New Initiative to Support Native American Leaders

Indigenous professionals considered knowledge-makers and -keepers can apply for a new, competitive fellowship opportunity through the First Nations Development Institute. The Henry Luce Foundation and First Nations recently announced their partnership and the launch of the Native American Leaders Program.

The fellowship program broadly defines “leaders” as media makers, scientists and health professionals, academics, curators, artists and writers, policy makers and spiritual leaders. Their work can take many forms, including journalism, visual art, film and video, speeches or sermons, educational curricula, music or theater, formal scholarship or research, public health strategies, legal arguments and policy analysis.

A press release states: “By investing in leaders who create new knowledge and share that knowledge publicly, we can empower the communities that those leaders address and serve.”

First Nations will administer the Native American Leaders Program. Initial support from the Henry Luce Foundation will enable First Nations to develop and launch the program, select an initial cohort, and support those leaders during their fellowship experience.

Individuals interested in the fellowship may apply directly or be nominated. Fellows will be selected by a committee of Indigenous leaders convened by First Nations. Each fellow will receive $50,000 to advance her or his work; the fellows will also gather together three times during the fellowship year to learn from one another. All fellows will be eligible to seek an additional $25,000 to continue their work in the year after the fellowship.

Applications for the first fellowship competition will be invited in the second half of 2019, with further details to be made available by First Nations. Additional information will be provided on the First Nations website,