Indigenous voices central to philanthropic progress

Charles Keidan

Indigenous Peoples encompass more than 475 million people in over 90 countries and their territories cover almost a quarter of the world’s land surface.

They are critical to the sustainable management of natural resources, the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals and the promotion of individual and collective rights. As such, social and environmental progress cannot be achieved without Indigenous Peoples in the lead.

Yet too often, for too long and in too many places, including in the philanthropy sector, the rights, voice and agency of Indigenous Peoples have neither been understood nor fully respected.

The task of making the diverse needs, aspirations and contributions of Indigenous communities more central to the philanthropy conversation is at the heart of work undertaken by bodies like the International Funders for Indigenous Peoples (IFIP). It has therefore been a privilege to work with IFIP’s CEO, Lourdes Inga and our guest editors, the Ford Foundation’s Mónica Alemán and the J.R. Mckenzie Trust’s Manaia King, on this issue of Alliance. In it, you will find discussion of strategies to advance Indigenous women’s rights and movements, debate about new funding models and approaches, profiles of key networks and partners, and stories of funders working alongside Indigenous Peoples from the Arctic to Borneo, Mexico, Australia, New Zealand and beyond.

This Alliance issue is also the first issue of a new decade – and one which will be critical to tackling climate change. Alliance is proud to have launched our ClimatePhilanthropy2030 pledge in January committing us to weekly coverage of climate issues over the next ten years. Look out for that coverage online and in print.

I hope the insights of Indigenous Peoples will feature strongly as part of Alliance’s mission to ensure that progressive and diverse voices from across the global philanthropy sector are at the heart of who we are and what we do.

Charles Keidan
Editor, Alliance

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