PART I: Funding Guidelines & Eligibility Requirements

What AIFEP Funds:
AIFEP supports an individual or family in pursuit of professional, educational, or cultural opportunities.


Goal 1: Preserve and Renew Native Cultural Connections. Funding requests up to $1,500 and will 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 will 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 will 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 before reapplying. Previously funded applicants who do not submit a final report are ineligible. 
  • Applicants applying under Goal 2: Educational Achievement must include a Financial Needs Analysis from college attending.
  • Computer requests must include supporting documents showing the computer researched and estimates. 

AIFEP will 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. A final report form will be sent to all AIFEP grantees. 
  • Attend special events to celebrate and honor accomplishments of AIFEP recipients and supporters.
  • Agree to share story, photographs and/or videos.
  • Agree to be part of the Tiwahe Alumni Network.

How to Apply:

PART II: Essay - Submit a written essay no longer than three pages that responds to questions 1-6 below:
  1. Identify one goal (Cultural, Education, Economic self-sufficiency) and explain why you have selected that goal.
  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. 

PART III: Application Requirements and Checklist. Incomplete applications will not be reviewed.

  • 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.
  • Two pages of supporting documents may be submitted (optional). 

Grant Application Checklist – Incomplete applications will not be reviewed:

_____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 College

_____ Two pages of supporting documents may be submitted (optional)


PART IV: 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:          Notified by:

January 6                      February 29

May 6                            June 30

September 6                 October 30


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.