Keepers of the Earth Fund

Cultural Survival is pleased to announce the Keepers of the Earth Fund (KOEF) Call for Project Concepts. The KOEF is a small grants fund that supports Indigenous values-based community development. These grants have supported Indigenous-led projects on the leading edge of solutions to the most pressing issues for Indigenous Peoples everywhere. 

Through the KOEF, Cultural Survival intends to provide grants ranging between $500 and $5,000 to Indigenous-led and -controlled organizations and groups around the world.

Grants can support projects focused on a vast array of development activities. Applications will be viewed with an eye toward innovation, Indigenous values woven into the design of the project, and projects addressing real-time development needs. The connection between Indigenous values and the proposed project should be clearly articulated.

The primary purpose of the Keepers of the Earth Fund is to empower grassroots Indigenous communities in establishing their rights and retaining their traditional values.

We seek to fund projects that work in collaboration with others for the larger community as opposed to working alone. We encourage partnerships and networking, capacity building for results, and strategic approaches to Indigenous development.

Cultural Survival advocates for Indigenous Peoples' rights and supports Indigenous communities’ self-determination, cultures and political resilience since 1972. We work toward a future that respects and honors Indigenous Peoples' inherent rights and dynamic cultures, deeply and richly interwoven in lands, languages, spiritual traditions, and artistic expression, rooted in self-determination and self-governance. Our Advocacy Program supports Indigenous grassroots movements to assert their rights outlined in the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP). The Keepers of the Earth Fund (KOEF) is part of  Cultural Survival’s Advocacy Program with a mission to advocate for Indigenous Peoples cultural, political, economic, and social advancement through small grants and technical and informational resources. This support empowers grassroots Indigenous communities to establish their rights and retain their traditional values.

The common values that we share as Indigenous Peoples include the concepts of reciprocity, respect, responsibility, and the interdependence of all life. At the project level, Cultural Survival values strategic and innovative approaches to Indigenous values-based development and favors projects that are driven by and benefit the community; collaborate with others for the good of the larger community; and plan for strategic capacity building with specific results.  For example, if you are documenting traditional language, song and/or dance, why is this valuable to your community and what will be the use(s) of the documentation? How will the documentation be utilized to promote your community’s continued traditions and practices?

Communities should feel free to propose projects on any topics that are of importance to your community. Of particular interest to CS are projects focused on the following topics and their intersections: Free, Prior, Informed Consent, self-governance, the rights of Indigenous women, economic sovereignty, land rights, environmental and biodiversity protection, Indigenous language and knowledge retention, movement-building, equitable distribution of resources, and Indigenous participation in international, national, regional and local spaces. NOTE: for projects related to community radio and Indigenous communication, please see our Community Media Grants Project.

  • Be an Indigenous organization, grassroots group, or a traditional Indigenous government.
  • Be Indigenous-led
  • Have an annual organizational budget of less than $150,000USD / year
  • Have a bank account in the name of your organization or have an existing written agreement with a fiscal sponsor. (For Indigenous governments, please contact us to discuss.)

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