Announcing the 2023 Community Relations and Innovation Grantees

Potlatch Fund is pleased to announce the new 2023 Community Relations and Innovation (CRI) Fund grantees. This grant supports individual Native artists, Native organizations and tribal entities that continue to focus on ‘the people on the ground’ in Native communities who are committed to serving the needs of their community. For this inaugural round, Potlatch Fund granted 44 grants totaling $396,800 to individual Native artists, organizations, and tribal entities in Washington, Idaho, Oregon and Montana. Funds will support these grantees to expand their vital work for long lasting positive impacts in their communities.

The Community Relations and Innovation Fund was established to simplify our grant practices. This first round sought applicants who support youth work, community building, arts/culture, language and education/advocacy. While in the past, grantees had to apply under a specific granting opportunity such as: Healthy Pathways for Native Youth, Language Preservation, Community Building, Native Student Success, and Native Arts, we have now streamlined to one grant process that includes these and more.

Meet the Grantees

Aaniiih and Nakoda Montessori Academy (Montana) – a youth and language organization that supports a Pre-K to 3rd grade dual language immersion school on reservation  

Boys & Girls Club of the Northern Cheyenne Nation (Montana) – a youth, arts and culture organization that provides year-round after school and summer programs for Native youth on reservation  

Carla Timentwa (Idaho) – a youth, arts and culture individual artist who supports intergenerational cultural workshops and first food gatherings  

Chickadee Community Services (Montana) – a culture and language organization that provides a TANF program on reservation for families to participate in workshops on culture, language, plant knowledge, land and storytelling 

Chief Joseph Foundation (Washington, Idaho) – a culture, youth and community organization that provides horse therapy for at risk Native youth on and around the Nez Perce reservation  

Chief Seattle Club (Washington) – a community and culture organization providing support to the ʔálʔal Café for daily operations 

Coast Salish Youth Coalition (Washington) – an arts and culture organization whose programs include an inter-tribal coalition of cultural bearers that work with Native youth on food sovereignty and environmental stewardship  

Confederated Tribes of the Lower Rouge (Oregon) an arts, culture and community tribal entity that supports a community gathering for the inter-tribal relatives of the Lower Rouge. The gathering is to foster relationships, provide storytelling opportunities and have cultural arts exchanges 

Crow Language Consortium (Montana) – a language organization that is a collective of Crow schools, colleges and educators working to preserve the Crow language  

Diane Pebeahsy (Washington) Individual artist supporting cultural workshops for Native youth on the Yakama reservation 

Dr. Jessica Mehta (Washington, Oregon) – Individual artist focusing on a cultural poetry performance and arts series.  

Elk Soup (Washington) an organization whose arts and culture work will support a monthly Native professional, business owners and entrepreneur networking events on the Spokane reservation and cultural arts and first food gatherings.  

E-Peh-Tes War Dances (Idaho) an organization that will host an annual gathering surrounding arts, culture and community for the Nimiipuu 

Future Generations Collaborative (Oregon) an organization supporting Native specific early learning childcare in Portland, OR, with a focus on youth and community

Indigenous Creatives Collective (Washington, Oregon) – an arts, culture and community organization whose cultural center in South Seattle, WA will serve as a hub for showcasing Native art from the region, both in traditional gallery formats and experimental outdoor spaces and provide a nurturing environment for Indigenous individuals for their work and creative journeys. 

Indigenous Health Equity Institute (Oregon) – an organization dedicated to advocacy work about social and institutional transformation through healing-justice and decolonization 

Indigenous Idaho Alliance (Idaho) – an advocacy and community organization committed to promoting the sovereignty, liberation, and holistic development of Idaho’s Indigenous communities that concentrates their efforts in the spheres of education, health & wellness, awareness-raising, and collaboration. 

Indigenous Leadership Academy (Washington) – a youth and community organization supporting their program Young Warriors Society that connects positive male role models within their Native communities. 

Indigenous Made Montana (Montana) an organization whose artist residencies and workshops allow Indigenous artists to create and teach their art form to help preserve cultural practices, provide mentorship for emerging artists and strengthen connections within the community.  

Indigenous Performance Productions (Washington, Oregon, Montana) a production and tour management non-profit organization that works to elevate the storytelling of Native and Indigenous artists through the mediums of theater, dance, music and multidisciplinary work. 

Irene McCloud (Washington) Individual artist whose arts and culture project will be an all-Native market in Lacey, WA with capacity building opportunities for Native artists and entrepreneurs.  

