The Best Native American Charities To Support on Giving Tuesday

Posted By Charlie Ballard December 1st, 2015 Last Updated on: November 30th, 2021

Giving Tuesday, as you may know, is a national movement in which everyone donates to charity the first Tuesday after Thanksgiving.

There are over 800,000 people following our Powwows.com Facebook page and if everyone donated at least $10 to their favorite charity, that's $8 million that could make a difference in a person's life! (But feel free to donate more!)

If you're strapped for cash, no problem—you can donate food, clothes or volunteer your time serving dinner at a senior center, community center or a homeless shelter. Giving Tuesday is about giving, in any way that you can.

Historically for indigenous peoples, it is in our blood to give and help people in need. Were we not the original people who helped those colonists survive their first winters here in this country?


  • Most donations are tax-deductible (get and save your donation receipt and check with an accountant)
  • Donating is good karma
  • Sharing is contagious
  • Small acts of kindness are food for the soul

Here are some great suggestions for American Indian charities worthy of your money and resources. What better time to give?



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Inter-Tribal Friendship House

Intertribal Friendship House (IFH) in Oakland, California, was established in 1955 as one of the first urban American Indian community centers in the nation. It was founded by the American Friends Service Committee to serve the needs of Native Americans relocated from reservations to the San Francisco Bay area.

Show them some love this Giving Tuesday!


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St. Joseph’s Indian School

St. Joseph's Indian School is a small school in Chamberlin, South Dakota, which has served Lakota (Sioux) children and families since 1927. Their mission—to educate Native American youth mind, body, heart and spirit—drives them to house and educate over 200 American Indian children each year.

Child poverty and abuse are serious issues on Indian reservations. By supporting St. Joseph's Indian School, you are helping Native American children in need regain pride in the Lakota (Sioux) culture by learning the Lakota language, studying Native American culture and healing the broken family circle from which they come.


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Native American Heritage Association

Native American families suffer from food insecurity and hunger daily. Two of the poorest counties in America are on the Crow Creek and Pine Ridge Reservations in South Dakota, NAHA, with the help of our generous donors, is committed to fighting hunger with emergency food supplies and basic life necessities. NAHA’s trucks leave their office every day with loads of nutritious food that will be delivered to Native Americans living in Crow Creek, Lower Brule, Pine Ridge, Cheyenne River and Rosebud Reservations.


Notah Begay Foundation - Native American Charities

Notah Begay Foundation 

NB3F, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, is the only national Native American nonprofit organization solely dedicated to reversing childhood obesity and type-2 diabetes in the Native American community. NB3F is setting a national standard for investing in evidence-based, community-driven and culturally relevant programs that prevent childhood obesity and type 2 diabetes, ensuring healthy futures for Native American children and their communities. Notah Begay is a former professional golfer turned Native American philanthropist. 


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Navajo Water Project 

Navajo are 67 times more likely than other Americans to live without running water or a toilet. That's an injustice.  The Navajo Water Project is partnered with the St. Bonaventure Indian Mission which provides tuition-free schooling and essential services to thousands of Navajo (Diné) around Thoreau, New Mexico. The 501(c)3 charity is a key local employer and almost completely Native American-run. St. Bonaventure, in partnership with the local community, will fund and maintain water delivery when the project is complete.


Adopt a Native Elder for Giving Tuesday


The Adopt-A-Native-Elder Program started through the efforts of Linda Myers of Park City, Utah and Grace Smith Yellowhammer, a traditional Diné woman. In the late 1980's Linda, an artist, was very moved by a Rug Show displaying the Navajo (or Diné as they prefer to be called) weavings of the Elders of Northern Arizona. Touched by the stories of the Diné people as told by Grace and Rose Hulligan during that Rug Show, Linda was soon very involved in gathering donated food, clothing and simple medicines and was driving to the reservation in Northern Arizona to deliver them to Native Americans living on the land.



Odawa Native Friendship Centre

The purpose of the Odawa Native Friendship Centre is to enhance the quality of life for Native Americans living in the Capital region. Learn more about them and see if you'd like to support their work this Giving Tuesday.



White Bison Well-Briety Movement 

White Bison, Inc., is an American Indian 501(c)3 nonprofit organization based in Colorado Springs, Colorado. Through White Bison, its Founder and President Don Coyhis, Mohican Nation, has offered healing resources to Native America since 1988. White Bison offers sobriety, recovery, addictions prevention, and wellness/Wellbriety learning resources to the Native American community nationwide. Many non-Native Americans also use White Bison's healing resource products, attend its learning circles, and volunteer their services.


