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7 Charities You Can Trust working to Improve the Lives of Indigenous Peoples

best indigenous nonprofits in Canada

Indigenous people are one of the most disadvantaged groups in America and around the world. They face many challenges, including poverty, lack of access to education, and health issues.

Many indigenous communities around the globe live an impoverished life. In the United States, some of these communities are located close to others who are affluent. Yet, these people have no access to resources, jobs, or education. Many of them work in unhealthy conditions for little pay and little hope for improvement. This has caused many indigenous groups to fall into poverty and leave them feeling hopeless about ever improving their situation.

In Canada, we have a similar issue. Many First Nations communities are living below the poverty line and do not have access to basic services like clean drinking water or electricity. The problem is even worse for Inuit communities, who live in some of the most remote areas in Canada where it’s challenging to get resources.

To help make a difference in these communities, some great charities are working hard to improve conditions for indigenous peoples across the USA (and around the world!).

In this post, let’s talk about how you can help these indigenous individuals and communities who face challenges every day because of their race or ethnicity.

Role of Charity in Assisting Indigenous Communities

We all know that charities are a great way to make a difference in the world, but there are some charities in the USA that are working diligently to support indigenous communities.

If you’re looking for an organization that’s truly helping indigenous peoples, here are some of the ways that charities help Indigenous peoples:

Honoring Indigenous Peoples

Many Indigenous charities help to preserve and celebrate the cultures and traditions of Indigenous people. These charities provide education about the history and cultures of Indigenous people, and they encourage people to learn about these cultures through museums, lectures, and other educational programs. They also encourage people to support indigenous businesses and artisans who create unique products that are inspired by their cultural traditions. Some Indigenous charities also provide scholarships for Native American and Canadian students who want to attend college but cannot afford it without financial assistance.

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Improving Health Care

Some Indigenous charities provide health care services, including emergency care, mental health services, substance abuse treatment and prevention programs, prenatal care, and infant mortality prevention. These organizations may also provide dental care or medical supplies such as vaccines or medications. In addition, some might offer preventative care such as immunizations or screenings for diabetes or cancer.

Supporting Education

Indigenous communities have some of the highest dropout rates in the world, with many children missing school because they have to work or help their families instead. Charities have started programs that support education by offering scholarships and funding schools in remote areas where children wouldn’t otherwise be able to go. Some organizations also put together programs that teach children about their culture while helping them learn English so they can compete for jobs outside their communities once they graduate from high school or college.

Top Indigenous Charities

We want to make sure that the people who need it most get the help they deserve. And that’s why we’re telling you about these seven charities committed to improving the lives of indigenous peoples.

If you’re looking to give back, these charities are a great place to start. They’re working hard to make sure that indigenous communities get the resources they need to achieve self-sufficiency.

And if you don’t live in one of those countries? Don’t worry! We’ve got some great Canadian charities too!

1.     Native American Rights Fund (NARF)

NARF is one of the most well-known and respected Native American rights organizations in the country. They provide legal services to Native Americans and Alaska Natives, ranging from criminal defense to tribal sovereignty and treaty rights.

NARF works with tribes to help them gain access to federal programs that they may not have had before due to discrimination against Native Americans. The work of this charity is critical to ensuring that indigenous peoples can live freely on their land, without interference from settlers or other non-natives.

Donate directly to NARF (this is an American charity, and Canadians cannot use the receipt on your Canadian tax return)

2.     First Nations Covid-19 Emergency Response Fund

The purpose of the Fund is to provide emergency relief for tribes impacted by natural disasters, as well as to help those who are displaced due to climate change or other environmental factors. The Fund works closely with local tribal leaders and organizations to determine what needs are most pressing at any given time, and then they distribute their resources accordingly.

