Family Empowerment Program

The Family Empowerment Program is a grant-making project of the Tiwahe Foundation, which awards grants to individuals working to be of service to their community, connected to their culture, and to have their potential realized.

About the Grant

Throughout its history, this program has invested in human capital — in the skills, resources, and cultural strengths that American Indian families and individuals possess that allow them to contribute to the cultural and social wellbeing of their community. Since its inception, the Family Empowerment Program has made nearly 800 grants totaling more than $1.4 million to grantees, supporting an individual or family in pursuit of professional, educational, or cultural opportunities. Grants range from $500 to $2,500. 



  • Expenses related to college degrees, certificates, vocational training, GED, and college entrance exams


  • Employment, business, entrepreneurial opportunities and home ownership


  • Expenses related to improving physical and mental health initiatives
  • Asset-based learning or business model development related to building healthy community
  • Work in promoting healthy food systems
  • Work promoting in traditional tobacco vs. commercial tobacco
  • Work in (trauma) healing


  • Learning Native languages (speaking and understanding)
  • Developing kinship ties (learning from family, elders and community members)
  • Learning traditional and cultural practices

Application Deadlines

For questions and submissions, please email Download the PDF grant application


Winter Deadline

Feb 8

spring deadline

May 30

Summer Deadline


Fall Deadline



  • The applicant must be 18 years of age. Adults cannot apply on a minor’s behalf.
  • Applicant must be a member of a federally or state-recognized tribe, and must provide proof of tribal lineage – this includes a copy of tribal identification, enrollment or lineage documentation.
  • Applicant using a parent’s enrollment documentation must submit a copy of birth certificate verifying the relationship between parent & applicant.
  • Applicant must reside in the seven-county metropolitan area of minnesota: anoka, carver, dakota, hennepin, scott, ramsey, and washington counties.
  • Previously funded applicants who do not submit a final report are ineligible.
  • Applicants applying under the education impact area must include a financial needs statement.
  • Computer or similar technology requests must include supporting documents showing purchase estimates.