Aug 17, 2020 | 0 comments

How Does Sacred Fire Foundation Protect And Support Indigenous Wisdom?


The main purpose of our grantmaking program, Protecting the Sacred, provides modest grants and organizational support for Indigenous wisdom keepers and their communities worldwide. To help them maintain their traditional ways and to realize their own visions for a sustainable future based on indigenous values.

We fund projects that reflect, support, or restore spiritual and cultural practices based on ancestral wisdom.

Beginning in February 2020, we opened our annual grant cycle for the ninth year in a row. As we prepared for the cycle, we carefully identified new members for our Grant Review Committee (GRC) to share expertise, knowledge, and wisdom to further advance Sacred Fire Foundation’s mission and vision.

With all of the applications we receive during our grant cycle (over 100), it is always a great challenge to select the few we have the capacity to support. This lengthy process requires much planning. There is a lot of work put in to gather and organize information.

Our GRC members devoted long hours to reading and understanding the unique perspectives specific to the wide diversity of Indigenous clans, tribes, and organizations that applied. We paid particular attention to Indigenous-led organizations whose projects originated from within the community it will benefit. The GRC members rated their respective applications, providing in-depth observations and recommendations.

This was then followed up in a collective group process through several virtual meetings to discuss each application.

In the midst of the COVID 19 pandemic, we reflected and reconfirmed that the best way to support Indigenous communities is to protect ancestral wisdom, recognize their resilience, and generate empowerment by funding their unique lifeways and perspectives.

Under the uncertainty we are experiencing globally, we selected our grantees knowing that the original project presented in their application might need modifications. We held direct communications with each grantee to provide flexibility to adjust their project in the face of their specific needs under the current crisis. We are grateful to have the opportunity to be able to accompany our 2020 grantees in their efforts and feel humbled by their creativity and strength to move forward with their project implementation.

We are committed to continuing to grow together with our grantee partners and to learn how to best serve their communities. Sacred Fire Foundation will also continue to find additional ways to develop long-term relationships based on respect, reciprocity, and trust with our partners all around the globe.

If you or someone you know works with an organization or community that is in alignment with our grant criteria, please follow us on social media and sign up for our mailing list to be alerted when our 2021 grant cycle opens.

Questions? Please contact Mercedes Caso, Director of Grantmaking at


Nuestro programa de subvenciones, Protegiendo lo Sagrado, apoya a organizaciones y comunidades indígenas, así como a nuestros abuelos y abuelas indígenas y a guardianes de sabiduría ancestral de todo el mundo con la finalidad de que puedan mantener sus formas de vida y alcancen su propia visión de sustentabilidad basada en valores indígenas. En febrero de 2020 abrimos nuestro ciclo anual de subvenciones por el noveno año consecutivo. Lea más sobre nuestro proceso de selección de organizaciones aliadas y del próximo ciclo de subvenciones en el blog de la Directora de Subvenciones, Mercedes Caso.




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