The multi-year, multi-million dollar Indigenous Earth Fund initiative will support systemic and policy change efforts centered around Indigenous leaders and environmental solutions.

BEARS EARS NATIONAL MONUMENT January 20, 2022Decolonizing Wealth Project (DWP) today announced The Bears Ears Inter-Tribal Coalition (BEITC) as part of the first cohort of its Indigenous Earth Fund (IEF) grantee  partners. Led by  DWP’s Liberated Capital fund, IEF, will redistribute more than $1 million in grants to 16 Indigenous-led organizations nationwide to bolster their climate change and conservation campaigns. The Bears Ears Inter-Tribal Coalition is spearheading movement-building efforts that center Indigenous self-determination to promote Traditional Knowledge  Other grantees are working across sustainable food systems; land and forest management; and the protection and conservation of water sources and natural resources. 

The initiative is expected to be an annual grantmaking program and is part of DWP’s commitment to celebrate and invest in the diverse wisdom that Indigenous communities have been cultivating for thousands of years, and will help convene Indigenous-led organizations and inter-tribal organizations and networks to elevate and discuss strategies and best practices that address the current climate crisis.

Historically, Indigenous-led organizations receive a small percentage of philanthropic climate funding, and are largely excluded from regional and national discussions on both climate change and conservation, despite having ancient and traditional solutions proven to protect the environment. In October 2021, DWP invited Indigenous-led organizations working in the climate and environment space to submit grant proposals to its fund, Liberated Capital, which raises the grantmaking dollars from its community, with the goal of providing recipients with untethered resources that enable Indigenous-led organizations and leaders to continue their important work. 

“We are honored to invest in The Bears Ears Inter-Tribal Coalition as it leads the fight against climate change,” Edgar Villanueva, Founder and Principal of Decolonizing Wealth Project and Liberated Capital said. “Indigenous communities are guided by thousands of years of conservation techniques and solutions, arming them with the knowledge and the power to reverse climate destruction. It’s past time that philanthropy prioritize its support towards organizations like the BEITC and other Indigenous-led organizations so they can continue leading us toward a more sustainable future.” 

Additionally, to bridge the disconnect between policy, philanthropy and Indigenous wisdom, Liberated Capital will also invest in the wider climate and conservation ecosystem to support and drive movement building across Indigenous communities.

Additional grantee partners in the first cohort of Indigenous Earth Fund include:


Proposals were evaluated by the Indigenous Earth Fund Advisory Committee, which is comprised of Indigenous leaders and subject matter experts: 

  • Jade Begay   (Diné and Tesuque Pueblo) – Climate Justice Campaign Director, NDN Collective
  • Julian Brave Noisecat (Canim Lake Band Tsq’escen) – Writer
  • Sheena Brown (Narragansett) – Director, Resource Mobilization, Decolonizing Wealth Project
  • Judith Le Blanc  (Caddo) –  Director, Native Organizers Alliance
  • Greg Masten  (Yurok, Hupa and Karuk) – VP Tribal Nations Engagement and Special Projects, Native Americans in Philanthropy
  • Edgar Villanueva (Lumbee) – Principal, Decolonizing Wealth Project


For more information about the Indigenous Earth Fund visit: