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Philanthropy from the Native perspective

Wealth often stems from the theft of Native land and resources
Wealth often stems from the theft of Native land and resources

One definition of the word philanthropy is "the desire to promote the welfare of others, expressed especially by the generous donation of money to good causes." 

It sounds simple — those with resources helping those in need. But if you consider philanthropy from the perspective of Native and Indigenous people it’s not so straightforward. For example, how did philanthropic organizations and individuals amass their wealth? What values and ideologies influence how philanthropies invest their wealth? And what power and control do philanthropies exert on those they choose to fund? And finally, why does philanthropy grossly underinvest in Native communities?

On The Point, we talk about why systems of philanthropic giving exclude many Native people, and steps these foundations can take to form partnerships with Native communities.

With us: Steve Dubb, Senior Editor of Economic Justice at The Nonprofit Quarterly and co editor with Raymond Foxworth of Invisible No More: Voices From Native America, Steven Peters, Creative Director of SmokeSygnals, an Indigenous Creative Production Company that has received grant funding for work in universities and museums in New England.

Mindy Todd hosts.

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Mindy Todd is the host and producer of <i>The Point</i> on WCAI which examines critical issues for Cape Cod and the Islands. She brings more than 40 years of experience in radio and television to WCAI.