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Community Notes: Foundation grants increase

Foundation grants increase

The Northland Foundation has increased the amount of funding available through its Native American-led Maada’ookiing program to $5,000 per grant, twice the previous cap of $2,500. The increase is effective immediately, so those applying for the fall 2024 grant round (Sept. 15 deadline) may request up to $5,000. The board also opted to allow recipients to apply for additional grants within the same year.

“Grantees are facing higher expenses for supplies, renting space, transportation, and so on,” stated Michelle Ufford, the foundations director of grantmaking. “The increase will help offset rising hard costs but also better recognize the time, talent, and labor involved in bringing grant-funded projects to life.”

Following an exploration and development process guided by tribal and other Native American leaders, in collaboration with the Northland Foundation, the program launched in May 2021. The intent was to increase support for community-based activities led by Native American individuals or small groups as opposed to nonprofits or government entities.

Grants are offered three times per year to tribal citizens, descendants, or those who have kinship ties or affiliation to Native American communities in the region. To date, 81 Maada’ookiing grants totaling nearly $200,000 have been given to a diverse range of projects.

The most recent round of grants awarded in May and earlier this year showcase the wide variety of activities happening at the grassroots level throughout the region. Projects and funding in and near Carlton County include:

• $2,500 to Kevin Kot of Wrenshall to support a workshop on extracting and using medicinal birch tar oil in the Fond du Lac community.

• $2,500 to David Wise of Sawyer to support horse training for Fond du Lac community members seeking to learn about Ojibwe horse culture and traditions.

• $2,500 to Larissa Littlewolf of Cloquet to support a summer volleyball and wellness camp for young, indigenous female athletes.

• $2,500 to Liz Jaakola of Cloquet to help support the creation of an album of original music by Fond du Lac youth.

• Victoria McMillen of Cloquet will use a grant to support cultural leather working classes on the Fond du Lac Reservation.

Those interested in applying for a grant should contact Cayla Bellanger DeGroat at [email protected] or 218-730-3387.

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