American Indian Family Empowerment Program

The American Indian Family Empowerment Program (AIFEP) is a grant-making project of 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, AIFEP 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 given more than $3 million in grants to nearly 1,500 individuals in pursuit of professional, educational, and cultural opportunities. Grants range from $500 to $2,500.

Areas of Interest

  • 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 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 opportunities
    • Entrepreneurial opportunities
    • Home ownership
    • Housing





Here is an informational video about the application process:

For questions, please email [email protected]


  • Applicant must be able to trace tribal lineage to a federal or state-recognized tribe and provide proof of tribal lineage – 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 feel free to inquire with our Program Manager with any questions.
  • Applicant must reside in the seven-county metropolitan area of Minnesota: Anoka, Carver, Dakota, Hennepin, Scott, Ramsey, and Washington counties.’
  • The applicant must be 18 years of age. Adults cannot apply on a minor’s behalf.
  • Applicants are required to share supporting documents showing purchase estimates.