Our mission is to support the ongoing regeneration of sustainable Northwest Native communities led by educated, connected, vested and passionate Native women and girls.
We believe that Native women are at the heart of Native communities and that our vision, our initiatives and our perseverance should be supported with resources. We seek transformative change at the community level through supporting Native women’s traditional models of leadership and organizing. We believe that stronger Native women leaders can determine their own priorities for the future and can protect our mother earth more effectively.
We provide capacity building support and funding to Native woman-led organizations, youth training, and environmental justice programming that helps advance sustainable Native Cultures.
We are teachers and learners, grantmakers and conveners, committed to remembering and revitalizing a respectful way of living. Our unique value and contribution comes from the diversity within our group— our ages, tribal affiliations, and experiential knowledge.
A strong network of Native women and girl leaders with the skills, knowledge, commitment and resources to affect positive social change, address the violence against women, children and earth, and build a strong citizenry with the knowledge and desire to advance sustainability—living in balance with the natural world.
Why Native Women and Girls?
"Native women and girls are not safe. Violence against them has reached epidemic levels in Indian country and Alaska Native villages ─ rates 2 1 ⁄ 2 times higher than violence against any other group of women in the United States. One in three Native women will be raped in her lifetime, and six in ten will be physically assaulted. The murder rate for Native women is ten times the national average on some reservations."
A history of exploitation, discrimination, and genocide has rendered Native communities a part of the most excluded, marginalized, and vulnerable in the world. And centuries of destructive government policies have impoverished and broken apart Native families and communities. The intersection of sexism and inadequate policies have also allowed the systematic eradication of gender equality from all of our cultures as well as in Native communities, leaving many Native women and girls at heightened risk of exploitation and attack. The impact of this has been that many Native women and girls are pushed into situations— ranging from inadequate housing to sex work—where there is a heightened risk of violence.
Native women are now reclaiming their power and voice by continuing a tradition of leadership that existed before colonization. These traditional leadership models are valuing relationships and moving us from domination towards more collaboration.
We at Na'ah Illahee Fund believe that it is critical to strengthen Native communities and cultures through women’s leadership because an investment in Native women leads to stronger Native communities and resilient cultures.