Non-profit

IllumiNative

Website:

illuminatives.org/

Location:

Tulsa, OK

Project of:

New Venture Fund

President:

Crystal Echo Hawk

Formation:

2016

IllumiNative is a left-of-center Native American advocacy organization that is fiscally sponsored by the New Venture Fund (NVF), a left-of-center grantmaking organization in the Arabella Advisors network of liberal “dark money” organizations. [1] IllumiNative was founded by Crystal Echo Hawk following the two-year, $3.3 million Reclaiming Native Truth (RNT) survey, which was funded in part by a $2.5 million grant from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation in 2016. [2] [3] [4]

IllumiNative is involved in left-of-center activism, including advocating for the replacement of Columbus Day with “Indigenous Peoples’ Day,”[5] supporting anti-oil-pipeline activism,[6] producing “Indigenous Peoples’ Day” lesson plans with the left-leaning Amplifier Foundation,[7] and sponsoring petitions to change the names of professional sports teams. [8]

IllumiNative received $1.2 million in grants from the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation in 2020, and has received  over $1.1 million in grants from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, through the New Venture Fund since 2018. [9] [10] [11]

History and Leadership

Crystal Echo Hawk is the president and CEO of IllumiNative. IllumiNative was founded in conjunction with the completion of the two-year, $3.3 million Reclaiming Native Truth (RNT) survey, which was funded in part by a $2.5 million grant from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation in 2016. [12] [13] [14] Crystal Echo Hawk’s consultancy firm, Echo Hawk Consulting, was one of the organizations in charge of implementing the RNT survey. [15]

IllumiNative is involved in left-of-center activism, which includes advocating for the replacement of Columbus Day with “Indigenous Peoples’ Day,”[16] supporting anti-pipeline activism,[17] producing “Indigenous Peoples’ Day” lesson plans with the left-leaning Amplifier Foundation,[18] and sponsoring petitions to change the names of professional sports teams deemed offensive to Native Americans. [19]

In its Super Bowl LV talking points document, IllumiNative claimed that the use of Native American mascots by those “in power” is designed to “manipulate the masses to advance heinous goals that ensure their dominance over others at any cost,” comparing the use of Native American mascots to what “slave owners did to African Americans” and what “Nazis did to Jewish people.” [20]

IllumiNative also led the production of the 2020 Indigenous Futures Survey, alongside the left-of-center Center for Native American Youth and the Native Organizers Alliance. [21] This project researched the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic in Native American communities and received support from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, and Casey Family Programs. [22]

IllumiNative’s organizational structure includes an advisory board and an advisory council. Nick Tilsen, leader of the left-wing NDN Collective is on the council, as well as representatives from the Sundance InstitutePeople’s Action, and the Native Organizers Alliance. [23]

IllumiNative CEO Crystal Echo Hawk was selected as a 2020 Ford Foundation Global Fellow and has participated in activist speaking roles, including the American Indian College Fund’s “Indigenous Activism Speaker Series” in 2020. [24] [25]  She is also board member of the far-left NDN Collective, an agitation organization that protests the development of conventional energy projects. [26]

Activities and Funding

IllumiNative received $1.2 million in grants from the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation in 2020 and has received over $1.1 million in grants from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, through NVF since 2018. [27] [28] [29] Those donations include $620,000 in 2020 and $500,000 in 2018 to fund two-year media and journalism grants. [30] The MacArthur Foundation donated $250,000 and allocated an additional $250,000 for IllumiNative in 2019 as well. [31] The Novo Foundation donated $250,000 to the Tides Foundation to be allocated to IllumiNative. [32]

As a part of the “Reclaiming Native Truth Project,” Illuminatives worked with the left-of-center First Nations Development Institute to produce a report reporting on the impact of the anti-pipeline Dakota Access activism. [33] Illuminative’s Reclaiming Native Truth project presented its program at the National Congress of American Indians’ 13th Annual Tribal Leader/Scholar Forum, alongside presentations about the Native American vote and census data. [34]

At the presdentation, Illuminative claimed support from other left-of-center organizations, including the McKnight Foundation, Comcast NBCUniversal, the Northwest Area Foundation, and the First Peoples Fund, alongside several native American tribal organizations. [35]

Education Advocacy

IllumiNative works with the National Congress of American Indians, the National Indian Education Association, the National Education Association (NEA), and the WEND Collective at the state level advocating for a mandate that a Native American education curriculum be taught in public schools. [36]

The California Arts Council, a state-run agency, also promotes IllumiNative’s education toolkits on its website. [37]

IllumiNative has four partners listed on its website. These include Buffalo Nickel Creative, a marketing agency; the Norman Lear Center, named for left-wing activist Norman Lear; True North Media, a nonprofit media organization; and Harness, a left-of-center community action organization founded by actress America Ferrera. [38]

