News & Updates June 2024

Boozhoo! (Hello & Welcome!)

We hope you will enjoy hearing about the good work happening.

Maada'ookiing (“the distribution” in Ojibwe) is a Native-led program of the Northland Foundation designed to strengthen relationships with and offer support to Native American community members doing individual or small group work outside of formal nonprofit organizations or Tribal nation entities.

A grant opportunity is offered three times per year, awarding up to $5,000 per grant for Tribal citizens, descendants, or individuals with kinship ties or affiliation to Native American communities for projects happening within the foundation’s geographic service area. Grant applications are accepted any time.


Maada'ookiing Advisory Board votes to increase grant amount up to $5,000

The amount of funding available through the Maada'ookiing grant program has doubled! The maximum is now $5,000 per grant.effective immediately.

The Board also opted to allow grant recipients to apply for additional grants within the same year.

“Grantees are facing higher expenses for supplies, renting space, transportation, and so on,” said Michelle Ufford, Director of Grantmaking. “The increase will help offset rising hard costs but also better recognize the time, talent, and labor involved in bringing grant-funded projects to life.”


The changes were approved during a recent Maada’ookiing Advisory Board retreat where board members and foundation staff reflected on what has been working well and discussed possible program improvements.

“Native American people are doing incredible work, often planned and carried out in a purely volunteer capacity and with a minimal budget. We intend Maada’ookiing grants to help boost this good work.”

- Michelle Ufford

Since the program began in May 2021, 81 Maada’ookiing grants totaling nearly $200,000 have been given to a diverse range of projects that:

  • Support Native American youth.
  • Strengthen use of or access to Native American language (including also digital apps, dictionaries, video, and other creative projects).
  • Share Native American culture/spiritual practices.
  • Sustain Tribal civic engagement, sovereignty, and self-determination (including non-partisan get out the vote or civic education). 
  • Shift the narrative and increase visibility of contemporary Native American communities.
  • Promote Native American leadership and experiences (projects that provide training, networking, and education opportunities).
  • Engage in Native American grassroots organizing (projects that strengthen community well-being and/or respond to Native American community issues).

Do you have a great community project idea? You can submit your application at any time, using the website portal, and now can request a grant up to $5,000.

Next Grant Round

To be considered for the next round of funding, apply by

September 15, 2024.


Questions? Need assistance? Email us at

Maada'ookiing Grants Awarded

Congratulations & Miigwech to Spring 2024 Grantees!

Jessica Anderson, Ely: $2,500

To support a series of events, workshops, and activities that highlight Anishinaabe culture at Minnesota North College - Vermillion.


Aaron Fairbanks, Cass Lake: $2,500

To hold a multi-day class to teach beading skills to the Leech Lake community.


Brian Stillday, Duluth: $2,500

To support a drum and dance class for the urban Native American community in Duluth.


Kevin Kot, Wrenshall: $2,500

To support a workshop on extracting and using medicinal birch tar oil in the Fond du Lac community.


Ruth Porter, Orr: $2,500

To support a beading class for youth in the Bois Forte community.


David Wise, Sawyer: $2,500

To support horse training for Fond du Lac community members seeking to learn about Ojibwe horse culture and traditions.


Larissa Littlewolf, Cloquet: $2,500

To support a summer volleyball and wellness camp for young, Indigenous female athletes.

Keep in Touch - Photos Wanted!

Are you a current or former Maada'ookiing grantee? We would love to hear from you and possibly share your project with others!

Please contact us at with stories or photos of your experiences doing your project work.

Funding Eligibility

map of northland foundation service area with all or parts of the 5 reservations and 7 counties highlighted

This opportunity offers grants to individuals or informal groups (not official nonprofits organizations). Applicants must be citizens, descendants, or have kinship ties or affiliation to Native American communities.

The project or work to be supported must be taking place within the Northland Foundation's service area: the Tribal lands of the Zagaakwaandagowininiwag (Bois Forte Band of Chippewa), Gichi Onigaming (Grand Portage Band of Lake Superior Chippewa), Nagaajiwanaang (Fond du Lac Band of Lake Superior Chippewa), Gaa-zagaskwaajimekaag (Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe, District I) and Misi-zaaga'igani Anishinaabeg (Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe, District II) as well as the Minnesota counties of Aitkin, Carlton, Cook, Itasca, Koochiching, Lake, and St. Louis.

Ojibwemowin-Ojibwe Language Vocabulary


It is warm, warms up in the sunshine.

Land Acknowledgement

The Northland Foundation’s geographic service area rests on ceded territory established by the Treaties of 1837, 1854, 1855, and 1866 between the Anishinaabe/Ojibwe Nations and the United States government. This region is the traditional homelands of the Ojibwe, Dakota, Northern Cheyenne, and other Native nations, and Indigenous people continue to live here. We humbly acknowledge that we are on traditional Indigenous land that holds a long history that continues to grow. Our relationships today shape and define our ongoing shared history. Together, we are actively building mutual respect based on trust and understanding. See a more detailed acknowledgement of this land and its history.

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