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.

Eligibility Requirements

  • 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.

Grantee Commitment: 

  • 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:

  1. Identify one goal (Cultural, Education, Economic Self-Sufficiency) and explain why you have selected that goal area.
  2. Describe the steps you will take to accomplish your goal.
  3. How will you know you have achieved your goal and what lessons do you hope to learn from your activities?
  4. What other community resources and supporters will help you reach your goal?
  5. Describe how this grant will help promote positive change in self, family, and community.
  6. 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:

Postmarked by:

  • January 6th with notification by February 29th
  • May 6th with notification by June 30th
  • September 6th with notification by October 30th

Additional Information:
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. 

Tiwahe Foundation