Published July 13, 2017
ST. PAUL – Land has never been more important for American Indian people as they pursue economic development, financial independence, and the preservation of their culture and history, and the Indian Land Tenure Foundation (ILTF) is committed to serving Native nations and their citizens in the recovery and control of their rightful homelands. Thanks to a $1.5 million operating grant from the NoVo Foundation, ILTF will be able to continue its innovative programs and initiatives that are helping return Indian lands to Indian hands.
“The Foundation’s goal is a large one, and it’s going to take a very long time to accomplish,” said ILTF President Cris Stainbrook. “This grant from the NoVo Foundation will enable us to provide more support and services to Native nations and individual Indian landowners as we work toward that end.”
The NoVo Foundation is dedicated to building a more just and balanced world. Founded in 2006 by Jennifer and Peter Buffett, NoVo has become one of the largest private foundations in the world to support Indigenous communities and organizations in North America as they determine their own priorities for the future.
ILTF is a national, community-based organization that works to promote education, increase cultural awareness, create economic opportunity, and reform the legal and administrative systems that prevent Indian people from owning and controlling reservation lands. As a community foundation, ILTF accepts contributions from foundations, tribes, corporations, organizations and individuals to support its grant making and program initiatives.
Since its inception in 2002, ILTF has provided more than $40 million in grants, loans and program services in support of Indian land recovery and management. The Foundation makes a positive impact on the lives of Native Americans through a variety of innovative programs and grants, including:
- Estate Planning – Providing education and estate planning services for tribal members as a way to stop the continued division of Indian land titles, and to ensure that Indian lands are controlled and managed by Indian people.
- National Tribal Land Association (NTLA) – Professional association for tribal land and natural resources staff to learn, share and network with their colleagues from other tribes. (ntla.info)
- The Tanka Fund – National campaign to bring renewed health and opportunity to American Indian communities through buffalo restoration, promoting healthy lands, healthy people and healthy economies. (tankafund.org)
- Spirit of Sovereignty – A National Indian Gaming Association-advised fund at ILTF that makes the opportunity for higher education a reality for Native American students by providing scholarships to attend tribal college. (spiritofsov.org)
- Lessons of Our Land – Pre-K through grade 12 curriculum that enables teachers to easily incorporate Native American stories, lessons and games about land, cultures, histories and languages into regular classroom instruction. (lessonsofourland.org)
“Despite the many challenges, Indian nations are gradually regaining control over their homelands. ILTF’s role is to provide the tools and resources to help them do that,” Stainbrook said. “We are making an impact in Indian Country thanks to the support of foundations like NoVo, and the many individuals who believe in our mission.”
More information about the Indian Land Tenure Foundation is available at www.iltf.org.
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This BBSNews article originally appeared on Native News Online.