2021 Message from Cleora Hill-Scott

A New Year Message from Our Executive Director, Cleora Hill-Scott Dear friends of Potlatch Fund, As we greet the New Year, we pause to say thank you. Without your generosity, Potlatch Fund could not do the critical and necessary work of supporting Native communities as they meet the ongoing challenges of a worldwide pandemic. We invite you to help us with this important and life-saving work. In the past 12 months, we launched a new initiative—the Resiliency Fund—in order to keep moving resources as quickly as possible to our Native families. Our intention with the Resiliency Fund was to supply much-needed funding to individuals and organizations on the ground in hard-hit communities. But it was also to learn about the

Dancer, Sunmiet Maben

Sunmiet Maben Grantee Spotlight

For Sunmiet Maben, The Dance Goes On Madras, OregonA Resiliency Fund Grantee Partner Sunmiet Maben grew up dancing. On the Warm Springs Reservation in north-central Oregon, dancing was an integral part of worship services, social gatherings including pow wows, and funerals. “We kind of joked that I danced before I was born,” she says. “And I say that about my son because while I was pregnant, I was still dancing.” At the same time, Sunmiet was not so enthusiastic about sports in general, which “was a huge, huge thing on the reservation.” “I was not athletic,” she says. “I was not good at basketball, I’m not good at softball and volleyball. I was little and that just wasn’t my thing.

The Resiliency Fund Reveals Immense and Enduring Need in Native Communities

The Resiliency Fund Reveals Immense and Enduring Need in Native Communities To Our Giving Partners, Early in 2021, we asked for funding and your trust, and you gave us both. The result was the Resiliency Fund, representing a new, more inclusive vision of grantmaking. With the Resiliency Fund, we removed barriers by streamlining our application process and broadening eligibility requirements. We reached deeper than ever into our communities. Starting in June, the applications flooded into our Seattle office from every corner of our four-state service area—and many of them were from first-time applicants. Through their stories, we learned just how big and pervasive the needs remain in Indian Country. Now, we ask for your continued help as the COVID-19 pandemic

To Our Resiliency Fund Grantee Partners–Keep Sending Us Your Dreams.

To Our Resiliency Fund Grantee Partners–Keep Sending Us Your Dreams. When we opened up the Resiliency Fund on June 21, we asked you to bring us your hopes and plans for the future. We asked you to dream with us. After more than a year of COVID-19 social distancing and lockdowns, we wanted to know about your visions for moving forward and strengthening Indigenous lifeways across generations and communities. We also wanted to learn more about the needs in your communities—because we trust you to know them best. The Resiliency Fund is open to applicants in Washington, Oregon, Idaho and Montana. Grants are available to Tribal departments and organizations for both programs and general operations; and to individual Native artists,

Pandemic reveals immense need – Potlatch Fund commits to raising additional $7 million for its Resiliency Fund

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE October 18, 2021 Pandemic reveals immense needs and continued inequities affecting Native American communities: Potlatch Fund commits to raising additional $7 million for its Resiliency Fund SEATTLE, October, 18 2021 – When COVID-19 began circulating throughout the population in March last year, many philanthropic foundations suspended their usual grantmaking programs and streamlined their processes to offer emergency funding. Potlatch Fund, a Seattle-based Native-led foundation serving Washington, Oregon, Idaho and Montana, also suspended its usual grant programs to offer COVID relief funding to grantee partners. Then, as the pandemic continued and the foundation planned for the future, it decided to make some permanent changes in the way it disbursed grant funding. The result of that planning was the

Indigenous Weaver, Ace Baker Sr.

Indigenous Weaver, Ace Baker Sr. Mt. Vernon, WashingtonA Resiliency Fund Grantee Partner It was during a Canoe Journey to Puyallup three years ago that Ace Baker Sr. first thought about making himself a cedar hat. Baker and his family were camped in a spot away from where the main ceremonies were being held, and it was hot and dusty. He saw people walking around with cedar hats on, protecting them from the sun. Fortunately, he and his family were traveling at the time with their friend Aurelia Bailey, the cultural events coordinator for the Swinomish Tribal Community.  Baker asked her if she would teach him to make a hat. “That knowledge was passed down to her—that line of knowledge goes

The Young Warrior Society

The Young Warrior Society Nespelem, WashingtonA Resiliency Fund Grantee Partner It was going to be a year of program expansion, of dreams coming to fruition, of increasing visibility in the community and beyond. A worldwide pandemic had other plans. Since 2018, Tem Xwu lough First Food and Families—located on the Colville Indian Reservation, in the town of Nespelem, Wash.—has been building connections and conducting education workshops in the community in order to pass critical cultural knowledge and skills to the next generation. One of its programs, the Young Warrior Society, regularly attracted youth from all over North Central Washington to its programs and activities, as well as up to 40 volunteers. At the center of activities for the organization were