American Indian Family Empowerment Program

AIFEP creates pathways for American Indians to reach their goals, on their own terms, through microgrants. We value reciprocity in all of our relationships and we support AIFEP recipients in growing their knowledge, resources, opportunities, and networks to achieve their goals. In kinship, AIFEP recipients share their stories with us and encourage their communities to pursue their dreams. Together, AIFEP is transformative and impactful, creating change sustained for our future generations.


Since 1993, AIFEP has supported generations of American Indian people — in the skills, resources, cultural strengths that we possess. These gifts allow recipients to contribute to the cultural and social wellbeing of our community. Since its inception, AIFEP has given more than $3.5 million in grants to more than 2,000 individuals in pursuit of professional, educational, and cultural opportunities. Grants range from $500 to $2,500.


  • Education

    • Earn your college degree, certificate, vocational training, or GED
    • College entrance exams
    • Tuition, textbooks and transportation
  • Health and Wellness

    • Improve physical and mental health initiatives
    • Promote healthy food systems
    • Reclaim traditional tobacco instead commercial tobacco
    • Reclaim knowledge of traditional plants and medicines
    • Work with initiatives to heal from trauma
    • Learn about health and wellness practices to build a healthy community
  • Culture and Language

    • Revitalize Native American languages (including classes, conferences and workshops)
    • Develop curriculum
    • Learn from an elder (or elders) to preserve Native culture
    • Develop kinship ties (learn from family, elders and community members)
    • Work on Native art and crafts initiatives
    • Work on cultural projects such as traditional games, lacrosse, and traditional storytelling.
  • Economic Independence

    • Expenses related to employment
    • Entrepreneurial opportunities
    • Home ownership
    • Housing

You can apply if you…

  • Are 18 years old. Adults cannot apply on behalf of a minor.
  • Can trace tribal lineage to a federal or state-recognized tribe and provide proof of tribal lineage. This includes First Nations tribal members and descendants from Canada residing in Minnesota.
    • This could include, but not limited to, a copy of tribal identification or enrollment, or any other verification/explanation of enrollment or status as a descendant. Please reach out to us with any questions.
  • Reside in the seven-county metropolitan area of Minnesota: Anoka, Carver, Dakota, Hennepin, Scott, Ramsey, and Washington counties.
  • Include supporting documents (i.e., tuition, prices/quotes of materials)