Giving Back: How to Change Native Lives on Reservations

How can we all meaningfully impact the lives of Native Americans living on reservations? While it may seem daunting to unpack decades of systemic injustices, the first step is to become more NativeAware®. Earlier this month, I had the opportunity to dive into this topic with Meaningful Influence Lifestyles Magazine (issue 309). Lifestyles is a philanthropic media platform for next-generation leading charitable donors, social entrepreneurs, venture philanthropists and impact investors.

Smart Giving Changes Lives

High engagement philanthropy forums like this, where leaders can discuss successes, obstacles and smarter giving, are crucial for changing lives. This is especially true considering that less than 1% of U.S. charitable giving supports Native causes. But even this disappointing statistic doesn’t stop nonprofits like PWNA from educating the public and helping tribes address immediate and long-term needs.

For instance, some impactful projects PWNA has worked on in 2023 include:

  • The Natives Prepared Project with Feeding America: Assisting Tribal communities through its expertise in both emergency preparedness and food sovereignty.
  • Sponsoring the PBS network’s educational series, Native Americans, to increase awareness of modern life and accurate representation in media
  • Releasing a video with Lonely Leap about the use of Google ad grants to raise awareness and more than $800,000 in donations

As I said in the article, “We need the next generation of philanthropists to be bold, move the needle, and put something toward transformational change.”

There’s Still Time for Year-end Giving

As we close out 2023 and look ahead, let’s keep learning and encouraging others to discover Native history, culture and life today. Tomorrow’s philanthropists can have a major impact by investing in Native Americans and so can everyone else. Remember, there’s still time for tax-deductible, year-end giving – donate for the causes that are important to you.


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