5 Indigenous-Led Projects To Support On Indigenous Peoples’ Day

Five Indigenous-led projects working toward land, food, energy, and cultural sovereignty you should know about on Indigenous Peoples’ Day.


#1. Seeding Sovereignty

Seeding Sovereignty is an Indigenous-led collective working to disrupt colonized spaces through land, body, and food sovereignty work, community building, and cultural preservation.

10 young people standing in front of a store with masks, this is a Indigenous-led mutual aid initiative
Photo: Taken during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, this is Soveringty’s Indigenous-led mutual aid initiative that supplied personal protective equipment, ear savers, school supplies, Indigenous and Black-authored books, and financial support for food distribution efforts for rural and unsheltered relatives.


#2. Highland Support Project

Cheryl Pailzote—a White Mountain Apache tribe member, water resources expert, and farmer—organizes and runs community courses on cooking and nutrition, family gardens, and seed saving with the Highland Support Project. These classes create a productive, empowering, and supportive community environment equipped to combat the persistent water and agricultural issues in their communities and preserve their culture.

Cheryl Pailzote, a White Mountain Apache tribe member, water resources expert, and farmer
Photo: Project leader of 'Food & Water Access for White Mountain Apaches' Cheryl Pailzote smiles for a photo.


#3. Covenant Solar Tribal Initiative (CSTI)

CSTI is supporting the transition away from fossil fuels and energy poverty and back to self-determination on reservations by providing Indigenous-led Solar Career Training Programs. Their goal is to help thousands of Native Americans secure well-paying, culturally appropriate, and profitable jobs!

A team posing in front of a solar panel powering a community center during the Indigenous-led training program
Photo: A team with the Northern Cheyenne solar training program celebrating their first installation of a 10kW array with battery storage for Muddy Hall Community Center.


#4. Native American Advancement Foundation (NNAF)

NNAF provides an after-school and summer program to communities in the Tohono O’odham Reservation. Services include daily meals, tutoring, Tohono O’odham language and culture lessons, home garden packs, and fun activities like Harvest Camp, sports, and so much more.

Four students photographed on the Tohono O'odham Reservation with a sign that says "Himdag is life"
Photo: Students during the Gu Vo Summer Adventure Program, which provides a safe place for students to go each weekday to learn, play and receive a healthy meal and snack, visit educational hotspots off and on the Tohono O'odham Nation.


#5. Trees, Water & People

Trees, Water & People is supporting tribal-led reforestation projects by helping plant native trees in areas burned by forest fires on the Pine Ridge reservation in South Dakota and the Pueblo of Santo Domingo in New Mexico.

Three people standing in front of a nursery filled with seedlings. The man on the far left is raising his first in the air
Photo: Taken at Colorado State Forest Service, these seedlings have since found a new home on Tribal Lands in South Dakota and New Mexico.


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Featured Photo: Solar Pathway out of Poverty for Native Americans by Covenant Solar Initiative - a Project of Earth Island Institute

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