COVID-19 Emergency Indigenous Mutual Aid Fund

by Indigenous Environmental Network

Friends, we hope this finds you and your loved ones well.  

12/21/20 Update: The 2020 Winter Solstice is now upon us, and we are still experiencing deep losses in life and livelihood due to this mishandled pandemic.  We want you to know that IEN has not let up in our tireless work to collect and distribute these lifelines to our relatives across Turtle Island, with 100% of these gifts going to grassroots Indigenous mutual aid groups and small home business owners.  IEN and several sister organizations have additionally purchased and shipped over 160,000 KN95, N95, medical disposable, and reusable cloth masks to over 50 communities from Alaska to the Amazon as part of our Protecting the Peoples Emergency (PPE) Partnership.

Today, we are urgently requesting your help to meet the call from our grassroots base to quickly move mutual aid funding into the hands of our community-based Indigenous peoples from the U.S. and Canada (Central and South America on a case-by-case basis), who are experiencing loss of income, lay-off, and financial hardship due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

IEN is taking action to simultaneously respond to the emergency needs of our relatives for life-saving resources and to amplify the power of our peoples’ homegrown Indigeneity to help push forward a just recovery to a more equitable and sustainable future for our Indigenous communities and Nations. We are doing this in deep solidarity with movements of other oppressed brothers and sisters, and in defense of our Mother Earth and Father Sky upon which all life depends.

To donate by phone, please text IENCOVID to 44-321.

Small grants of up to $2,000 are being extended to grassroots organizations and Indigenous brothers and sisters organizing mutual aid in their communities for three purposes: 1) Emergency purchase of essential provisions; 2) Support with transportation for essential needs, such as medical and groceries; and 3) Home business slowdowns in sales and other cash flow difficulties (“home business” is referring to things like quilting, regalia making, bead and quillwork, moccasin making, basket making, pottery, silversmithing, etc.)

Our Native nations and Indigenous communities are poorly prepared to handle the escalating COVID-19 pandemic, a situation aggravated by the chronic poverty in Indian Country caused by a long legacy of genocide, colonization, and racism.  

The urgency of basic healthcare access for our members is absolutely critical in the face of an extremely insufficient Indian Health Services infrastructure (there is an existing 40% vacancy of healthcare workers in Indian Country); and our communities' very high rates of pre-existing health conditions, extreme poverty, and widespread shortages of clean water, food, and adequate housing resulting from the continued failure of the U.S. government in fulfilling its trust responsibilities under treaty agreements.  Prior to COVID-19, the U.S. Census already indicated that Native Americans have the highest poverty and unemployment rates in the United States, currently at 25% and which will now be exacerbated.

Please join us in mobilizing life-saving resources to our relatives as quickly as possible!

IEN is able to distribute 100% of your donation to those in need because we have philanthropic partners that have awarded grants that will cover all of our administrative costs to do so. 

Please donate now!  

In addition to responding to the emergency needs of our network, you can trust that IEN continues to push forward its long-term vision to bring about an equitable Indigenous Just Transition rooted in tribal sovereignty and self-determination.   

Born of Hope, Courage, and Common Vision, we will persist and we will overcome this together.


IEN Leadership Team

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