The organization assists in a variety of ways, including but not limited to:

  • Financial assistance for food and shelter
  • Medical supplies/equipment for emergencies/disasters
  • Transportation costs for getting supplies where they need to go
  • Construction materials for temporary homes or shelters

Donate directly to First Nations Covid-19 Emergency Response Fund (this is an American charity, and Canadians cannot use the receipt on your Canadian tax return)

3.     Reconciliation Canada – A New Way Forward Society

Reconciliation Canada is an independent Canadian organization dedicated to advancing First Nations’ rights, self-determination, and self-government. Reconciliation Canada works with communities across Canada to develop strategies for reconciliation that address the root causes of poverty and inequality faced by Indigenous peoples.

Reconciliation Canada – A New Way Forward Society is the nation’s preeminent advocate for racial and religious harmony, and a driving force behind the positive social transformation. Reconciliation Canada is an Indigenous-led charity that fosters genuine connections through discourse, leadership, and action centered on shared values. Their dream is to see Canada flourish and grow into a nation where everyone may realize their full potential and contribute to the common good.

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4.     Nesika Cultural and Heritage Society

As one of the leading indigenous charities in Canada, NESIKA is an organization that works to preserve and promote Indigenous culture, art, and history.

NESIKA aims to improve the lives of Indigenous people through education, community engagement, and activism. They provide educational resources for youth on topics like culture, heritage, language, and identity. They also offer support for young people transitioning into adulthood through job training programs and financial literacy courses. The charity also engages with community members through cultural events and traditional storytelling sessions that encourage self-expression through art forms like painting or dancing.

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5.     Canadian Roots Exchange

Canadian Roots Exchange is a charity that works to promote and protect the rights of Indigenous Peoples in Canada. They strive to help communities regain control over their traditional lands, preserve their cultural heritage and ensure their future. They believe that all people have a right to self-determination, which includes the freedom to determine their political status and pursue their economic, social and cultural development.

As a nonprofit organization, CRE is committed to providing all of the young people who take part in our programs with opportunities for leadership development, education, and exposure to Indigenous cultures. CRE hosts a variety of events, the most common of which are seminars, conferences, and other opportunities for leadership development.

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6.     Honoring Indigenous Peoples

Honouring Indigenous Peoples is a registered charity that supports indigenous women, children, and youth by providing funding for their health and wellness programs. The organization also provides financial assistance to community-based organizations that work with First Nations people in Canada. Rotarians founded Honoring Indigenous Peoples in collaboration and consultation with indigenous people. Per the original treaties, it celebrates indigenous people by bolstering educational initiatives and fostering nationwide awareness of indigenous concerns, history, and culture. ​

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7.     Habitat for Humanity

Together with Indigenous families and communities, the Indigenous Housing Partnership in Canada works to make homeownership more accessible and affordable so that everyone has a chance to build a better life for themselves and their families. Throughout the years, Habitat for Humanity has provided a platform for families, volunteers, donors, and supporters to work together to construct affordable houses that serve as a springboard for improved living conditions in North America and Asia-Pacific regions. Check out for more information about Indigenous Housing Partnership.

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The United States and Canada are a country that prides itself on its diversity and inclusivity. But there’s one group that often gets overlooked—the indigenous peoples who have been living on this land since long before immigration.

As immigrants, we have a responsibility to make sure that everyone has access to the same opportunities as us. And when it comes to Indigenous Peoples, we need to do better.

The good news is there are organizations in the USA and Canada working every day to improve the lives of our indigenous brothers and sisters. If you’re passionate about improving the lives of Indigenous folks, then check out the information above and make sure to donate.

About the author

Circle Acts Team

United by a shared passion to make a difference, we're on a joyful mission: to spotlight the wonderful world of nonprofits, charities, and the incredible causes they champion.

Every article we craft is a labor of love, bursting with positivity and hope. We're firm believers in the magic of service and are constantly inspired by the countless unsung heroes working tirelessly for change. By donating our time and energy, we aspire to create ripples of awareness and inspire action. So, every time you read one of our articles, know it's penned with heaps of passion, a dash of joy, and a sprinkle of hope.

Cheers to making the world a brighter place, one story at a time!