the Native Cultures Fund - OUR STORY

Supporting California Indian culture bearers, artists, lifeways, and knowledge transmission.

Man throwing line for sardine fishing, the word Wiyot on back of jacket.

Sardine fishing. 

Photo courtesy of Thomas B. Dunklin (


Founded by California Indian leaders and Native led, the Native Cultures Fund has practiced community grantmaking and program development since 2000.

Our granting committees continues to be made up of Native California culture bearers, language revivalists, artists, and educators — the same people who get the grants, make the grants. The Native Cultures Fund has made 2.3 million dollars in grants to 315 community-based project in more than 100 Native nations.

Since 2016 the Native Cultures Fund has also distributed the Jack Montoya Scholarship for Native students in California who are active in strengthening their cultures to attend a four year university or graduate program.

In addition to granting, the Native Cultures Fund runs programs like the the Live Your Language Alliance conference for knowledge sharing among Indigenous language teachers. NCF curated the River As Home exhibition, was instrumental in advocating for Yurok to be adopted for language credits into the Eureka public schools, and co-founded the Humboldt State University Big Time with students at HSU. We continue to advocate, connect, and support Native peoples in the movements that arise from within California tribal communities.


To apply for an NCF grant, see our list of available grants


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