U.S. Southwest

The mountains, canyons and deserts that make up the Colorado Plateau comprise one of the most iconic bioregions in the Americas. Home to dozens of dis...

The mountains, canyons and deserts that make up the Colorado Plateau comprise one of the most iconic bioregions in the Americas. Home to dozens of distinct Indigenous cultures the landscapes of the U.S. Southwest have been shaped by the presence and absence of water. Through centuries of care and respect for natural resources, Native Peoples have developed complex systems of agriculture and diverse crop varieties that enable their cultures and food sources to flourish in this arid landscape. Faced with a changing climate and continued competition for resources, Native communities continue to practice and develop highly innovative and adaptive solutions to support vibrant and enduring biocultural landscapes.

Read more

No Unsolicited Applications

Our grantmaking strategy in the U.S. Southwest supports Native and community-led initiatives to strengthen food sovereignty and local control and mana...

Our grantmaking strategy in the U.S. Southwest supports Native and community-led initiatives to strengthen food sovereignty and local control and management of natural resources on ancestral lands. We also seek to nurture the Native-led philanthropy sector that is blossoming on the Plateau and to back the efforts of our partners to build capacities for Native leaders. Despite centuries of forced assimilation and relocation efforts within the United States, Tribes are leading a biocultural rebirth in the Southwest; one that blends creative, traditional approaches to learning and cultivating food and wellness with local economies and systems of trade and governance.

Read more

Experiences

Primary Themes for Grantmaking

...

US-southwest-map

Read more

Native Foodways and Landscapes

This grantmaking theme is focused on increasing the availability, abundance and diversity of nutritious, culturally-appropriate foods, seeds, fibers, livestock and medicines; enabling their exchange in locally-determined production systems; and strengthening connectivity with biodiverse landscapes to establish food sovereign communities.

The strategic priorities of our grantmaking on the Colorado Plateau under this theme include:

  • Enhancing food sovereignty through support for Native farmers, herders and ranchers and by bolstering local markets and economic opportunities
  • Increasing resiliency by fortifying regional and community seed banks and access to natural resources
  • Increasing pride and supporting knowledge exchange around Native foodways and land-based livelihoods through vibrant cultural practices and celebrations

Through these partnerships, we are seeing increased local efforts to steward the land, water and food systems, as well as effective advocacy efforts, changes in tribal policy, and growth in market-based solutions for food sovereignty and community health. Native stewards are using biocultural knowledge to restore degraded lands, and youth are playing a central role. Native learning networks are transforming into innovative media hubs, field schools and biocultural curricula, enabling local people to assume leadership roles in their communities and to shape their landscapes using Traditional Knowledge.

Strengthening Indigenous Philanthropy and Promoting Native Leadership

To maintain the vibrant biocultural landscapes in the Southwest, local communities must play the leading role. Under this grantmaking theme The ChristensenFund supports regional networks of Tribes, associations, organizations and Native-led funding mechanisms linked to regional and international allies to catalyze change and to promote productive and complex biocultural landscapes. We share a vision for thriving local and regional economies based on nutritious and delicious food systems, all strengthened by active local leadership, vibrant ceremonial and cultural practices and robust intergenerational exchange.

The strategic priorities of our grantmaking under this theme include:

  • Supporting Indigenously-controlled grant making institutions
  • Deepening and expanding inter-tribal gathering processes across the Colorado Plateau to support leadership, understanding and collaboration between groups and across generations.

Program Status

After a decade of grantmaking on the Plateau, The Christensen Fund is committed to a four-year process starting in 2014 to complete these lines of wor...

After a decade of grantmaking on the Plateau, The Christensen Fund is committed to a four-year process starting in 2014 to complete these lines of work in the region. We believe that this strategic time frame will enable us to increase our focus with our existing grantees and partners to deepen progress and amplify the incredible work that we have been privileged to support.

We will no longer be accepting new requests for grants in the US Southwest.

Read more


GRANTMAKING TEAM


Kyra Busch

Kyra Busch

Program Officer, Agrobiodiversity & Resilient Biocultural Landscapes
Milena Miyashiro

Milena Miyashiro

Grants Manager