WHO WE ARE
The Wind River Foundation is a nonprofit organization based in Jackson, Wyoming. Leadership is comprised of both indigenous and non-indigenous philanthropists and community leaders.
Self-determined, vibrant, and thriving indigenous societies on the Wind River Indian Reservation and across the world.
The mission of the Wind River Foundation is to advance philanthropy that will empower the indigenous communities of Wyoming’s Wind River Indian Reservation in their work toward cultural revitalization, social progress, and economic prosperity.
HOW WE WORK
Our work is driven by the visions of indigenous community leaders and responsive to indigenous societal values.
OUR PROGRAM AREAS
The Wind River Foundation has identified three key levers of growth and change for indigenous communities on the Wind River Indian Reservation:
Youth and Community Leadership
Leadership Drives Change. The Wind River Indian Reservation is home to highly motivated and effective civic and cultural leaders. The Wind River Foundation seeks to support their work to move past immediate remedy and toward long-term planning and growth capacity. It will be through the endeavors of these indigenous leaders that communities on the Wind River Indian Reservation achieve self-determined cultural revitalization, social progress, and economic prosperity. Empowering indigenous community leaders and future leaders inspires and motivates entire sectors of the community toward positive change and development.
Indigenous Culture is the Solution. Both the Eastern Shoshone and Northern Arapaho are the inheritors of strong and distinct cultural traditions, languages, values and ways of life. Indigenous societies have endured many losses and violations; the loss of their historical and cultural homelands, violative attempts to eradicate their unique cultures, languages, social, economic, family, and leadership structures. In adjacent society dominated by non-indigenous culture, indigenous people endure racial hostility, insensitivity, and lack of cultural awareness. As a result, indigenous communities face the internal challenges of complex multi-generational trauma. Cultural reclamation and revitalization heal, transform and redefine what a community envisions as possible for itself, laying the groundwork for long-term transformational progress. This is an essential precursor to authentic social and economic prosperity.
Connections, Knowledge and Experience
Empowering Action. Indigenous community leaders and future leaders will benefit by leveraging the shared knowledge and experience of the wider network of both indigenous- and non-indigenous-led philanthropic organizations that share similar missions and objectives. Providing connections to networks of practice, knowledge and experience empowers indigenous community leaders and future leaders with tools and resources. Similarly, non-indigenous communities will be awakened and empowered through increased cultural awareness, education and opportunities to develop respectful, authentic relationships with indigenous societies and cultures.
WHY WE TAKE ACTION
We believe that the strength and health of our collective humanity depends on healing the relationships between indigenous and non-indigenous peoples.