First Nations will award 10 fellowships of $75,000 each to 10 outstanding Native knowledge holders and knowledge makers engaged in meaningful work that benefits Indigenous people and communities in either reservation and/or urban settings. These fellowships support the work of Native knowledge holders and knowledge makers as they significantly advance their work and spark transformative change in their communities. In this sense, community is broadly defined and can include your Native community, knowledge community, etc.
The fellowship is a two-year, self-directed enrichment program designed to support the process of growth, development, knowledge, and networks of Native leaders and thinkers. This unique and exciting fellowship seeks to support individuals from diverse fields and engaged in different modes of expression. The fellowship is open to both emerging and experienced leaders and thinkers from a wide variety of fields, including but not limited to agriculture, food systems, youth leadership development, natural resource management, climate change, economic development, journalism, language and cultural revitalization, traditional and contemporary arts, and more.
During the fellowship period, fellows will gather together three times during the initial fellowship year to pool their collective knowledge, and create a community of practice that crosses fields, geographies and tribal cultures. These three required convenings will give fellows the opportunity to engage in rich conversations intended to strengthen their leadership skills, reflect on their impact, share their learning and experiences and promote enduring professional relationships. These cohorts will empower fellows to overcome any geographic and cultural isolation they may experience by being a Native knowledge holder or knowledge maker, possibly as the only one in their field.
Requirements and Guidelines
For 42 years, First Nations has had the privilege of working with countless Native leaders including elders, knowledge keepers, cultural advisors, language experts and other members of Indigenous communities dedicated to using their wisdom and ingenuity to restore, rebuild and/or perpetuate Indigenous knowledge systems. First Nations has witnessed such individuals spark significant innovation and positive change in their communities.
This fellowship honors and supports individuals as they work to further knowledge creation, dissemination, and perpetuation. This fellowship will give Native knowledge holders and knowledge makers the funding and connections necessary to maximize their potential and realize their vision. This fellowship will provide knowledge producers with the resources to match their existing knowledge, passion, and drive to achieve their personal and/or community goals.
Native knowledge holders and knowledge makers are individuals engaged in the creation, dissemination, and perpetuation of knowledge that advances their respective field or expertise area. This includes those engaged in either and/or both Western knowledge fields or traditional Indigenous fields of knowledge development and dissemination, including:
- Cultural Leaders and Activists
- Linguists and Language Preservationists
- Artists, Craftspeople, and Designers
- Writers, Storytellers, and Media-Makers
- Curators, Conservators, and Educators
- Food System Workers and Food Justice Advocates
- Small Business Owners and Entrepreneurs
- Healthcare Professionals and Practitioners
- Environmentalists and Conservationists
- Academics, Researchers and Scientists
- And many more
As part of the application process, fellows will be expected to define and articulate their primary knowledge field or area.
This fellowship will provide awards in the amount of $75,000 each to 10 individuals. This fellowship is flexible in that it allows emerging and experienced knowledge holders and knowledge makers to determine their own goals, and decide how their funds are best used to make a positive impact for creation, dissemination and perpetuation of knowledge.
Fellows do not have to design or complete a project to be eligible or selected. The goal of this fellowship program is to provide flexible funding to selected fellows as they seek to achieve their goals and further or advance knowledge creation and dissemination in their respective field(s).
The fellowship may be used for a wide range of costs, including living expenses, tuition, conference registration, equipment, travel and childcare. The fellowship cannot be redirected to another person or organization.
Important Note: The $75,000 fellowship is considered taxable income. Fellowship recipients will be responsible for all related taxes resulting from this award.
First Nations provides a $75,000 award that may be used flexibly over two years. The start date of the fellowship is January 1, 2024, and the end date is December 31, 2025.
During the first year, fellows will receive $50,000 to support their work and efforts, be required to attend three fellow convenings and receive up to $5,000 in additional support for capacity-building activities and materials. During the second year, fellows will receive $25,000 to extend and deepen their work.
The stages and timeline of the Luce Indigenous Knowledge Fellowship are anticipated as follows and subject to change:
Selection Process Timeline
- Application for the Luce Indigenous Knowledge Fellowship opens Thursday, April 6, 2023.
- Stage 1 applications are due Wednesday, May 17, 2023, at 5 p.m. MDT.
- Stage 1 applicants will be notified regarding the status of their applications on or before July 31, 2023. Those advancing to Stage 2 will be able to access their application forms at this time.
- Stage 2 applications are due Monday, August 21, 2023, at 5 p.m. MDT.
- Stage 2 applicants will be notified regarding the status of their applications on or before October 5, 2023. 25 semifinalists will be selected to advance to the final interview stage of the selection process.
- Semifinalists will travel and participate in an in-person (pending community and travel restrictions) interview with the Luce Indigenous Knowledge Fellowship Selection Committee the week of November 6, 2023, at First Nations’ headquarters in Longmont, CO. First Nations will cover all travel and accommodation expenses for semifinalists’ travel.
- After the interviews, the Fellowship Selection Committee will select 10 fellows. Semifinalists will be notified on or before December 5, 2023.
- The fellowship will begin January 1, 2024, and conclude December 31, 2025.