The 23rd United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues

The Christensen Fund at the UNPFII 2024

Twenty-Third Session: April 15-26, 2024

This April, The Christensen Fund’s entire board and staff came together with our partners to participate in the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues. Our Board made the decision to gather everyone together with our partners during this year’s Permanent Forum to manifest our deeply-held commitments and values to stand in solidarity with our partners in our shared work. We were also fortunate to harness this unique opportunity to listen, learn, and deepen our connectivity to the organizations and communities we serve.


Established in 2000 by the United Nations following longtime advocacy by Indigenous Peoples, the Permanent Forum carries out its mandate to address Indigenous issues related to economic and social development, culture, the environment, education, health, and human rights. The Permanent Forum is one of the three UN bodies specific to Indigenous Peoples (others are the Expert Mechanism on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and the Special Rapporteur on the rights of Indigenous Peoples.) The work of the Permanent Forum is guided by a thematic focus, which in 2024 is “Enhancing Indigenous Peoples’ right to self-determination in the context of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples: emphasizing the voices of Indigenous youth.”

The Christensen Fund Board of Trustees at UNPFII

Pictured from L to R: Hassan Roba, Dario Mejia, Andrea Carmen, Yasnaya Elena Aguilar, Tatiana Amor

Through this thematic lens, in the days leading up to the Forum itself, we were honored to convene a series of discussions on our partners' important work and expertise on several critical topics, including: Upholding Indigenous Rights: Navigating the United Nations Framework (with International Indian Treaty Council, Permanent Forum members, and COLMIX Collective); Financing a Future Just Transition: Sustainable Development and Advancing Indigenous Rights in the Green Economy (with AMAN and REPALEAC); and Implementing UNDRIP Worldwide - (with our cohorts of Indigenous Leaders).

The Christensen Fund Partners at UNPFII


CEO Carla Fredericks with NCAI Executive Director, Larry Wright and NCAI Foundation President, Greg Masten

The Permanent Forum is an intense two week programme of work for our partners, and we are grateful to have also hosted a joyful celebration to welcome our partners who traveled from far and wide to New York, including:

Aliansi Masyarakat Adat Nusantara, Asia Indigenous Peoples Pact Foundation, AWE TIBUAME A. C., Charapa, Coalition of Large Tribes, Four Directions, Consultoría Técnica Comunitaria, Cultural Survival, Inc., Federación Indígena Empresarial y Comunidades Locales de México. A.C., First Peoples Worldwide, Forest Peoples Programme, Foro para el Desarrollo Sustentable AC, Grist, If Not Us Then Who, International Funders for Indigenous Peoples, International Indian Treaty Council, International Work Group for Indigenous Affairs, Land Is Life, Native American Rights Fund, National Congress of American Indians, Native Hawaiian Philanthropy, Pastoral Women's Council, re:wild, The Pawanka Fund, The Tenure Facility, Traditional Ecosystems Survival Tanzania, Ujamaa Community Resource Team, Wataniba, and so many more! We were also honored to co-host the Permanent Forum’s annual cultural celebration with longtime partner Land is Life.

The Christensen Fund's UNPFII Floor Statement

The Christensen Fund, in solidarity with our partners and Indigenous Peoples worldwide, also presented a statement on the floor of the

Global Strategy Director, Casey Box, addressing the UNPFII body on the Floor of the UN General Assembly

United Nations during the Permanent Forum to amplify the the concerns of Indigenous Peoples as to donor activities, and the need for donors to respect Indigenous Peoples' rights as a nonnegotiable minimum standard in all pressing matters that affect them.

A video of the statement can be viewed here

We are, once again and as always, awed and humbled by the incredible work of our amazing partners. We are filled with gratitude for the opportunity to share space alongside them at the world’s largest annual gathering of Indigenous Peoples.

Additional News From The Christensen Fund Partners and Leaders:

-The Christensen Fund Publishes its Annual Report - The Christensen Fund's 2023 Annual Report: Supporting Indigenous Rights

-Fawn Sharp Appointed to the Nature Conservancy’s Global Board of Directors

-Oweesta Awarded $156,120,000 through the federal "Solar For All" Program to help continue to bring sustainable energy to Indian Country

-Indigenous Peoples Rights International's Indigenous Peoples and the Just Transition conference in NY was a huge success. Read more about it here.

-The Christensen Fund Makes an Investment in TAHITO 

-The Christensen Fund participated in the Human Rights Funders Network (HRFN) annual convening Funding Futures Festival at Tbilisi, Georgia, April 23-26, where we networked, shared ideas and participated along with our partners FIMI, Fondo Defensores, EDC, and Cultural Survival

Groundbreaking Investment in Two Native Organizations

The Christensen Fund launches Program Related Investment Initiative

Tocabe Indigenous Marketplace

The Christensen Fund has committed a $3,000,000 Program Related Investment (PRI) to Tocabe’s Indigenous Marketplace, a Native-owned and operated restaurant and marketplace offering ready-made Harvest Meals™ that specializes in Native American cuisine.

