Event coverage – Indigenous Community Foundations: Filling the Void

Par Peter R. Elson , Researcher and Co-supervisor of PhiLab Network
12 octobre 2020

Indigenous Community FoundationsThe webinar ‘Indigenous Community Foundations: Filling the Void’ on September 24th was the first in a series of webinars on Indigenous philanthropy hosted by Indigenous Philanthropy Towards Self-Determination. The next online event will take place on October 22nd.

The key speakers were Alan Goddard of the Winnipeg Foundation and Craig Blacksmith and Chief Orville Smoke from the Dakota Plains Wahpeton First Nation, with numerous participants, including one from the Vancouver Foundation.

Watch the full recording of the webinar here.


Key points raised in the webinar

[Please note that these are my highlights and not those presented in the webinar]:

Alan Goddard, Director of Endow Manitoba, The Winnipeg Foundation:

  • The rise in Donor Advised Funds (DAFs) are restraining the capacity of community foundations to meet and adjust to community needs.
  • The place-based nature of community foundations is a barrier to reaching rural and First Nations communities
  • Endow Manitoba has become a means to pool funds and increase the capacity of rural community foundations. (currently, 5% of collective funds are designated for rural development).
  • The wealth generated in the province has come at the expense of First Nations and there is a legacy of economic constraints that thwarted economic self-sufficiency (i.e. Indian Act)
  • No alignment of community foundation priorities with First Nations or other marginalized groups.
  • No Indigenous-led community foundations.
  • Need for fundraising capacity development (Indigenous community foundation).
  • No monitoring or analysis of Indigenous representation on community foundation boards.
Craig Blacksmith, Council Member of Dakota Plains Wahpeton Oyate, and Chief Orville Smoke
  • There is a desire to establish an Indigenous community foundation to support the Dakota Plains Wahpeton First Nation.
  • See bureaucratic barriers re donee status – not provided a right of recognition.
  • Community foundation support (via discretionary funds) could be pooled to support First Nations.
  • Importance of donnee status – still a bureaucratic issue and fear that donated funds will be contaminated by contribution agreements and/or The First Nations Fiscal Management Act.
Vancouver Foundation (webinar participant)
  • Query re Indigenous  community support part of all application forms.
  • Percentage of funds goes as a permanent grant to First Nations as a tangible form of land recognition.
  • Looking at re-purposing endowments.
  • Have established Indigenous-led and managed programs.

If you participated in the webinar, a short survey was prepared by Indigenous Philanthropy Towards Self-Determination, you can fill it out here.

For more information on this series of webinars, consult their website here.

Event coverage by Peter R. Elson, PhiLab research member and co-director of the Network. PhiLab encourages other participants to share their own key points and reflections on this and future webinars. If you would like to share your experience, contact us at philab@uqam.ca .