Project Grants

The CIRI Foundation supports the educational and cultural aspirations of Alaska Natives through various grant programs. Our grants aim to enhance the customs and traditions of Alaska Native people from the Cook Inlet region by supporting projects that promote public appreciation and understanding of our culture.

Grant Opportunities

TCF’s grant programs have awarded more than $4.1 million to support initiatives that benefit Alaska Natives and Alaskans, furthering our cultural preservation and education goals.

Eligibility and Application

Grant opportunities are available for nonprofit organizations that align with TCF’s mission and goals.


Steps to Apply for TCF Grants

  1. Align with Program Goals:
    • Ensure your project supports TCF’s primary goals: education, heritage perpetuation, or Alaska Native arts.
  2. Evaluate Beneficiary Impact:
    • Determine if your project benefits CIRI’s original shareholders, their lineal descendants, or the broader Alaska Native community.
      • CIRI-affiliated? Look at TCF’s Education and Heritage grant programs that give preference to tribal organizations within the Cook Inlet region.
      • Alaska Native without CIRI affiliation? Look at TCF’s A Journey to What Matters: Increased Alaska Native Art & Culture
  3. Review Guidelines:
    • JWM supports projects that involve working with Alaska Native artists to produce tangible artwork.
    • TCF grants support projects that affect and involve Alaska Native shareholders of CIRI and further the foundation’s education and heritage goals. The Lawrence Matson Memorial Endowment Fund makes these grants possible in part.
    • Download and read the application guidelines for detailed program goals and requirements.
  4. Eligible Applicants:
      • Nonprofit organizations classified as a 501(c)(3) public charity (including but not limited to cultural centers and museums)
      • Tribal organizations throughout Alaska
      • Nonprofit or tribal organizations as sponsors of Alaska Native individuals
      • Government educational institutions such as public schools
Education Project Grants

Education Project Grant funding is available to support projects that further the educational goals of The CIRI Foundation. These include but are not limited to the promotion of quality learning and educational experiences for Alaska Native people as outlined:

  • Promote quality of learning and educational experiences for Alaska Natives from the early learning years through adulthood, recognizing the importance of lifelong learning.
  • Examine educational issues and opportunities and to identify possible solutions to eliminate those factors that hinder successful achievement by Alaska Natives in their educational pursuits.
  • Foster educational enrichment programs that improve the quality of life for Alaska Natives.

Heritage Project Grant funding is available to support projects that further the heritage perpetuation goals of TCF. These include but are not limited to support for projects that enhance cultural understanding and appreciation by Alaska Natives and the general public as outlined:

  • Support educational projects, research and development of materials on subjects that enhance the understanding and appreciation by Alaska Natives and the general public about traditional and contemporary Alaska Native history, ethnology, anthropology, philosophy, literature, the arts and other related fields.
  • Promote enrichment programs about the cultural traditions of Alaska Natives of Cook Inlet Region, Inc. and encourage contemporary Alaska Native tradition bearers in pursuit of their works.
  • Foster the identification, preservation, curation and interpretation of traditional and contemporary Alaska Native cultural resource materials of Cook Inlet Region, Inc.
  • Encourage excellence in the development and exhibition of traditional and contemporary Alaska Native art, music, literature and other works for appreciation by the general public.
  • Conduct consultation and cooperation to protect traditional and cultural values ascribed to Alaska Native lands in the Cook Inlet Region, Inc.
  • Promote cooperation and involvement of Alaska Natives within the Cook Inlet Region, Inc. as well as with civic and private organizations to accomplish The Foundation’s heritage goals.
A Journey to What Matters:
Increased Alaska Native Art & Culture Project Grant

To perpetuate and promote the unique artistic and cultural traditions of Alaska Native peoples, The CIRI Foundation has developed the A Journey to What Matters: Increased Alaska Native Art & Culture Grant. Grant funding is available to support projects that affect and/or involve Alaska Native communities and further the following goals of The Foundation:

  • Promote intergenerational transference of knowledge of Alaska Native artistic and cultural practices.
  • Support Alaska Native Artists.
2024 Deadlines: March 1 and August 1
Please Read If You Are A First Time JWM Applicant

If this is your first time applying to The CIRI Foundation’s A Journey to What Matters: Increased Alaska Native Art & Culture grant program, please contact TCF in advance of the deadline to speak with us about your proposed grant project.

We especially encourage applications from rural communities in Alaska. If you need assistance with your grant application, The CIRI Foundation would be happy to walk you through the process of applying. We look forward to hearing from you!

A Journey to What Matters: Increased Alaska Native Art & Culture investments will emphasize making project grant funds available to organizations that meet one or more of the following criteria in addition to the other items required by TCF:

  • Projects based in rural Alaska;
  • New applicants, or applicants with projects that have not previously been funded through the JWM grant program;
  • Projects that focus on promoting or preserving Alaska Native art forms and technologies which have few practicing artists;
  • Projects that include opportunities for emerging artists to work with master artists as apprentices with a goal to increase apprentice skill level.

Applicants with proposed projects that do not fit the noted areas listed above are still welcome to apply. All applicants are encouraged to contact The CIRI Foundation to discuss their proposed projects prior to submitting an application. Please contact Nadia Sethi, A Journey to What Matters Program Director, for more information.

Please note that the Journey to What Matters (JWM) grant program is focused on supporting tangible Alaska Native art traditions. While language acquisition, storytelling, dance and theater arts may be part of a proposed project, JWM grant funds may only be used for expenses associated with tangible arts. If you have questions about whether a proposed project fits within the definition of “tangible” arts, please contact TCF for clarification.

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