This investment will help build out their new direct-to-Tribe meal program and support their construction of a Native food producers supply chain.

Tocabe is currently the only Native-owned and operated restaurant and marketplace offering ready-made Harvest Meals™ that specializes in Native American cuisine. Indigenous ingredients are sourced from Native farmers, ranchers, producers and caretakers. Their methodology goes beyond farm to table and is described as, “Seed to Soul.” Indigenous-sourced ingredients provide healthy meals that not only nourish but contribute to the revitalization and preservation of Indigenous culture. Tocabe feeds the soul. 

The support from The Christensen Fund goes directly to the development of Tocabe’s Indigenous Marketplace and ready-made Harvest Meals available to order online, thereby broadening accessibility to Native foods. Tocabe’s vision is to embrace the traditions of American Indian Cuisine and ingredients by building community through food. As stated on their website: "We believe that food is more than just sustenance — it's a powerful way to connect with our heritage, our community, and each other. Join us in our mission to interlink Native and Indigenous food systems with every household to make sure all peoples have access to foods that nourish our communities from seed to soul."

Get to know more about Tocabe & even order some of their products at

In the news:

Why Osage Chef Ben Jacobs Launched a Direct-Tribe Meal Delivery Service - Saveur

Tocabe Expands With Line of Native-Made Frozen Meals - Westword

Oweesta Corporation

The Christensen Fund has also committed a $1,000,000 PRI to Oweesta, a corporation committed to investing in Native Sovereignty, to further their leadership and support for Native Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFI.)

Oweesta Corporation, whose name is derived for the Mohawk word for "money," is the longest standing Native CDFI intermediary offering financial products and development services exclusively to Native CDFIs and Native communities, thereby providing opportunities for Native people to develop financial assets and to create wealth. For over 20 years, Oweesta has provided the tools, training, and capital to help Native people control their economic destinies. 

Native CDFIs like Oweesta directly provide Native American communities the tools and capital support required for real and sustainable job creation, small business development, commercial real estate development, and affordable housing/home ownership, while also offering basic banking services and financial literacy training to "underbanked" Native American communities who have been historically targeted by predatory lending practices. In their 20+ years in existence, Oweesta has many success stories and The Christensen Fund is proud to support their monumental work for Indigenous enterprises, communities and individuals.

Get to know more about Oweesta and their current projects here:

Impact Charitable

Both of these groundbreaking PRIs were set up in collaboration with Impact Charitable, which exists to unite catalytic philanthropists, community partners, financial institutions, foundations, social enterprises, and governmental bodies. Impact Charitable helps close the gaps between the sources of impact-first capital and communities, ventures, and funds who have traditionally faced systemic barriers to accessing critical financial resources. This collaboration with Impact Charitable makes it easy for people to invest alongside us. 

If you are interested in joining us in these investments, contact: or

In the news:

Impact Charitable Announcement of Oweesta PRI

Purpose Aligned Capital

As part of the Purpose Aligned Capital plan, The Christensen Fund established a Purpose-Aligned Investment portfolio seeking to catalyze Indigenous-focused investment opportunities and enhance the impact of The Christensen Fund's endowed assets. Purpose-Aligned Investments have a dual objective: to further The Christensen Fund's purpose of supporting Indigenous peoples in advancing their inherent rights, dignity, and self-determination, while also meeting the investment objectives for the endowment to sustain The Christensen Fund's grand making and operations.

Together with its outsourced investment office Global Endowment Management (GEM,) The Christensen Fund developed a framework for assessing the Purpose-alignment of any investment opportunity. The framework consists of three factors -- Indigenous leadership, demonstrated engagement with Indigenous communities, and integration of an Indigenous lens in the investment process -- and created a shared language for understanding Purpose-alignment in an investment context.

The Christensen Fund made its first two Purpose-Aligned Investments at the end of 2023 in TAHITO and Raven Indigenous Capital Partners.

TAHITO is an Indigenous-led long-only public equity fund that incorporates a traditional Maori worldview into the fund's investment philosophy and selection process. The fund was co-founded by Temuera Hall, a member of the Ngāti Tūwharetoa and Te Urawa Maori tribes. The investment philosophy centers on the Maori view of the connection and interdependence of all things. Maori ethics put people and the environment first as fundamental to any thriving community. The fund invests in Australian and New Zealand public equities and has a detailed ethical process that includes both positive and negative screens, supporting alignment with The Christensen Fund's values and purpose.

Raven Indigenous Capital Partners is an early-stage venture capital firm led by two Indigenous partners. The Christensen Fund committed to Raven's Opportunities Fund I, which is deploying additional capital into some of Raven's highest conviction portfolio companies in their first fund, which closed at the beginning of 2023. Raven's brand with Indigenous entrepreneurs is unmatched and their focus on supporting Indigenous-led businesses has resulted in ~70% of its portfolio companies having majority Indigenous ownership.

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