Native American Leadership

Participants in First Nations Development Institute's “Supporting Community Intellectuals in Native Communities” project

The Luce Foundation’s Native American leadership initiative supports knowledge makers and knowledge keepers serving Indigenous communities in the United States. The initiative accomplishes this goal through a competitive fellowship program administered by  First Nations Development Institute.

The Foundation and our partners at FNDI believe that knowledge and ideas have the power to transform communities—at the local, national, and global levels—but only if that knowledge and those ideas are put in the hands of communities. By investing in intellectual leaders who are committed to sharing their work with the public, we can empower the communities that those intellectual leaders aim to address and serve.

In keeping with Luce tradition, we define intellectual leadership broadly to include spiritual leaders, media makers, scientists and health professionals, academics, curators, artists and writers, and policy makers, among others. Their work may take many forms, including journalism, visual art, film and video, speeches or sermons, educational curricula, music or theater, formal scholarship or research, public health strategies, legal arguments, fiction, policy analysis, etc.

The initiative was launched in 2018. Applications for the first fellowship competition will be invited in the second half of 2019. Individuals interested in applying themselves or in nominating someone else should visit the website of First Nations Development Institute for more information about eligibility, the application process, and the timeline.