy Foundation ($5,000)
The Lightning Boy Foundation, founded in memory of a young Native dancer, teaches traditional hoop dance to young people, work that builds community and extends into every aspect of these children’s lives.
National Indigenous Women’s Resource Center ($10,000)
The NIWRC is dedicated to ending violence against Native women and children. They offer a breadth of critical programs including individual support, community building, and safe housing, while engaging in long term policy change and advocacy work.
Poetry Northwest: James Welch Prize ($5,000)
The James Welch Prize is awarded for outstanding poetry written by Indigenous U.S. poets. The prize is named for Blackfeet and Gros Ventre writer James Welch, whose early poems were featured in Poetry Northwest and who went on to become one of the region’s most important writers.
Protect the Sacred ($5,000)
Protect the Sacred harnesses the energy of Native youth via Ride to the Polls events and leadership summits; they aim to educate and empower the next generation in order to strengthen Indigenous sovereignty.
Southwestern Association for Indian Arts (SWAIA) ($5,000)
Founded in 1922, SWAIA hosts the Santa Fe Indian Market, the largest juried Native American art show in the world. The Market offers support and visibility to Native artists, some of whom are the third or fourth generation in their families to participate.

January 29, 2024
Our second round of grants comes at the recommendation of Native awardees, finalists, and allies of the foundation; they have introduced us to a diverse group of organizations supporting Native interests. In a world that has tried hard to erase Native culture, they are doing essential work.

We’d like to thank the following individuals for their insight and input: Èlan Cadiz, Kelli Jo Ford, Jennifer Givhan, Lily Hope, Toni Jensen, Jessica Mehta, Dallin Maybee, Loretta Miranda, Christine Howard Sandoval, Tyra Jade Shackleford, and Denise Silva.

The Chalon Indian Council of Bakersfield ($10,000)
The Chalon Indian Council maintains a scholarship fund for college-bound tribal members, as well as offering workshops to educate their youth council on cultural practices such as regalia making, botanical identification and harvesting, and Chalon language.
Dream Warriors ($10,000)
Dream Warriors is an artists collective based in Minneapolis, MN, focused on providing programming in arts, culture, generational wealth building, and power building for both urban and reservation-based Indigenous communities across the country.
First Nations Development Institute ($10,000)
The mission of the First Nations Development Institute is to strengthen American Indian economies; they offer technical assistance and training, and engage in advocacy and policy work.
First Peoples Fund ($10,000)
First Peoples Fund offers performances and workshops for the broader community, as well as award opportunities, research initiatives, and mentorship programs designed to help Native artists thrive in their practice.
Garcia Center for the Arts ($10,000)
Established in 1932, the Garcia Center for the Arts, on Cahuilla, Serrano, Tongva and Luiseno land in Southern California, provides a performance space, classes, and workshops so people of all ages in the community can gather, create, and inspire.
Ma’s House & BIPOC Art Studio ($10,000)
Founded in honor of Loretta A. Silva, a member of the Shinnecock Indian Nation, Ma’s House & BIPOC Art Studio offers a residency and exhibition space created by and serving BIPOC artists.
Red Cloud Heritage Center | Maȟpíya Lúta ($5,000)
Founded in 1888, Red Cloud Heritage Center hosts an annual art show open to any tribally enrolled member in the Americas and houses a significant permanent collection of work by Native artists.
Underdog Animal Rescue and Rehab ($10,000)
Underdog Animal Rescue and Rehab rescues and rehabilitates companion animals from the Four Corners reservations of the American Southwest, through veterinary care, spay/neuter, and adoption services, while supporting Native Americans in the care of their animals.

December 18, 2023
Our first spend down grants went to large organizations representing Native interests at the federal and state level.

California Truth and Healing Fund ($500,000)
The fund was established in connection to the state’s official apology to its Indigenous population and formation of the California Truth and Healing Council. Guided by an advisory board of California Native Americans, the fund works independently to build capacity, offer technical assistance, provide advocacy, and support tribal or intra-tribal Truth and Healing processes.

This initiative is part of Liberated Capital, a project of Decolonizing Wealth, which collects and distributes funds to Black, Indigenous, and other communities of color for liberation and racial healing.

Association on American Indian Affairs ($150,000)
The Association on American Indian Affairs, founded in 1922, is the oldest non-profit serving Native Country.

Throughout its 100-year history, the Association has provided national advocacy on watershed issues that support sovereignty and culture, while working at a grassroots level with Tribes to support the implementation of programs that affect daily lives.

The Association is governed by an all-Native American Board of Directors from across Native Country.

Native American Rights Fund ($150,000)
Since 1970, the Native American Rights Fund (NARF) has provided legal assistance to Native American tribes, organizations, and individuals nationwide who might otherwise have gone without adequate representation. NARF has successfully asserted and defended the most important rights of Indians and tribes in hundreds of major cases, and has achieved significant results in such critical areas as tribal sovereignty, treaty rights, natural resource protection, voting rights, and Indian education.

NARF is headquartered in Boulder, Colorado, with offices in Washington, DC, and Anchorage, Alaska.