The following timeline of activities is in chronological order, oldest first. Completed parts of the process appear in this gray font. The current phase of the project appears in a dark red-brown font for easy location when you scroll down. Phases that have not yet begun are in a standard black font.


Call for creation of an Indigenous-led foundation to support Indigenous Knowledge projects
Description: “We need a new kind of foundation that has the goal of serving the Land, that awards research funding to Indigenous people engaged in this goal of serving the Land, that secures endowments to support this kind of research from donors who are committed to serving that goal, and that operates within Indigenous worldview. Because it matters that we do it Indigenous.”
Timing: October 2016: presentation to the American Indigenous Research Association by Dawn Hill Adams, with subsequent publication as a Tapestry Institute Occasional Paper here

IKhana Fund Established as a Tapestry Institute Project
Description: The IKhana Fund was initiated as a project within Tapestry Institute, with the goal that once it’s been developed and implemented it will probably be spun off as an independent nonprofit foundation. A webpage was added to the Tapestry site, with introductory information.
Timing: Spring 2019
Participants: Dawn Hill Adams and Shawn Wilson

Conceptualizing IKhana Fund
Description: A core group worked to conceptualize the IKhana Fund planning process fully enough to apply for external funding to implement that planning process.
Timing: Fall 2019 through winter 2021
Participants: Dawn Hill Adams, Shawn Wilson, Fiona Cram, Jo Belasco

External Event: Initiatives to Fund Indigenous-Led Environmental Projects are Launched
Description: Partially in response to COP26, a number of environmental organizations announced new initiatives to fund Indigenous-led environmental interventions and related projects. Serious problems stemming from cross-cultural miscommunication began to develop at once.
Timing: Spring 2022
Participants: (External)
Details: Before this event, IKhana Fund planning had focused solely on the internal processes needed to solicit, review, award, and assess projects. In the aftermath of this event and the problems it’s already creating among the communities these initiatives are meant to serve, we expanded the part of our plan that develops an external protocol for establishing and maintaining productive relationships with donor individuals and organizations. Instead of developing this documentation only for our own use, we are broadening it in both scope and dissemination so it can be used by the larger Indigenous community and the mainstream organizations they work with. NOTE: This phase of our work produced a major report, “Standing Our Ground for the Land: An Indigenous Philanthropy.”

Producing External Protocols
Description: Development of protocols that mediate the interface between Indigenous-led organizations and mainstream organizations that fund their work.
Timing: Summer 2022
Participants: IKhana Fund Planning Team
Details: External protocols will be disseminated for immediate use by both Indigenous peoples and mainstream environmental organizations. Both groups are engaged in the new funding initiatives for Indigenous-led environmental projects launched in 2022 that we all hope will continue for many years. The protocols we’re developing will serve both Indigenous and environmental communities by making sure that funds support the kinds of projects the mainstream organizations really intend to support, at the same time protecting their Indigenous collaborators from inadvertent colonization. It will also strengthen healthy collaborative relationships between the two communities by minimizing conflict and providing mechanisms to defuse misunderstandings that do arise. It is hoped this work will also serve as something of a pilot project that demonstrates the power of IKhana Fund’s mission to the environmental community, helping them better understand the critical issues involved. This level and type of communication can, itself, help mediate the colonizing power inherent in a grant process in which money flows from mainstream organizations to Indigenous ones. This pilot project will also facilitate the process of securing external funds for the next phases of IKhana Fund planning, by demonstrating the nature and significance of Indigenous perspective and methods. More information on the work being done is available here.

Producing Internal Protocols
Description: Developing the goals, funding criteria, and evaluation criteria to be used in awarding IKhana Fund grants to Indigenous Knowledge projects that protect, restore, and revitalize our Lands, peoples, and ways.
Timing: Fall and Winter 2022
Participants: IKhana Fund Planning Team
Details: Once protocols and related documentation have been produced, reviewed, and edited, they will be used to prepare written guidelines for submitting grant proposals to IKhana Fund and for evaluating (reviewing) proposals that have been submitted. These documents form the core infrastructure for IKhana Fund, even though they can be modified as necessary by future teams. Our goal is to produce explanatory materials (including the evaluation reports outlined below) that permit future teams to modify their procedures easily and well, without having to reinvent the whole process. This will permit them to respond to changes we can’t foresee, but in ways that don’t burden them with crushing workloads. More information on the work being done is available here.

