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Supporting Indigenous groups to lead through philanthropy

Environment Programme / Partner story

© Anne Henshaw/ Oak Foundation
The Maasai Mara Wildlife Conservation Association, Kenya 2017

There are many different Indigenous cultures, communities and languages around the world. Indigenous peoples have their own understandings of philanthropy that is richly rooted in their own languages, ancestral knowledge, and cultural values of giving and sharing.

International Funders for Indigenous Peoples (IFIP) is the only global donor affinity group dedicated solely to supporting Indigenous peoples. For the past 17 years, IFIP has built momentum toward a new movement in philanthropy that recognises Indigenous communities as high-impact investments. This is because they are closest to communities and the problems being solved, and understand what works best for them. In addition, this is an act of rebalancing historical inequalities and decolonising philanthropy. It also allows Indigenous partners to do philanthropy based on their worldview and priorities.

Oak has been a member of the IFIP since 2008. Read the latest report on Indigenous Led funds and how they are transforming philanthropy. This work falls under our Environment Programme, which recognises that we have a responsibility to take care of our planet for future generations. Our strategy aims to ignite hope and catalyse change that restores our connections to nature and heals our planet’s health. You can find out more about our strategy here.

Check out this great video from the International Funders for Indigenous Peoples highlighting the critical need to amplify funds that are led by Indigenous Peoples globally. This video also makes a call to reimagine “wealth” beyond money and to center the wellbeing and self-determination of Indigenous communities worldwide.