Policy Innovation Fund

Established by the Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community (SMSC) and the American Heart Association (AHA), the Fertile Ground Policy Innovation Fund is the largest fund ever created for grantmaking in direct support of Native nutrition and health policy work.

The fund is a part of the Fertile Ground Advocacy Campaign, a $1.6 million funding initiative to support Native American nutrition and health advocacy. Grants are awarded through a competitive process to tribes and Native-led organizations to support innovative projects designed to improve nutrition and health policy systems at the tribal, local, state and national levels.

First Nations Development Institute and the American Indian Cancer Foundation are partnering with the SMSC and AHA to administer grants and provide technical assistance.

Recent grant recipients include:

  • California Indian Museum and Cultural Center (Santa Rosa, California): A grant toward the Ma Pʰidin: Protecting Our Ground project, which will work to remove barriers to food access for 24 Pomo and Miwok tribes in northern California through policy changes, community assessments and stakeholder engagement.
  • Karuk Tribe (Happy Camp, California): A grant toward the tribe’s Our Good Food project, which supports implementing tribal food policy, including a youth-led food sovereignty campaign and changes to food-service programs.
  • Port Gamble S’Klallam Foundation (Kingston, Washington): A grant toward the Shellfish Grow-Out Expansion Project, which will focus on expanding natural shellfish resources in support of a more traditional diet through the development of an aquaculture policy, community engagement and commercial production.