Securing Funds for First Round of Awards
Description: The first round of awards we make will serve as a pilot project for the award process itself, by permitting us to implement the processes we’ve developed and then assess them for revision. The first round of awards will therefore be fairly modest, and people who submit grant proposals, as well as people who receive awards, will be asked to assess the process. We will also conduct an internal assessment of our protocols at each stage of this first round of awards.
Timing: Spring 2023 (estimated)
Participants: Tapestry Institute will take the lead on securing funds for the first round of awards.

Call for Proposals, First Round of Awards
Description: Prepare an appropriate call for a first round of grant proposals
Timing: TBA
Participants: IKhana Fund Planning Team
Details: We will disseminate the call for proposals through Indigenous media and social media, and through Indigenous leadership, governance, academic, health, and cultural organizations.

Review First Round of Proposals
Description: The team will review proposals using the guideline protocols we’ve developed, and select the projects that will receive grant funds.
Timing: TBA
Participants: IKhana Fund Planning Team
Details: Interacting with actual proposals will allow the team to determine the kinds of feedback we should provide projects that are not selected to receive grant funds. Then we can develop new protocols for providing meaningful feedback to projects that might be fundable if revised and resubmitted. We will also assess how well our grant criteria facilitated a productive review process, and revise those criteria accordingly. Once awards have been decided, they will be announced. Everyone who submitted a proposal will be contacted in a  timely way, by a protocol the Planning Team determines. Award funds will be transferred in appropriate ways and in a timely fashion, as also determined by a process the Planning Team establishes.

Gently monitor awardees to learn what kinds of support we need to provide
Timing: TBA
Participants: IKhana Fund Planning Team
Details: It may be that monitoring is unnecessary after the first round of awards, but this process will help us find out.

Receive Reports of First Awardees
Description: At the close of the award period, final reports about what happened will be received by the Planning Team. (We will have previously decided how these reports will be submitted, their timing, and their formats. All this information must be provided to award recipients at the times they receive their awards, so they know what to expect.) The team will review the reports and discuss them. Three types of evaluation will be carried out at the same time. (See Details below)
Timing: TBA
Participants: IKhana Fund Planning Team
Details: At this time, we will ask award recipients to evaluate the process they’ve experienced, to help us make it better, clearer, and more transparent. We will ask participant-donors to evaluate the experience they have had throughout the process. And we will evaluate our own processes, carefully looking at the things that happened and what worked well or needs improvement. These raw data (notes, videos, written evaluation instruments, audio tapes, etc.) will be collected for internal review.

Formal Evaluation of the Entire Program
Description: All the assessment and evaluation materials will be collated and reviewed. The team will discuss how the process needs to be changed to make it better, clearer, and more transparent, and will modify the existing protocols accordingly.
Timing: TBA
Participants: IKhana Fund Planning Team
Details: This is an extremely important part of the entire process, because it’s only once we implement the plans we’ve made that we can learn what really works or doesn’t. It’s essential to involve everyone in the process: the planning team members, people who submitted proposals but did not get awards, people who were awarded grants, participant-donors, and donors and funding agencies who did not participate in virtual or in-person meetings of the planning team and/or award recipients. We will also solicit feedback from the larger communities of both Indigenous peoples and mainstream environmental organizations to find out how we can improve our means of communicating essential information about the grant itself. All this information will be used to prepare a summarizing report, and conclusions will be used to revise the grant protocols.

Full-Scale Implementation
Description: At this point in the process, IKhana Fund will be ready for full-scale implementation. This entails inauguration of a cyclic round of funds-solicitation and award processes (call for proposals, submission review and awards, reporting-out). At this point, it will also be necessary to begin the process of establishing an endowment fund so the grant program can be self-sustaining. These things together may require splitting IKhana Fund off from Tapestry Institute as a separate, stand-alone nonprofit organization, and the hiring of administrative staff and a development specialist. It will also be necessary to recruit a new review team at this point in the process, and establish the process by which a new team will be selected for each grant cycle.

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