Rapid Assistance Fund for Indigenous Communities & Individuals in Need

The “Rapid Assistance Fund for Indigenous Communities & Individuals in Need” offers modest financial assistance to individuals and communities who identify as Indigenous, Native, First Peoples, or as historically oppressed by colonization for urgent needs related to the field of ethnobiology. These grants may be used for projects that focus on food sovereignty, traditional food and medicine, traditional land use and hunting practices, traditional ecological knowledge, building community resilience in food deserts, or similar.

The Society of Ethnobiology holds, as part of its central mission, “to promote the understanding of the past and present relationships between humans and their biological worlds.” In order to accomplish that, we must reach out to serve Indigenous, Native, Métis, Inuit, and First Nations communities. Furthermore, we strive to serve the needs of historically underrepresented groups, recognizing that their relationships to the environments where they live have been and continue to be strongly influenced by racism and structural inequalities. Beyond our research and scholarly pursuits to support these communities, we recognize that we must build meaningful partnerships, help support local capacities, and reinforce the autonomy and opportunity for historically underrepresented individuals and groups.

This fund is part of our multi-pronged approach to serve communities that identify as Indigenous, Native, First Nations, or those historically oppressed by colonization. In particular, this grant fund is for urgent and emergency needs. The fund has a rolling deadline and is designed to help move resources to communities at times of specific urgent needs. Review of grant applications should be expected to occur within 8 weeks following receipt of an application. We seek to support Indigenous and culturally diverse underrepresented communities through monetary and non-monetary grants.

Grants may also be sought by individuals who identify as Indigenous or from an underrepresented group who experience an immediate need as part of their ethnobiological work (such as a student conducting field work who becomes in need of some emergency funding to help them survive in the field).

It is important that grant applicants specify what the need is, why it is urgent, and how it broadly connects to ethnobiology. Ethnobiologists are interested in the ways that humans interact with our environments, including other creatures, and to this end we are also committed to advocating for social justice.

Fund Guidelines: 

  • Awards can range from $200–$1500.
  • Funding includes access to help from SoE volunteers, advice where possible/desirable from researchers, and access to our publications via a one-year digital membership (if the applicant does not hold a current membership).
  • The Award committee may grant the entire amount requested, or may grant a portion of the requested amount.
  • Awards are made on a rolling deadline, as needs arise. The Award committee will convene when an application is received and will take no more than 8 weeks to reach a decision.
  • Awards can be given to any individual or community group that identifies as Indigenous, Native, First Peoples, or as historically oppressed by colonization.
  • Requests must be linked to needs broadly connected to ethnobiology. Unfortunately, we cannot consider requests for personal hardship assistance not connected to ethnobiology.
  • Awardees are eligible to reapply after 3 years.
  • We ask that you identify the Society of Ethnobiology as a donor if/when appropriate so that community members and recipients of the assistance will know that we seek to be an ally to them.
  • Restrictions and limitations: funds cannot be used for/by groups whose primary purpose is explicitly political or tied to a political party or candidate.
  • Recipients will be asked to send a brief report within 90 days of the completion of the project, detailing what was done and how funds were used and the impact the grant may have had. Reports can include photos and should be between 200–500 words total.
  • Recipients will be given the opportunity to present an update of their project (virtually or in person) at the Society of Ethnobiology's annual conference.

For more information contact fellowships@ethnobiology.org.

Apply Now

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