Two recent national philanthropy reports have released information indicating that Gay Funders contributed $37 million in one year to GLBT organizations across the United States.Â Native American Two Spirit People, the poorest of all theÂ GLBT communities,Â received only 4 small grants of about $2,500.Â The average grant to gay organizations nationally is $16,000 a year.Â Gay funders have a mission to serve all equally, but it’s time for a summit with the Two Spirit People here in our ancestral domains to help the funders achieve their mission.Â Two Spirit People have significant spiritual and ceremonial roles in our Native cultures, and Gay Philanthropy has a significant role to play in realizing a vision of funding-justice and social justice with our people.
Below is a letter from the National Director of the Two Spirit Press Room.
Native GLBT people have existed with all of our cultures and communities here in our ancestral domains of Turtle Island for 20,000 years as social, spiritual, intellectual and social leading members of society. We have spent the past 3 years intensively educating Gay Funders in the United States about the desperate rates of GLBT Native youth suicide, catastrophic levels of HIV transmission and unresolved historical grief and loss, as well as post traumatic stress disorder, resulting often in chemical dependency and other serious physical and non-physical chronic illness. Our foundation allies will help our communities resolve these issues of biological and chemical related deaths, because for gay social justice philanthropy to ignore the Native communities, it represents GENOCIDE.
Nationally, GLBT funders in 2006 gave away $37 million to gay organizations, and their average general operating grant was $16,000. In that same year, gay funders only gave 4 small grants to Native Two Spirit projects WITH A NATIONAL TOTAL of $11,500, or $2,875 each, or about 8 cents per Native Two Spirit a year. We have been met with benign neglect, hostility, confusion and intentional neglect by GLBT Funders. Our community members have now gathered our collective histories together and we are resolved to help Gay Philanthropy truly demonstrate its ‘love of humankind.’
Our GLBT funders have refused- during 36 months of outreach, education and dialogue -to meaningfully extend support or recognition of the catastrophic needs faced by our two spirit communities and that is now going to change. We Native people call for an immediate national one-day summit with a full complement of GLBT funders: We will submit the template for the summit’s goals and terms. We require general operating and start up support for approximately 15 Native GLBT organizations and efforts- and this includes in-kind capacity building administrative support. This is a $500,000 a year, 2 year initiative for all GLBT Native groups nationwide, including our communities across artificially imposed national borders.
The following petition must be complete by the middle of next week and it will be delivered in person in Washington DC to all the National Executive Directors of all the National GLBT organizations at 10 AM, Thursday May 29.
Pass this petition website on WITH THE HIGHEST LEVEL OF URGENCY to all of your contacts, networks and social and economic justice colleagues, friends and relatives. Our appeal for support and relief to our communities will be heard.
In Solidarity and PEACE!
Anguksuar (Richard LaFortune)
Two Spirit Press Room
Minneapolis, MN, Turtle Island