Native Services Boys and Girls Native American Charities

Native Services Boys & Girls Club 

In February 2013, the partnership between Boys & Girls Clubs of America (BGCA) and communities with Native Clubs strengthened even more with the development of the Native Services Unit (NSU)! Based out of BGCA’s Southwest Service Center in Richardson, TX, the NSU is committed to addressing the challenges and issues unique to Native American lands. The NSU has very ambitious goals to aid in the sustainability and development of all Native Boys & Girls Clubs.


Wings of America - Native American Charities

Wings of America

The mission of Wings is to enhance the quality of life for American Indian youth. In partnership with Native American communities, Wings uses running as a catalyst to empower American Indian and Alaskan Native youth to take pride in themselves and their cultural identity, leading to increased self-esteem, health and wellness, leadership and hope, balance and harmony.

Keep them in mind for Giving Tuesday!

Partnership With Native Americans

Did you know that approximately 90,000 American-Indian families are under-housed or homeless? When you donate to the Partnership with Native Americans you can support the work they do with 60 tribes all across the country, impacting 250,000 Native Americans.

They focus on immediate needs related to indigenous peoples' health, nutrition, education, holiday support, and emergency relief as well as animal welfare. For example, one of their projects is related to encouraging homegrown food sources as a way of decreasing diet-related diseases and combating food insecurity.

Adopt a Native Elder Program

Elderly indigenous peoples can be some of the most vulnerable members of any society, so this charity works to support the indigenous elders who live in the Diné (Navajo) reservation. Many of these American Indians live traditionally in remote areas, raise sheep and live off the land.

The program supports them by providing medicine, food, clothing, yarn, and fabric. These much-needed supplies are delivered during the semi-annual food runs which take place in the spring and the fall.

The American Indian College Fund

Many Native Americans do not have the funds to attend college and missing out on the chance to better their lives through higher education can keep them trapped in the cycle of poverty.

The American Indian College Fund disburses approximately six thousand scholarships every year for Native American students, as well as providing support such as cultural preservation activities, capital support and more.

The Native American Heritage Association

This long-standing charity has been helping Native Americans since 1993. The Native American Heritage Association focuses on two of the poorest counties in America, the Pine Ridge and Crow Creek Reservations in South Dakota. The charity also offers support to other indigenous peoples in the area including those in Rosebud, Cheyenne River and Lower Brule.

With the help of donations from people like you, the Native American Heritage Association provides basic life necessities and emergency food supplies to these indigenous communities. Many times, without the donations from Native American Heritage Association, Native American families in these reservations wouldn’t have anything to feed their elders and children.

The Native American Rights Fund

The role of the Native American Rights Fund is to ensure that the US State governments and federal governments live up to their legal obligations. Also, this charity is dedicated to providing legal representation and assistance to trips, individuals, and organizations across the country.

For example, one of the earliest cases that the Native American Rights Fund assisted with resulted in the 1974 Boldt Decision, in which a US district judge ruled that Washington State had to uphold tribal treaty fishing rights.

As you can see, there's no shortage of options for worthy charities helping American Indians across the country. If you feel compelled to give to one of these amazing nonprofits for Giving Tuesday, be sure to use the hashtag #GivingTuesday to inspire those in your network to do the same!

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Linda Tucker

I’ve been hesitant about donating to any Indian school with their history. However, I have been giving to St Labre Indian School for years. I notice they are not on your list. Can you please give me some information about the school? Should I continue giving to them?

Reshma Ali

hi I can hep with good clothes, where can I send.

Shawn Fairbanks

I need help with clothimg and winter jactet. Ig there is anyone that can help me on my new jpurny down the red road that would be great

Emilie R Welch

Are there any organizations like the SWIF that make up Christmas food baskets to donate to Montana Indians?

Sherry Martinez

My name is Sherry Martinez.
I am hoping you can help a new Colorado nonprofit company. Compassionate Colorado and Water Warriors United are 2 beautiful groups who help the Navajo Tribes in the 4 corners area and the South Dakota Tribes.

They need help with…
Food- Beans , Rice, Flour, canned foods
Water-Gallons or 55 Gallon Drums
Medical Supplies- Thermometers, Medications, Walkers, Glasses
Clothing- All sizes, Adults, Kids, Babies.
Diapers- All Sizes, Baby Formula, Wipes
You can also donate cash. Every little bit helps.
I appreciate any advice on who else to ask for help.
Thank you in advance. Have a wonderful day.

Reshma Ali

hi I can hep with good clothes, where can I send.

Charyl Cook

Is it possible to sponsor a specific elder? One that (after the covid-19 bans have been lifted) I could send packages to directly? Or a specific child? I have a small group of Christian ladies that are looking for a charity to sponsor.

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