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As members of International Funders for Indigenous Peoples (IFIP), we are anxious to grow the field and bring an infusion of new faces, sources of investment and expertise, along with the professional camaraderie that grows from shared commitment and passion. IFIP is an affinity group of the Council on Foundations dedicated to assembling international grantmakers in support of Indigenous philanthropies and fostering funding partnerships to improve the lives of Indigenous People globally. Over the past decade, IFIP has convened conferences and workshops that catalyze thoughtful, engaged collaboration among participants.Experienced donors recognize the resilience of Indigenous Peoples, often in the face of overwhelming odds and continual attacks on many fronts. Their diversity and creativity is an essential resource for the future of our planet. There is important work of global significance underway. Nevertheless, there are technical challenges that this guide can help identify and overcome. Many standard practices simply won't work. We need to be on the ground listening to people and stretching our imaginations. We cannot wait for the 'experts' to send us polished proposals that meet our criteria and timetables. Truly effective philanthropy has always relied on ingenuity and creative paths of understanding to effect deep change in the world.We can embrace and drive this change. This guide describes the practical experiences of those pioneers who have forged ahead.
Land preservation efforts by indigenous peoples are a struggle that spans the generations. Yet the plight of ancient peoples to preserve pristine ecosystems generally goes unnoticed. This is the reality of the nearly 370 million indigenous peoples in more than 70 countries worldwide, whose involvement stems from a deeply inherent and sacred relationship with the land. This five-page article by the executive director of IFIP first appeared in the summer 2005 edition of the Environmental Grantmakers Association newsletter.
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