References

  1. “Donate to Illuminative,” Illuminatives.org. Accessed February 20, 2021. https://illuminatives.org/donate/. ^
  2. “Reclaiming Native Truth.” IllumiNatives.org. Accessed February 20, 2021. https://illuminatives.org/reclaiming-native-truth/. ^
  3. About IllumiNative. Illuminative Website. Accessed February 20, 2021. https://illuminatives.org/about-us/. ^
  4. WKKF Awards $2.5 Million to Transform Image of Native Americans. PND by Candid. August 31, 2016. https://philanthropynewsdigest.org/news/wkkf-awards-2.5-million-to-transform-image-of-native-americans. ^
  5. “Indigenous Peoples Day 2020,” Illuminatives.org. Accessed February 20, 2021. https://illuminatives.org/indigenouspeoplesday2020/. ^
  6. “Lessons Learned from Standing Rock.” Reclaiming Native Truth. July 2018 report. https://www.firstnations.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/12/Compressed-Standing-Rock-Report-Screen.pdf. ^
  7. Tero, Nia. “Indigenous Peoples’ Day Lesson Plan” Remote Learning. Accessed via Web Archive. February 20, 2021. http://web.archive.org/web/20210221035023/https://illuminatives.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/Indigenous-Peoples-Day-Lesson-Plan-2020.pdf?x18008. ^
  8. “Change the Name and Imagery of the Kansas City Chiefs football team.” The Action Network. Accessed February 20, 2021. https://actionnetwork.org/petitions/change-the-name-and-imagery-of-the-kansas-city-chiefs-football-team?source=direct_link&referrer=group-not-in-our-honor. ^
  9. “New Venture Fund.” MacArthur Foundation. https://www.macfound.org/grantee/new-venture-fund-43535/. ^
  10. “DDCF awards $4.5 million for Native American communities across the United States.” Philanthropy News Digest. July 9, 2020. https://philanthropynewsdigest.org/news/ddcf-awards-4.5-million-for-native-communities-across-united-states. ^
  11. “DDCF Announces $1.1 Million Grant to IllumiNative.” Doris Duke Charitable Foundation. November 24, 2020. https://www.ddcf.org/globalassets/child-well-being/press-releases/illuminative-grant-announcement.pdf?id=6751. ^
  12. “Reclaiming Native Truth.” IllumiNatives.org. Accessed February 20, 2021. https://illuminatives.org/reclaiming-native-truth/. ^
  13. About IllumiNative. Illuminative Website. Accessed February 20, 2021. https://illuminatives.org/about-us/. ^
  14. WKKF Awards $2.5 Million to Transform Image of Native Americans. PND by Candid. August 31, 2016. https://philanthropynewsdigest.org/news/wkkf-awards-2.5-million-to-transform-image-of-native-americans. ^
  15. “Crystal Echo Hawk.” Netroots Nation Speaker Profile. Accessed February 21, 2021. https://www.netrootsnation.org/profile/crystalechohawkconsulting-com/. ^
  16. “Indigenous Peoples Day 2020,” Illuminatives.org. Accessed February 20, 2021. https://illuminatives.org/indigenouspeoplesday2020/. ^
  17. “Lessons Learned from Standing Rock.” Reclaiming Native Truth. July 2018 report. https://www.firstnations.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/12/Compressed-Standing-Rock-Report-Screen.pdf. ^
  18. Tero, Nia. “Indigenous Peoples’ Day Lesson Plan” Remote Learning. Accessed via Web Archive. February 20, 2021. http://web.archive.org/web/20210221035023/https://illuminatives.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/Indigenous-Peoples-Day-Lesson-Plan-2020.pdf?x18008. ^
  19. “Change the Name and Imagery of the Kansas City Chiefs football team.” The Action Network. Accessed February 20, 2021. https://actionnetwork.org/petitions/change-the-name-and-imagery-of-the-kansas-city-chiefs-football-team?source=direct_link&referrer=group-not-in-our-honor. ^
  20. “IllumiNative & Not in Our Honor. Super Bowl LV Change the Name Social Media Toolkit.” IllumiNative. 2021. https://illuminatives.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/Super-Bowl-LV-Social-Media-Kit.pdf?x18008. ^
