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Recent Work

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Echo Hawk Consulting has been honored to co-lead the Reclaiming Native Truth project as well as serve a variety of clients in the philanthropic, public policy and public health sectors who are committed to increasing awareness and investment in Native-led solutions for transformative change in Indian Country.

Reclaiming Native Truth: A Project to Dispel America’s Myths and Misconceptions

Echo Hawk Consulting (EHC) recently co-led Reclaiming Native Truth (RNT), a 2-year narrative change initiative.  The project conducted unprecedented public opinion and influencer research, message testing and multi-sector outreach and organizing in order to inform the development of narrative and culture strategies to tackle misconceptions, stereotypes, and the invisibility of Native Peoples within popular culture, institutions and society. Ultimately, the project will drive a multi-year campaign that will catalyze a shift in public perceptions and discourse with strategic audiences regarding Native Americans that can support social justice and catalyze lasting policy and culture change. Echo Hawk Consulting has played a key role in RNT including being responsible for the original project design, co-management, building strategic partnerships and a significant portion of the $3.2 million invested to support the project’s activities from foundations, tribes and individual donors.

Development of 5-Year Grantmaking Strategy in Native Early Childhood Development

The Better Way Foundation hired EHC to conduct an environmental scan to learn more about early childhood development programs, strategies and promising models in Native American communities. The results of the scan were used to develop recommendations in partnership with the Better Way Foundation staff to inform the development of their new 5-year strategy for grantmaking, learning and investment in Native early childhood development programs across three geographies. The strategy was approved in 2017 and the Better Way Foundation has formed nine community partnerships in Minnesota, New Mexico and on the Pine Ridge Reservation.

Building Strategic Partnerships and Leveraging Impact

EHC has worked with the Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community’s (SMSC) Seeds of Native Health Campaign since 2015 to raise awareness about the campaign the opportunities for partnership and impact within Native American food systems, nutrition and health. It has helped to build important partnerships between the SMSC and major public health, philanthropic and Native community development institutions. This includes a partnership between the SMSC and the American Heart Association. Since 2015, the partners have developed “Fertile Ground,” a national initiative to raise awareness and increase investment promising models and needs to advance Native food systems, nutrition and health. EHC also worked with the SMSC to develop a partnership with the Better Way Foundation and the Minneapolis Federal Reserve Bank’s Center for Indian Country Development. Together the partners launched a year-long project, “Healthy Children, Healthy Nations” focused on research and convening diverse stakeholders across the state of Minnesota to explore promising models, trends, need and opportunities to improve the educational, nutritional and holistic health of Native American children 0-6 years in the state. To read the final report and recommendations for action, click here.

Launching $38 Million Native American Agriculture Fast Track Fund

EHC was hired to quick develop and launch the Native American Agriculture Fast Track Fund (NAAFTF). It served as the grants administrator for this first round of grantmaking under this historic settlement. The funding for NAAFTF  was derived from a $760 million Settlement with the United States Department of Agriculture (“USDA”) that had been reached in the Keepseagle v. Vilsack class action lawsuit. The lawsuit claimed the USDA discriminated against Native Americans by denying them equal access to credit in the USDA Farm Loan Program. EHC developed and administered the competitive grantmaking process for the one-time cy pres distribution from the Keepseagle v. Vilsack Settlement Agreement of $38 million also known as NAAFTF.

Assessment and Strategic Planning to Increase Strategic Grantmaking Impact on Native Youth

Potlatch Fund, a Native Intermediary Funder that focuses its mission on growing and empowering Native philanthropy in the Northwest, recently hired Echo Hawk Consulting to conduct an assessment of its current grant making programs and to assist the Board and staff with strategic planning. The goal for the Potlatch Fund is to increase its impact on the health, leadership development and well being of Native youth.