In order to be eligible to apply for an Oyate Network Project Grant, you must first complete the network cohort trainings offered throughout the year hosted by Tiwahe Foundation.
Funding Guidelines & Eligibility Requirements
What AIFEP Funds:
AIFEP supports an individual or family in pursuit of professional, educational, or cultural opportunities.
Choose one of three Goal Areas:
Goal 1 Preserve and Renew Native Cultural Connections. Funding requests up to $1,500 and can support:
- Learning Native languages (speaking and understanding)
- Developing kinship ties (learning from family, elders and community members)
- Learning traditional and cultural practices
Goal 2 Educational Achievement. Funding requests up to $2,500 and can support:
- Expenses related to college degrees, certificates, vocational training, GED, and college entrance exams
Goal 3: Economic Self-Sufficiency. Funding requests up to $2,500 and can support:
- Employment, business, entrepreneurial opportunities and home-ownership.
- Applicant must be 18 years of age. Adults cannot apply on a minor's behalf.
- Applicant must be a member of a federally or state recognized tribe, and must provide proof of tribal lineage - this includes a copy of tribal identification, enrollment or lineage documentation. Applicant using a parent's enrollment documentation must submit a copy of birth certificate verifying relationship between parent & applicant.
- Applicant must reside in the seven-county Twin Cities metropolitan area, which includes the counties of Anoka, Carver, Dakota, Hennepin, Scott, Ramsey and Washington.
- Grant recipients are eligible to apply for AIFEP funding every three years.
- Former grantees must have submitted a final report within one year of receiving a grant. Previously funded applicants who do not submit a final report are ineligible.
- Applicants applying under Educational Achievement goal must include a Financial Needs Analysis from college attending.
- Computer requests must include supporting documents showing the computer researched and estimates.
AIFEP does NOT fund:
- Computer requests over $1,100
- Goal 1: Preserve and Renew Native Cultural Connections over $1,500
- Payment and/or reimbursement for outstanding bills or bills that have been paid, traffic tickets, or loans.
- Submit a final report of accomplishments and expenses within one year from grant award.
- Attend special events to celebrate and honor accomplishments of AIFEP recipients and supporters.
- Agree to share story, photographs and/or videos.
- Agree to be a leader in the Oyate Network.
How to Apply:
Essay - Submit a written essay no longer than three pages that responds to questions below:
- Identify one goal (Cultural, Education, Economic Self-Sufficiency) and explain why you have selected that goal area.
- Describe the steps you will take to accomplish your goal.
- How will you know you have achieved your goal and what lessons do you hope to learn from your activities?
- What other community resources and supporters will help you reach your goal?
- Describe how this grant will help promote positive change in self, family, and community.
- Describe how you will pass on AIFEP’s Spirit of Generosity to others.
Application Requirements and Checklist. Incomplete applications will not be considered.
- Complete Application Cover sheet: name, address, phone, email, etc.
- Typed or written essay, no longer than 3-pages, responding to questions 1-6.
- An itemized budget explaining how you plan to use the funds.
- Two letters of recommendation from non-family members who can speak to your ability to successfully complete your goal. Must include one professional recommendation.
- Proof of tribal enrollment or lineage.
- Simple business plan for business funding requests. This should not exceed 3-5 pages.
- Computer request must include supporting documents showing the computer researched and estimates.
- Financial Needs Analysis from College attending, inquire in the financial aid department.
- Two pages of supporting documents may also be submitted (optional).
Grant Application Checklist - Incomplete applications will not be reviewed. It is the responsibility of the applicant to submit a complete application by the grant deadine with the following items:
- Complete Application Cover sheet
- Essay, no longer than 3-pages (typed or clearly written)
- Itemized budget explaining how you plan to use the funds
- Two letters of recommendation (must include one professional recommendation)
- Proof of tribal enrollment or lineage (copy of birth certificate if using parent’s enrollment)
- Business plan, if applying for small business support
- Computer request- supporting documents
- Financial Needs Analysis from Educational Institution
- Two pages of supporting documents may be submitted (optional)
Selection & Notification
All applicants will receive a letter or email of notification of grant award or declination. If approved, a follow-up letter and payment will follow from the Tiwahe Foundation by listed notification date below.
Application deadline submission and notification date:
- January 6th with notification by February 29th
- May 6th with notification by June 30th
- September 6th with notification by October 30th
If a deadline falls on a weekend or holiday, the following business day becomes the postmark deadline. Early submission of your application is encouraged, but will not be a factor in the committee’s decision.