Advancing Philanthropy October 2020 - 35

Community and Diversity

Prevailing Priorities of
Indigenous-led Charities
By Sharon Redsky

I

n Canada, Indigenous-led charities are vital to many
communities, including where I live in Winnipeg, Manitoba.
These organizations deliver culturally appropriate services
that holistically support Indigenous families. In turn,
Indigenous people feel a sense of belonging and develop the
resiliency needed to work toward undoing the damages of
colonialism and recognizing our own potential.
However, while demand for culturally appropriate, highquality, evidence-based services is growing, many Indigenous
organizations survive year-to-year primarily on projectbased funding, despite only a small portion of grants being
allocated to these communities. According to the report 2017
Measuring the Circle: Emerging Trends in Philanthropy for First
Nations, M├ętis and Inuit Communities in Canada, conducted
in Manitoba, less than 2% of philanthropic dollars went to
Indigenous charities. More shockingly, this figure includes
giving to Indigenous-focused charities that serve Indigenous

October 2020 / www.afpglobal.org	

peoples and to Indigenous-led charities that serve, employ
and are governed by Indigenous people, who are an even
smaller subset of these recipients. This is an important
distinction that requires education across the sector because
there is a critical need to consult with Indigenous people and
create space to incorporate their voices.
Although our current systems create challenges
and barriers for Indigenous-led organizations to access
philanthropic support, the philanthropic sector plays a vital
role in fostering collaborative and supportive relationships
between Indigenous charities and the government to ensure
they receive access to sustainable, long-term funding.

SUPPORT FROM THE COMMUNITY
As an Indigenous person, I am passionate about this
issue because of the critical values I have learned from
Advancing Philanthropy	

35


http://www.afpglobal.org

Advancing Philanthropy October 2020

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https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/AFP/advancing-philanthropy-april-2021
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