Healthy Children, Healthy Nations Fund

Established by the SMSC and Better Way Foundation, the Healthy Children, Healthy Nations Fund has been focused on helping Native children thrive in both reservation and urban settings. This collaborative fund is the first donor-advised fund dedicated to supporting the innovation and expansion of early childhood development and childhood nutrition programs in Minnesota’s Native communities.

The fund has supported work that expands Native early childhood development programs, provides healthful early nutrition to children, and seeks to build whole, healthy Native children, families and communities.

Grant Recipients

In June 2019, the Fund awarded $220,000 in grants to 10 Native American tribes and nonprofits in Minnesota. Grants were offered to tribes and Native nonprofits whose work aligns with the goals of the initiative and who need additional support to either help advance a specific element of their work, develop a new initiative, or explore new collaborations, partnerships and strategies.

The Fund recipients include:

  • American Indian Community Housing Organization
  • American Indian Family Center
  • Indigenous Breastfeeding Coalition of Minnesota
  • Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe
  • Lower Sioux Indian Community
  • Minnesota Indian Women’s Resource Center
  • Montessori American Indian Childcare Center
  • Native American Community Clinic
  • Prairie Island Indian Community
  • Red Lake Band of Chippewa Indians

The Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community and Better Way Foundation each committed $100,000 to launch the fund, and Casey Family Programs pledged $20,000. This grant-making fund was administered by the Saint Paul & Minnesota Foundations and received research support from the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis’s Center for Indian Country Development.