2023 marks the fourth time that the Institute has received the three-year Ecosystem grant from the Bush Foundation.
The Native Nations Institute (NNI) at UArizona’s Udall Center for Studies in Public Policy was awarded a three-year Ecosystem grant from the nonprofit Bush Foundation to support general operations through 2026.
The $450k grant will be paid out to NNI in even increments over the course of the next three years. It also includes an additional $10k in “capacity building funds” so that the institute can “build or increase their skills to work across differences,” according to the Foundation’s website.
This is the fourth consecutive time that NNI has received such an award from the Bush Foundation, with the first Ecosystem grant coming to the Institute in 2016.
According to the Bush Foundation, “Ecosystem grants are awarded by the foundation to provide operating support to organizations that others rely upon to help solve problems in their communities and across our region.” Ecosystem awards are given specifically to organizations that support Native nations to exercise sovereignty; that support schools and educators to move toward student-centered learning; and/or to organizations that support others in using art and culture to solve community problems.
We’re incredibly grateful to have the support of the Bush Foundation as we continue to work to ensure tribes and Native nations in North America are able to exercise their sovereignty and implement proven Native nation building practices.
- Joan Timeche, Executive Director, Native Nations Institute
NNI Executive Director Joan Timeche says that the funds will help the Institute continue their work supporting tribes and Native nations across the U.S. – especially those 23 Native nations in the Foundation’s service area of Minnesota, North Dakota and South Dakota – via seminars, educational events and other outreach activities.
“We’re incredibly grateful to have the support of the Bush Foundation as we continue to work to ensure tribes and Native nations in North America are able to exercise their sovereignty and implement proven Native nation building practices,” says Timeche. “Their renewed support demonstrates the Foundation’s commitment to evidence-based Native nation building, further validates our efforts to help strengthen sovereignty throughout Indian Country and will be crucial to seeing that Native nations are able to advance their capacities for self-determination and chart their own courses for the future of their nations and citizens.”
Bush Foundation Grantmaking Director Jackie Statum Allen says that the foundation relishes the opportunity to help organizations that help others. "We are really excited about our 2023 Ecosystem grantees. These grants provide valuable operating funding for organizations," she said. "What makes these grants even more important is that the funding supports the organizations that others find most valuable and critical to the success of their own work. We know problem solving is hard and it can't be done in isolation. We call them Ecosystem organizations because they create the environment needed for organizations and leaders across our region to solve problems across a variety of issues."
NNI will use the funds to support their annual seminar for Tribal professionals and leaders as well as for other Native nation building efforts and education.