Native Cultures Fund Grants

Willard Carlson and George Wilson carving a canoe. Photo by Thomas B. Dunklin. ( 


The Native Cultures Fund has two granting rounds per year, in spring and fall. Upcoming deadlines are October 15, 2018 and April 1, 2019. NCF grants are between $1000 and $10,000, with most grants falling between $1000 — $5000.

Grants are distributed to individuals, non-profits, tribes, or community partnerships. They are made to projects that reflect California Indian culture, art, values, and traditional practices. We define culture in the broadest possible way: As the foodways, languages and cosmologies, ceremony, sacred sites, sports, architecture, arts, teachings and knowledge systems, stories, music, dance, land stewardship, hydrology, maritime traditions and much more that are indigenous to the tribal lands that now fall within northern, eastern, and central California.

The Native Cultures Fund serves the area from the Tolowa Dee-Ni' nation in the north, to the Paiute Nations to the east and down to Chumash territory in the south.

Grants are not made to support capacity of large organizations, for economic development, or for projects not rooted in California tribal cultures.

How to Apply

The Native Cultures Fund application can be downloaded here.

The application can be returned via email to or via mail to Native Cultures Fund

Humboldt Area Foundation

363 Indianola Rd

Bayside, CA 95524

Inquiries about the grantmaking process should be directed to Questions about projects and ideas are welcome at

The Decision Makers

Grants and scholarships are distributed by committees of California Indian culture bearers from across our 50 county granting region. Committees change each season so that many of the Nations that we serve can be represented. Committees are made up of three to five people with a balance of gender, age, geographic representation, and cultural expertise. Having our grantmakers come from the traditions that we support is integral to the Native Cultures Fund. If you would like to serve on a committee or would like to nominate someone who has deep knowledge of their own culture and the interest in strengthen every Native community, please email us at

Some of our recent grantees

Sandra and Skip Lowry for the constructions of a traditional sweathouse at Resighini Rancheria.

Ah Pah Traditional Yurok Village for the construction of a traditional dance grounds and healing village.

Native Women’s Collective for regalia making workshops.

Fort Bidwell Indian Reservation for brain tanning workshops

Dr. Kishan Lara to train youth to photograph elder culture bearers at work

Judith Serber to collect and preserve Hupa elders’ stories

LaVerna Reece to photograph and catalog all of the weaving plants along the Klamath River for future Karuk basketweavers

Heyday for the creation of Lyn Risling’s children’s book series, A is for Acorn and Coyote Goes to the Big Time.

The Paxiiwovem canoe family to take the Tongva tiiat to participate in Tribal Canoe Journey

Repairs to the Kashia Roundhouse roof

The Mid Klamath Watershed District and Brian Tripp for the creation of a public sculpture in Orleans, CA

Many of our other grantees are doing work that is of a ceremonial, and therefore private nature. We respect their traditions and do not ask for photos or share information publicly about their important work.  


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