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Information about Native American charities


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Several weeks ago, during the early part of the Jacksonville game, I posted something I am not proud of.  I wanted to apologize to the forum for it, I am truly sorry, and earned some well deserved time off.


In the several weeks since, I have thought about the issues facing Native Americans around the country; from educational resources, to alcoholism and gambling, to simply lack of basic necessities.  I looked for various charities around the country that help in these areas, and wanted to share this information should anyone be inclined to help.


I found www.charitynavigator.org, which ranks and rates charities on a 1-4 star and 100 point scale, and found some information on Native American charities.  There are a lot of charities, so I’ll mainly post longer descriptions about the 4 star charities, who tend to have the best practices and lowest administrative and fundraising costs, which means more of your money goes right to help where it matters most.


I’m also trying to bring up charities that focus specifically on helping Native Americans, as opposed to charities that have broader aims.  For example, the Children’s Hunger Fund is a very good charity, and obviously serves an important purpose, but it is not focused enough on Native Americans.  In addition, while some are focused on Native American historical centers (Buffalo Bill Historical Center), they don’t focus specifically on assisting actual struggling people for me to include for this thread’s purposes.  That all being said, if one catches your eye, go for it, since historical preservation is also vital.


Adopt-A-Native-Elder Program



The Adopt-A-Native-Elder Program supports the traditional Elders who live in the cultural and spiritual traditions of The Dine' (Navajo) People. Most live in remote portions of the Dine's reservation. The Program provides food, simple medicines, clothing, fabric and yarns to help these Elders live on the land in their traditional lifestyle. As they have become elderly, it has become more difficult for them to support themselves on the Land in their traditional ways. The Program supports 500 traditional Elders who live in the Northern portion of Arizona and Southern Utah.


They have a 4 star and 92.17 rating, with 82.3% of expenses going to their mission, 12% going to administrative, and 5.7% going to fundraising.



First Nations Development Institute



Through a three-pronged strategy of Educating Grassroots Practitioners, Advocating for Systemic Change, Capitalizing Indian Communities, First Nations Development Institute has been working to restore Native American control and culturally-compatible stewardship of the assets they own - be they land, human potential, cultural heritage, or natural resources - and to establish new assets for ensuring the long-term vitality of Native communities. First Nations serves rural and reservation based Native American communities throughout the United States.


They have a 4 star and 93.68 rating, with 83.4% of expenses going to their mission, 8.6% going to administrative, and 8% going to fundraising.



Native American Heritage Association



The Native American Heritage Association (NAHA) is dedicated to helping Native Americans living on the tribal reservations in South Dakota. The state of South Dakota is home to some of America's most scenic landscapes, the Badlands, and also the home to the poorest people in our nation. NAHA supports the Sioux people through medical, food, fuel, and clothing programs.


They have a 4 star and 95.09 rating, with 94.6% of expenses going to their mission, 2% to administrative, and 3.5% to fundraising.



Native American Rights Fund



Founded in 1970, the Native American Rights Fund (NARF) is the oldest and largest nonprofit law firm dedicated to asserting and defending the rights of Indian tribes, organizations and individuals nationwide. NARF's practice is concentrated in five key areas: the preservation of tribal existence; the protection of tribal natural resources; the promotion of Native American human rights; the accountability of governments to Native Americans; and the development of Indian law and educating the public about Indian rights, laws, and issues. Throughout its history, NARF has impacted tens of thousands of Indian people in its work for more than 250 tribes.


They have a 4 star and 94.83 rating, with 76.9% of expenses going to their program, 9.3% to Administrative, and 13.8% to Fundraising.



I’ll go through a short list of 3 and 2 star programs as well now.


3 star:

-       American Indian College Fund - http://www.collegefund.org/ - 80.93 rating – 72.4% of expenses to program

-       American Indian Services - http://www.americanindianservices.org/ - 85.07 rating – 92.2% of expenses to program

-       Futures for Children - http://www.futuresforchildren.org/ - 80.03 rating – 73.5% of expenses to program

-       Koahnic Broadcast Corporation - http://knba.org/ - 80.22 rating – 74.1% of expenses to program (they provide internships and paths to employment in entertainment)

-       Minnesota Indian Women’s Resource Center - http://miwrc.org/ - 87.63 rating – 78.6% of expenses to program

-       Navajo Ministries - http://www.navajomissions.org/ - 89.04 rating – 72.5% of expenses to program

-       Rehoboth Christian School - http://www.rcsnm.org/ - 89.10 rating – 73.3% of expenses to program

-       Trees, Water & People - http://www.treeswaterpeople.org/ - 88.28 rating – 79.8% of expenses to program


2 star:

-       Association on American Indian Affairs - http://www.indian-affairs.org/ - 77.53 rating – 71.6% of expenses to program

-       The American Indian Science and Engineering Society - http://www.aises.org/ - 72.48 rating – 69.4% of expenses to program

-       Indian Law Resource Center - http://www.indianlaw.org/ - 75.51 rating – 60.2% of expenses to program

-       Lutheran Indian Ministries - http://www.lutheranmissionariesandpilots.org/ - 79.06 rating – 66.7% of expenses to program

-       National Relief Charities - http://www.nrcprograms.org/ - 74.29 rating – 60.1% of expenses to program

-       Sacred Heart Center - http://www.shconline.org/ - 71.12 rating – 49.9% of expenses to program

-       Soaring Eagle - http://www.soaringeagle.org/ - 77.01 rating – 78.3% of expenses to program

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