Initiated in 2000 and led by Native peoples, the Native Cultures Fund (NCF) supports Native arts, cultural revitalization, and knowledge transmission between generations with interest in healing historic trauma. Since locating at Humboldt Area Foundation in 2002, grants, staff support and regional gatherings have focused on increasing cultural participation and learning from elders who create the cultural context for this work. The program serves a 50-county region in California and has awarded over $1.7 million in direct grants to over 305 community-led projects.
The NCF usually makes grant awards between $1,000 and $10,000 to 3-10 projects in each of two annual grant cycles each year. Deadlines for these grants are April 1 and November 1. Grants are made both to individuals and to nonprofit organizations. For the last six years, these grants have been possible in partnership with the William & Flora Hewlett Foundation and the Jack Montoya Memorial Fund. With the recent addition of the Montoya Fund, NCF now also provides scholarships to California Native four-year college or graduate students with particular attention to support Native cultural preservation.
To apply for an NCF grant, see our list of available grants
NCF is currently undertaking a process to hire a new Director and then plans to evaluate historic activities and grantmaking, listen to and vision with Native culture stakeholders and partners, and plan for the next decade. Traditionally, NCF grants have been made by a committee of Native California cultural practitioners from across the regions of grantmaking focus. The seeds of an NCF Advisory Council are now in place to provide NCF with visionary and strategic guidance as well as grants and scholarships review.