Grant Details and How to Apply flower

About the Maada'ookiing Grant Program

Maada'ookiing is Indigenous-led investment into Indigenous solutions through grassroots grantmaking to individuals. It is designed to support community members to strengthen culture and community without having to apply on behalf of a formal nonprofit organization or Tribal entity.

Applicants may request a grant of up to $2,500. We offer three rounds of funding each year. The deadlines to submit applications are on February 15, May 15, and September 15. Applications can be submitted at any time and will be reviewed after the next deadline. Applicants will be notified about funding decisions approximately six weeks after the deadline. When planning your grant activities, please plan to receive funds approximately two months after the submission deadline.

Some past examples of the work that happens but often goes unfunded include things like a community-organized talking circle, youth running group, sobriety support activities, teaching traditional art forms across generations, language tables, food sovereignty activities, and many other activities that Indigenous community members bring to life. Maada'ookiing Grants are a way to support this creative, impactful, and Indigenous-led community building.

You can find descriptions of past grants that have been awarded under News Releases on the NEWS page of this site.

Contact Us with Questions

We hope most questions about what might be funded, who is eligible, and how to apply will be answered here. If you have other questions about Maada'ookiing, please contact Cayla Bellanger DeGroat by email or call her at (218) 730-3387. For questions about using the portal, contact Carol Chipman by email or call her at (218) 740-7309.

Nonprofit 501(C)(3) organizations, school districts, or Tribal government entities are encouraged to apply for funding through Northland's regular Grant Program.

Who Can Apply

  • Individuals or small groups who are citizens, descendants, or have kinship ties or affiliation to Indigenous communities for projects or activities within the geographic service area. In recognition of Indigenous identity and community identity, eligibility is defined to be inclusive of the broad relationships of belonging.
  • Area where the project is happening must be within:
    • Bois Forte Band of Chippewa
    • Fond du Lac Band of Lake Superior Chippewa
    • Grand Portage Band of Lake Superior Chippewa
    • Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe (District I)
    • Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe (District II)
    • Minnesota counties of Aitkin, Carlton, Cook, Itasca, Koochiching, Lake, and/or St. Louis

Grant Focus Areas

  • Supporting Indigenous Youth
  • Strengthening Use of Indigenous Language
  • Creating Access to Indigenous Language (digital apps, dictionaries, video, and other creative projects)
  • Sharing Indigenous Culture/Spiritual Practices and Activities
  • Sustaining Tribal Civic Engagement, Sovereignty, and Self-Determination (including non-partisan Get Out the Vote or civic education)
  • Shifting the Narrative and Increasing Visibility of Contemporary Indigenous Community
  • Promoting Indigenous Leadership and Entrepreneurship Skills and Experiences (projects that provide training, networking, and education opportunities)
  • Engaging in Indigenous Grassroots Organizing (projects that strengthen community well-being and/or respond to Indigenous community issues)

If applicants have projects that impact Tribal Nation communities or occur within Tribal Nation boundaries, the Maada'ookiing Board will consult with Tribal Nations as a matter of respect and recognition of sovereignty.

Costs that Grants will Cover

  • Materials and supplies, including technology, needed to carry out grant activities
  • Food for program participants
  • Space rental
  • Honorarium for Indigenous knowledge-holders who assist the project (elders, spiritual leaders, etc.)
  • Compensation for program organizers

Costs that Grants will NOT Cover

  • Capital projects (such as buying or renovating buildings or projects that are mainly to buy large equipment) or hard costs related to starting a business
  • Financial assistance to support basic needs of individuals
  • Political campaigns or other partisan political activities
  • Sectarian religious activities
  • Personal compensation that is not related to project activities

Please note: Maada'ookiing grants do not provide support for costs associated with starting, operating, or expanding business enterprises.

Is a Maada'ookiing Grant taxable?

All or a portion of the grant may be taxable income to the recipient, depending on how the grant funds are used. Although the Northland Foundation cannot provide tax advice to grant recipients, this overview is intended to help provide a general description of some of the tax issues associated with receiving grant funds.

Application Resources and Portal

If your grant is awarded, you can expect payment approximately 2 months after each submission deadline. See Grant Payment Information (linked above) for more details.

Continue Work on a Grant Application Already In Progress or Submit Final Grant Report

Log in using the Manage Grants & Reporting link, below, to:

  • Continue working on a grant application you have started but not finished yet or,
  • Complete your Final Grant Report after your project is done. Click for directions on completing a grant report.

Photographs provided by Ivy Vainio