Press release | December 11, 2018
Newest and largest Native philanthropic organization launched website today, seeks public input on priorities
The Native American Agriculture Fund (NAAF) launched its website today and is soliciting public feedback to inform NAAF’s priorities and future funding activities. NAAF plans to begin its first round of grantmaking in 2019. To view the survey and find additional information about NAAF, please visit NativeAmericanAgricultureFund.org.
NAAF was created by the settlement of the landmark Keepseagle v. Vilsack class-action lawsuit. The charitable trust provides grants to eligible organizations for business assistance, agricultural education, technical support, and advocacy services to support Native American farmers and ranchers. With approximately $266 million in funding, NAAF is the single largest philanthropic organization devoted solely to serving the Native American farming and ranching community. In accordance with the terms of the settlement agreement, it must distribute its funds within a period of 20 years.
“It is critical that we directly engage Native farmers and ranchers from the very beginning of our work,” said Janie Simms Hipp, President/CEO of the Native American Agriculture Fund and citizen of the Chickasaw Nation of Oklahoma. “These funds present an incredible opportunity to strengthen food sovereignty and Native food systems, and ultimately improve the economic vitality, health and wellbeing of our communities.”
The launch of NAAF’s website and feedback survey is the first step in its public communications efforts. Those interested in receiving the latest news from NAAF may sign up for the organization’s e-newsletter, or follow NAAF on Twitter and Facebook. NAAF will also conduct a series of listening sessions beginning in 2019 within Native communities around the United States, and is committed to transparent and regular communication about its grants process, financial reports, and distribution of funds.