Six nonprofits in honor of Native American Heritage Month

We are inspired by the work that these six nonprofits are doing for Native Americans.
November 16, 2023
Clair Lofthouse
Technical Writer
At Give Lively, we acknowledge that our staff, working remotely in locations all across the continent, lives on the traditional land of many Native Peoples. We pay our respects to their elders, both past and present.

Since 1990, November has been “National American Indian Heritage Month,” a month celebrating the traditions, languages and stories of Native American, Alaska Native, Native Hawaiian and affiliated Island communities, and ensuring their history and contributions continue to thrive into the future. 

The U.S. Department of the Interior, Indian Affairs, writes on its website “This November and every month, we celebrate the culture and heritage of these remarkable Americans who deeply enrich the quality and character of our Nation. We celebrate Indian Country with its remarkable diversity of American Indian and Alaska Native cultures and peoples while remembering and honoring our veterans who have sacrificed so much to defend our Nation.”

However, it is vitally important not to forget the past and present horrors and injustices – genocide, ethnic cleansing, stolen land and forced removals – suffered by Native communities. Genevieve Kaplan states in “A Legacy of Negligence: The Historical Mistreatment of Indigenous Peoples in the United States,” published in the Berkeley Public Policy Journal:

Those indigenous to the United States have proven vital to the country’s prosperity historically, yet are treated with discrimination, stemming from the lack of historical accuracy surrounding the group’s influence… The manipulation of native history is ultimately to blame for the unrelenting actualities that surround being indigenous in today’s world, making education on the subject the ultimate solution to resolve the centuries of neglect the indigenous community has faced.

This month, and every month, we encourage you to learn about the history and present reality of Native Americans. 

And, of course, support nonprofit organizations like the six we explore below. 

The nonprofits

7000 Languages

This organization creates free online language-learning courses in partnership with Indigenous, minority and refugee communities so they can keep their languages alive. “More than 7000 languages are spoken worldwide... and due to colonization and violence, nearly half of these languages are endangered,” reads the 7000 Languages website. “Each language itself is valuable. But language revival is also linked to happier, healthier kids, advances in science and more resilient communities. When you help a community protect their language, you aren’t just protecting words – you’re protecting a cultural identity and the well-being of real people.” 7000 Languages offers the Native American languages of Cherokee, Dakota, Holikachuk, Natchez, Ojibwe, Sisseton Dakota, Tanacross, Upper Tanana and Yup’ik; the First Nations languages of Cree, Denesuline, Naskapi, Northwestern Ojibwe and Oji-Cree; and many more languages from around the globe. 

7000 Languages used a Give Lively-powered Campaign Page for their 2022 End of Year Giving fundraiser and relied on our “duplicate” feature to recreate the page, which features excellently written donation tiers, once again for 2023 End of Year Giving campaign. 

Native Forward

This organization provides financial support for American Indians and Alaska Natives seeking higher education and supports them in obtaining undergraduate, graduate and professional degrees. Native Forward partners with tribes, the federal government, foundations, corporations and individuals to ensure the growth and sustainability of scholarships. During its five decades of operation, Native Forward has empowered over 20,000 scholars from more than 500 tribes in all 50 states and contributed to over 1,600 law degrees and more than 2,200 PhDs. The Albuquerque-based non-profit’s alumni are now among the most influential Native leaders in the U.S., including: Deb Haaland, U.S. Secretary of the Interior; Tommy Orange, a writer and Pulitzer Prize finalist; Dr. Cynthia Chavez Lamar, Director, Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian; Fawn Sharp, President, National Congress of American Indians; and Dr. Henrietta Mann, award-winning academic and activist.

Native Forward used a Give Lively-powered Campaign Page for their We Are Native Forward spring fundraising drive.

Euchee Yuchi Language Project

Over the last 26 years, the Yuchi Language Project has been nurturing breath-to-breath language learning habitats to produce new cohorts of Yuchi speakers. The Yuchi Language Project’s transformative vision is to restore the vitality of the Yuchi language and create a sustainable language community where the fullness of the Yuchi worldview can thrive for future generations. In the 19th century, Yuchi people were forced from their eastern homelands to Oklahoma on the “Trail of Tears.” Despite these hardships and the lack of a land base, the Yuchi community continues to maintain its distinctive identity, cultural and social institutions. Linguists identify Yuchi as a language isolate, unrelated to any other language.

The Yuchi Language Project uses a Give Lively-powered Campaign Page for online donations through its website. 

Indigenous Environmental Network

This organization was formed by grassroots Indigenous peoples and individuals to address environmental and economic justice issues. Indigenous Environmental Network‘s activities include building the capacity of Indigenous communities and tribal governments to develop mechanisms to protect sacred sites, land, water, air, natural resources, the health of both Indigenous people and all living things, and to build economically sustainable communities. IEN accomplishes this by maintaining an information clearinghouse; organizing campaigns, direct actions and public awareness; building the capacity of communities and tribes to address economic issues; and developing initiatives to impact policy. IEN also works to build alliances among Indigenous communities, tribes, inter-tribal and Indigenous organizations, people-of-color/ethnic organizations, faith-based and women’s groups, youth, labor and environmental organizations and others. 

Indigenous Environmental Network used a Give Lively-powered Campaign Page in conjunction with Peer-to-Peer Fundraising for their COVID-19 Emergency Indigenous Mutual Aid Fund

Native Daily Network

This organization offers a platform for Indigenous voices to share stories and creativity. It does this by participating in and supporting front-line environmental campaigns led by grassroots groups in the affected communities and producing documentaries like Ancestral Waters 2022. Native Daily Network serves as an environmental guardian, cultural preserver and media amplifier, fiercely committed to elevating Indigenous voices, advancing education and protecting Uŋčí Maká (Grandmother Earth). Importantly, Native Daily Network is native and women-led with an all-Indigenous female board. 

Native Daily Network uses Give Lively’s Simple Donation Widget on its website, with both suggested donation amounts and donation dedication options.

Tanka Fund

The Tanka Fund is a Native American-led nonprofit organization located on the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota. It aims to revitalize native American buffalo populations, ecosystems and economies. The organization provides grants, technical assistance and other resources to Native American tribal producers who are working to restore buffalo populations and promote economically and environmentally sustainable buffalo-based businesses in a way that honors the cultural and spiritual significance of the animal to Native American communities.

The Tanka Fund uses a Give Lively-powered Simple Donation Widget on its beautiful website, with both suggested donation amounts and donation dedication options.