Jonathan Heilman (Washington) – Individual artist and Makah community member whose project focuses on beading and cultural arts. 

KHIMSTONIK (Washington) – a community and advocacy organization in Palouse, WA that works to bring back cultural practices on their traditional land on the Lower Snake River.  

Mahchiwminahnahtik Chippewa and Cree Language Revitalization (Montana) a language organization working to revitalize the Chippewa and Cree languages. 

Makah Cultural and Research Center (Washington) a community and advocacy organization that will re-create a cedar longhouse in a traditional Makah style. 

Maqlaqs Paddle (Oregon) a youth and advocacy organization that will provide Indigenous communities of the Klamath River basin access to ancestral waters, invigorate cultural traditions and equip Indigenous youth to intimately know, navigate and become advocates for the environment from their own cultural perspectives. 

Monique Novelo-Lopez (Oregon) – Individual artist that will create a Children’s Garden to foster education, health, and community connections. 

Mother Nation (Washington, Oregon, Idaho) a community and advocacy organization whose program, 13 Moons Land Based Learning, will be used for a cultural camp and work with Native women survivors of violence. 

New Developed Nations (Washington) a youth organization whose program Healing Through Hip Hop is an innovative therapeutic program designed to leverage the power of hip hop music and culture to promote healing, personal growth, and emotional well-being. 

Nez Perce Tribal Youth Apprenticeship Program (Idaho) a tribal entity whose youth-focused programing serves clients between the ages of 16-24. Tribal Youth Apprenticeship Program helps clients get training in construction and medical trades through meetings with students in the 10th to 12th grades at the local high schools in and around the reservation. 

Nez Perce Tribe Youth Cultural Enrichment Academy (Idaho) a youth organization that will host an annual health and fitness program with an emphasis on basketball training for 170 youth from Lapwai, ID between the ages of 7-18. Lapwai Kineeq will provide youth with weekly leadership development and teamwork training, lessons on healthy living and physical exercise. 

Northern Cheyenne Language Consortium (Montana) a language organization that will develop educational language materials and provide intensive teacher trainings and workshops with Northern Cheyenne speakers.  

Northwest American Indian Coalition, Inc (Oregon) an organization that supports an Inter-Tribal Potlatch for Inter-Tribal communities in Brookings, OR.  

Northwest Native Chamber (Oregon, Washington) an arts, culture and entrepreneurship organization that grows Native economies, builds coalitions of support, and advocates for equitable distribution of resources. 

Nuu-da’ Mv-ne’ (Oregon) – a language organization dedicated to improving access to Dee-ni‘ language materials, providing meaningful support to language learners and teachers and contributing to the revitalization of their speech community. The Dee-ni‘ language dialects are historically spoken in an area that starts nearby Floras Lake, OR, continues south to Wilson Creek, CA and extends east to the Rogue River Valley in present-day Medford, OR.  

Palouse Project (Washington, Oregon) – a language, arts and culture initiative that hosts language immersion gatherings with a focus on song, storytelling and traditional knowledge.  

Rachel Johnson (Washington) – Individual artist whose arts and culture project will provide beading and cultural arts for unhoused relatives in the Seattle, WA area.  

Rodney First Strike (Washington, Idaho, Montana) Individual artist who will put on arts and cultural workshops for Native students in the Polson School District of Polson, MT.  

Sauk-Suiattle Indian Tribe (Washington) – a tribal entity providing Tribal museum support and cultural preservation.  

Snqweylmistn (Montana) – an arts, culture and youth organization that is developing a Séliš-Ql̓ispé immersion community for foster children. Snqweylmistn’s mission is aimed at raising displaced youth while centering cultural values, cultivating inherent symbiotic relationship with nature, reconnecting with language, and healing intergenerational trauma on the Flathead Reservation. 

Spokane Ensemble Theater (Washington, Oregon, Idaho) –  an arts, culture and youth organization and theater that will film “According to Coyote” to expand the reach and impact of the Spokane Ensemble Theater. 

Traci Jones(Washington) Individual artist enrolled in the Tulalip Tribes, whose arts and culture project is focused on knowledge expansion and sharing of the traditional Coast Salish weaving practice.  

Two Powers Land Collective Incorporated(Montana) a family-led, woman-owned, land-based healing non-profit organization with a focus in holistic healing and whose project will support a youth horse community program.  

William Titkanankstxn Poitras – (Washington) Individual artist from the Colville Confederated Tribes whose project Tipi Trails will utilize traditional knowledge to bring back traditional practices, share skill empowerment with community and uplift culture revitalization.