We believe that enduring, Native-led stewardship can and will transform the Colorado Plateau. Too often, Native leaders do not receive the support that they need to nurture and build out their excellent work.
The Colorado Plateau Foundation exists to address this gap, bringing national philanthropic dollars home to strengthen Native organizations on the Colorado Plateau.
- Place based expertise
- Culturally centered giving
- Bridging access to the philanthropy
- Building a regional network
What We Do
The Colorado Plateau Foundation emerged to address a regional need for a bridge between the Colorado Plateau’s Native communities and the national philanthropic community. The power of Native American tribes as sovereign nations, as governments that oversee over a third of the Colorado Plateau’s lands, and as the original stewards of this landscape, renders Native leadership necessary to achieve any meaningful and authentic change on the Colorado Plateau. Yet few philanthropic dollars are reaching native communities nationwide, much less on the Colorado Plateau where vast distance compound access challenges and funders may be unfamiliar with how to partner with tribal communities.
The Colorado Plateau Foundation recognizes that Native-led organizations are already addressing important issues in their communities and across the Plateau, and creating real and positive momentum in Indian country. We respond to community needs and seek direction from cultural and community leaders in order to identify key focus areas for work on the Plateau, including protection of water, protection of sacred sites and endangered landscapes, language revitalization, and sustainable, community-based agriculture. CPF gives grants in these priority areas to Native led-organizations and tribal entities on the Colorado Plateau in amounts between $1,000 and $25,000. We have seen the immense power of Native people to catalyze change. The Colorado Plateau Foundation is committed to supporting Plateau communities in perpetuity.
The Colorado Plateau Foundation envisions a philanthropic community that is committed to supporting Native-led organizations creating movements and momentum in their communities.
Colorado Plateau Foundation values a culturally centered model of giving that meets grantees where they are at. CPF understands that every organization is different. We value honesty, transparency, and relationship building. We see grant-making as more than just distributing funds: it’s about actively participating in a network and community. The Colorado Plateau Foundation believes in a unique theory of change:
- Native peoples on the Colorado Plateau are capable of accomplishing sophisticated and positive change to protect the Plateau environment and cultures.
- Protection of the Plateau’s environment and cultures must be accomplished by addressing asymmetrical power dynamics at all levels of influence and authority.
Support from CPF helps build stronger organizations that become better equipped to prove both assumptions true. We know Native communities have solutions to solve some of the Plateau’s most pressing challenges.
Since 2012 we have given more than $2.2 million
to 75+ Native-led initiatives
Native Initiatives Supported
Who We Are
Our team believes in the Colorado Plateau and its Native people. Together, we support our grantees’ excellent work by connecting the Colorado Plateau’s Native people to the world of philanthropy.
The CPF staff is deeply informed about the Plateau’s Native communities including their economic, cultural, social, and political outlooks.
We Live Where We Serve
How We Invest
We invest in the sustainability of Native-led organizations because the Colorado Plateau thrives when the staying power of Native-led organizations endures for generations.
We support both community and organizational capacity because we know that our grantees are working to protect the lands, waters, and cultures of the Colorado Plateau through community based work. Our grantee organizations do not operate in silos; instead, they understand that to create real change, communities must be empowered. At the same time, strengthening organizations from within is the key to ensuring that our grantees organizations continue their good work for years to come.
Pueblo of Acoma’s Learning Center leveraged funding from CPF to develop a modern technology strategy in the preservation of the Acoma language, by creating a language app for community use.
A grant to Zuni Youth Enrichment Project helped fund a trauma informed, intergenerational learning program, grounded in Zuni history, story telling, language, and traditional agriculture
White Mesa Concerned Community strengthened their leadership capacity, advocacy, and community education outreach, to protect the local Ute community and surrounding areas from threats posed by White Mesa Uranium Mill.
Advancing Communities Foundation strengthened their leadership and management skills to better support their work to protect the Colorado Plateau’s water, and specifically protect Hopi community health.
Hopi Tutskwa Permaculture developed a strategic plan, increased financial management, and provided board training, which supported their transition to a stand-alone 501(c)3 that supports community based agriculture for the Hopi reservation.
Utah Diné Bikéyah strengthened their board, developed a strategic plan, and improved communications, which enabled participation in the successful effort to establish the Bears Ears National Monument.