Wednesday, March 17, 2010

$1.5 million grant from Yocha Dehe Wintun Nation fuels Native American Rights Fund

BOULDER, Colo. – The Native American Rights Fund (NARF) has received a $1.5 million grant from the Yocha Dehe Wintun Nation of Brooks, Calif., to be distributed in $500,000 allotments over three years and used for general operating expenses and special projects.

“This generous grant provides the Native American Rights Fund fiscal security for the next three years, enabling us to focus on legal advocacy and insuring the survival of tribes and their ways of life,” said Executive Director John E. Echohawk. “Our deepest thanks go to the Yocha Dehe Wintun Nation and their dedication to the legal rights of Indian Country.”

Tribal contributions are extremely important to help underwrite NARF’s vital work. This gift from the Yocha Dehe Wintun Nation—one of the largest tribal contributions ever bestowed on NARF—not only sets an example for other tribes, but also is a testament to the value and impact of the organization’s work.

“The Tribal Council of Yocha Dehe Wintun Nation is committed to Native rights and the preservation of tribal sovereignty,” said Yocha Dehe Tribal Chairman Marshall McKay. “This grant to the Native American Rights Fund tangibly expresses our belief in the importance of the outstanding work that they do.”

Since its founding in 1970, NARF has represented more than 250 tribes in 31 states in matters that have had a significant impact on the rights of all Indian people throughout the country. NARF works to empower tribes so they can continue to live according to their Native traditions, enforce their treaty rights, insure their independence on reservations and protect their sovereignty. NARF strives to enforce and strengthen laws that are designed to protect the rights of Native Americans to practice their traditional religions, use their own languages, and enjoy their cultures. NARF also works with tribes to improve education for and ensure the welfare of their children.

Yocha Dehe Wintun Nation has a longstanding culture of giving: The Yocha Dehe Community Fund was one of the first to be established by a Native American tribe in California and the Tribe is a recognized leader in charitable giving. Over the past decade, Yocha Dehe has provided nearly $18 million in financial support to nonprofit organizations and service providers in Sacramento and Yolo Counties and other organizations supporting the Tribe’s goals for education, community health, arts and culture, the environment, community development and social services.

“The generosity of tribes is crucial in NARF’s struggle to ensure the freedoms and rights of all Native Americans,” said Echohawk. “The history of Yocha Dehe’s giving should be an example for every Native American Tribe and organization. We hope others will follow with their support of our organization and other Native organizations across the country.”