American Indian Family Empowerment Program

The American Indian Family Empowerment Program (AIFEP) 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, 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, or cultural opportunities. Grants range from $500 to $2,500.

Areas of Interest

  • Education

    • Expenses related to college degrees, certificates, vocational training, GED, and college entrance exams
    • This may include but is not limited to: tuition, textbooks, transportation and housing.
  • Health and Wellness

    • Expenses related to improving physical and mental health initiatives
    • Work in promoting healthy food systems
    • Work promoting in traditional tobacco vs. commercial tobacco
    • work in gathering traditional plants and medicines
    • Work in (trauma) healing
    • work in learning about health and wellness practices to share with others and build a healthy community
  • Economic Independence

    • Expenses related to employment and business
    • Entrepreneurial opportunities
    • Home ownership
    • Housing
  • Culture and Language

    • Initiatives to learn Native languages (including classes, conferences and workshops)
    • Curriculum development
    • Working with an elder to learn and preserve Native culture
    • Native art and crafts initiatives
    • Developing kinship ties (learning from family, elders and community members)
    • Cultural projects such as facilitating traditional games, lacrosse, and storytelling events.





Here is an informational video about the application process:

For questions, please email [email protected]

Application Deadlines


  • 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.