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Now accepting applications for Native American Leadership Development Fund awards

Grant recipients to include Native American pioneers, risk-takers and trailblazers

by Gail Strange | Presbyterian News Service

The Rev. Irv Porter is Associate for Native American Intercultural Congregational Support Ministries. (Photo by Tammy Warren)

LOUISVILLE — The Presbyterian Mission Agency is now accepting grant applications for the Native American Leadership Development Fund Award. The 2020 one-time awards are being made available for education and/or leadership development of Native American Presbyterian leaders or Native American Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) organizations and communities.

 “Leadership development is described as an event/training/workshop(s) that will help Native American Presbyterian leaders prepare for work in their congregations, organizations, presbyteries or synods,” said the Rev. Irv Porter, Associate for Native American Intercultural Congregational Support Ministries, part of Racial Equity & Women’s Intercultural Ministries. “For instance, First Indian Presbyterian Church in Kamiah, Idaho used their 2019 Award Fund grant to sponsor Healing A Woman’s Heart Retreat,” Porter said.

The Synod of the Southwest’s Native American Leadership Conference was held in Flagstaff, Arizona in 2019. The synod received funding for its first-of-its-kind conference through the Native American Leadership Development Fund Award. (Contributed photo)

Porter said the Synod of the Southwest’s Native American Ministries also received funds in 2019. The synod use the funds to facilitate a gathering of Native American leaders. “Each of the 32 Native American churches and chapels identified members within their congregations to attend the gathering,” Porter said. “The event was created to assist Native American and dominant culture leaders to better understand the issues facing Native American peoples, develop more meaningful leadership skills, and continue conversations amongst all peoples to recognize issues in Indian country and surrounding areas.”

Four organizations received the 2019 Native American Leadership Development Fund Award. The other two groups were the Dakota Presbytery/Synod of Lakes and Prairies’ Let There Be Peace ministry and the Jimersontown Presbyterian Church (Salamanca, New York) Native American Leadership in the Church ministry.

To quality for consideration, organizations must submit a written application and proposal no later than September 30.  The awards will be announced and funds will be distributed by November 2. Following the awarding of the grant, the organization must submit a report to RE&WIM detailing how the funds were used.

“There are some amazing Native Americans individuals and organizations within the PC(USA) that are doing some extraordinary work in their communities,” said Porter. “There are individuals and organizations within the church that are working hard to provide leadership development for Native Americans.”

Tim McCallister, Associate for Mission Program Grants & Racial Ethnic Schools and Colleges, said, “These grants are offered by the Mission Agency to encourage pioneers, risk-takers and trailblazers. I am pleased that this award can remove the financial obstacle for some innovative initiative for the grant recipients to develop ministries and opportunities in Native American communities.”

“This grant is designed to encourage the birth of new proposals by organizations and groups, rather than to support existing leadership development opportunities and ministries,” said Porter. “We’re looking for proposals from those seeking to impact communities and opportunities for Native Americans.”

Proposals and questions should be submitted to either McCallister or Porter at:

Tim McCallister, Associate

Presbyterian Mission Agency

100 Witherspoon Street

Louisville, KY 40202

(888) 728-7228, ext. 5230


the Rev. Irv Porter

Associate for Native American Intercultural Congregational Support

(253) 740-7180

Application are available online at Native American Leadership Award Development Fund.

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