  21. “From Protests, to the Ballot Box, and Beyond: Building Indigenous Power.” Indigenous Futures Project Report. Accessed via Web Archive. January 1, 2021. http://web.archive.org/web/20210101035358/http://indigenousfutures.illuminatives.org/wp-content/uploads/Indigenous_Futures_Survey_Report.pdf. ^
  22. “Impact of COVID-19 on Indigenous People.” Indigenous Futures Project. 2020. Accessed February 21, 2021. http://indigenousfutures.illuminatives.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/Illuminative_COVID_report_FINAL_1.pdf. ^
  23. “Our Network.” IllumiNative. Accessed February 21, 2021. https://illuminatives.org/our-network/. ^
  24. “Crystal Echo Hawk.” The Ford Global Fellowship. Accessed February 21, 2021. https://www.fordfoundation.org/work/investing-in-individuals/the-ford-global-fellowship/?popup=13991. ^
  25. “Native American Heritage Month – Educational Resources.” American Indian College Fund. https://collegefund.org/?s=illuminative. ^
  26. “NDN Collective Board of Directors.” NDN Collective. Accessed February 20, 2021. https://ndncollective.org/people/crystal-echo-hawk/. ^
  27. “DDCF awards $4.5 million for Native American communities across the United States.” Philanthropy News Digest. July 9, 2020. https://philanthropynewsdigest.org/news/ddcf-awards-4.5-million-for-native-communities-across-united-states. ^
  28. “DDCF Announces $1.1 Million Grant to IllumiNative.” Doris Duke Charitable Foundation. November 24, 2020. https://www.ddcf.org/globalassets/child-well-being/press-releases/illuminative-grant-announcement.pdf?id=6751. ^
  29. “New Venture Fund.” MacArthur Foundation. https://www.macfound.org/grantee/new-venture-fund-43535/. ^
  30. “New Venture Fund.” MacArthur Foundation. https://www.macfound.org/grantee/new-venture-fund-43535/. ^
  31. John D. and Katherine T. MacArthur Foundation, Return of a Private Foundation (Form 990-PF), 2018. https://www.macfound.org/media/files/mf_-_2018_990-pf_complete_version.pdf. ^
  32. NoVo Foundation, Return of a Private Foundation (Form990-PF), 2018. https://projects.propublica.org/nonprofits/display_990/470824753/02_2020_prefixes_47-47%2F470824753_201812_990PF_2020021817158474?__cf_chl_jschl_tk__=4d2db1b5d4e928cfd28c9efb72a8a83f51edf652-1613918859-0-ARjmGz2NriL_JOgr0EV3tyFw7rBRmnTPaamr-6Miaw_m5SrkAjY8NOV3nYjh8kraNcte2zPZcGLS7XD17h0q5zBO5mCOIzy_bwB6ptYaaYq8ti3NezWfUZBJ5f2G0Wl_SlPztteixKB41LfSkJb-4QwwaWpSXl7L5xk-MGUPW2qHFdHfRxYt48FvDKyPTTkIAiHVByL620FxyxdXIoKetIbBZiPP9lL6vm7cGOkMLTshB_mei0U7zqZnnXGkpjsqtYS3OiejGBlVi24XEESv5lhcqe1w_UAI8wKDBg1UKxwTXKxKQ3ScTnhEUA05PL0lLKiHPvSt_Rt5NGzp_JWdPzYmtucmbDzMQpkAJMGa6iaJmjsHlQUS6DuARLICbbiPQ9jEQOsYuVKtAyeS-TMF_wk3NQVR5EPJFHJo9gtqpgVX2aXlaXeNxAaZg-ft3tQ2OZWIAANbEsp6mzE1ON-a6ZEOTSThJPWiXrkHzFKxwtUbb3gnbCxaafWEtuLldYt4PA. ^
  33. “Lessons Learned from Standing Rock.” Reclaiming Native Truth Report. July 2018. https://www.firstnations.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/12/Compressed-Standing-Rock-Report-Screen.pdf. ^
  34. “Making a Difference.” 2017-2018 Annual Report. National Congress of American Indians. Pg. 41. https://www.ncai.org/resources/ncai-publications/ncai-annual-reports/2017_2018_NCAI_Annual_Report.pdf. ^
  35. “Reclaiming Native Truth.” Illuminatives.org. Accessed February 21, 2021. https://illuminatives.org/reclaiming-native-truth/. ^
  36. “Becoming Visible. A Landscape Analysis of State Efforts to Provide Native American Education for All.” National Congress of American Indians. Washington, D.C. September 2019. https://illuminatives.org/wp-content/uploads/NCAI-BecomingVisibleReport-Digital.pdf. ^
  37. “IllumiNative Toolkits.” California Arts Council, A State Agency. Accessed February 21, 2021. https://arts.ca.gov/researchpage/illuminative-toolkits/. ^
  38. “Our Network.” IllumiNatives. Accessed February 21, 2021. https://illuminatives.org/our-network/. ^

Child Organizations

  1. Natives Vote (Non-profit)
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IllumiNative


Tulsa, OK