Dawn Myrah
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Nike N7 Fund Awards Grants to Native American and Aboriginal Youth Organizations that are Leveraging the Power of Sport to Inspire the Next Generation

– 20 tribal and community organizations awarded grants to get kids moving so they can lead healthier, happier and more successful lives –

Beaverton, Ore. (Nov. 7, 2018) – Nike is proud to announce the latest round of grant recipients for the Nike N7 Fund. As a part of the 2017-2018 N7 Fund grant cycle, Nike is awarding grants to 20 organizations serving Native American and Aboriginal youth across North America. Through this grant cycle, the N7 Fund awarded 15 “Grassroots” grant recipients with a total of $250,000, which included one year project grants for tribal organizations and communities that manage sport and physical activity programs. The fund also provided second-year funding to five “Build the Field” grantees, which are multi-year grants of $50,000 each, for capacity building within Native American non-profit organizations, for a total of $150,000 over three years.

The N7 Fund is Nike’s longtime commitment to bring sport and all its benefits to Native American and Aboriginal communities in North America, with a focus on youth. The N7 Collection supports the N7 Fund to help organizations provide sport and physical activity programming to Native American and Aboriginal communities as a part of Made to Play, Nike’s commitment to getting kids around the world moving so that they can lead healthier, happier and more successful lives. Since 2009, the N7 Fund has awarded $5.6 million in grants to 243 communities and organizations across the U.S. and Canada, reaching more than 420,000 youth. The N7 Fund is administered with the support of the Charities Aid Foundation of America (CAF America).

“At Nike, we believe kids aren’t meant to sit still, they’re made to play. The N7 Fund focuses on helping  Native American and Aboriginal youth get active so they can reach their greatest potential,” said Jorge Casimiro, Nike Vice President of Global Community Impact. “It’s an honor to support organizations that are committed to improving their communities, addressing some of the greatest challenges that these young people face, such as diabetes, obesity, suicide and low graduation rates. By harnessing the power of sport as a unifying force, we believe Native and Aboriginal youth can unleash the power of their generation.”

Grant Recipients Are Committed to Being Forces for Positive Change in Their Communities

Build the Field Grantee – Zuni Youth Enrichment Project – Zuni, N.M.

At the Zuni Youth Enrichment Project (ZYEP), Co-Director Joseph Claunch and his team focus on providing local children and youth with engaging activities, opportunities to build their self-esteem, and positive role models to help them have a brighter future and make positive decisions. According to Claunch, “Most of the work we do is about creating physical activities that will have a transformative impact on youth participants’ lives, so they get all of the benefits of sport – active lifestyle, nutrition and life skills.”

Until now, the organization has been operating out of an old FEMA trailer, but as of this past September they opened a state-of-the-art park and construction is under way for a community center in Zuni’s main village, where they can expand their work and programming year-round to support local youth and families. According to Claunch, “In the past, we’d offer a summer camp and we’d have more youth signing up than we could provide spaces for. Through the Build the Field grant, we were able to build a beautiful new basketball court and we were able to expand our sports leagues. The grant has allowed us to make a huge impact within our community, and we’re so thankful to the N7 Fund for their support.”

Build the Field Grantee – Indigenous Sport, Physical Activity and Recreation Council – British Columbia, Canada

In 2017, the Indigenous Sport, Physical Activity and Recreation Council ( I·SPARC) in British Columbia delivered more than 356 youth sport development camps to 200 Indigenous communities, organizations and schools, impacting more than 11,000 youth across British Columbia. As the fastest-growing population in Canada, Indigenous youth represent the future of many communities. Through sport, physical activity and recreation,  I·SPARC is able to share the benefits of living healthy, active lifestyles to help enhance self-esteem, confidence and life skills that translate into positive life choices. Lara Mussell Savage, the Director of Sport for I·SPARC, says, “I see the power of sport every day. We refer to sport as being good medicine for our communities and our people. It brings life skills and it influences positive choices. It not only improves our physical being, but our spiritual being.”

As a part of the N7 Fund Build the Field grant support, I·SPARC has been able to enhance its programs, particularly for rural and isolated communities within the province. The organization works with each community to develop youth-inspired activities that meet the needs of that particular community. The Osoyoos Indian Band partnered with ISPARC to host an Indigenous Archery Cevelopment Camp that sparked the formation of  their own archery club called the “Twisted Arrows” in 2013. Within the community of just over 500 people, more than 120 kids regularly participate in the archery club. In 2014 and 2017, several of the youth went on to participate in the North American Indigenous Games. According to team coach Sonya Jensen, “The kids really connect to it, because archery is a part of who we are as it’s a traditional practice that we’ve done for thousands of years. The community is blown away by the success that the team has achieved, and they really like that the kids are connecting to our culture in a positive way.”

Grassroots Grantee – Indian Health Council – Valley Center, Calif.

At All Tribes Charter School in Valley Center, Calif., local youth participate in open gym time where they can take part in a variety of sports activities. One of the teachers noticed that the only girl in the group was not participating in the activities at all. Angelina Renteria, with the Indian Health Council, took the opportunity to sit and talk with the girl to see why she didn’t want to join the other kids. The girl explained that she didn’t want to be inactive, she just didn’t want to participate in what was provided because she didn’t feel like she fit in with the boys. At that point, Angelina says, “The light bulb went off and we realized it was a perfect opportunity to fund a variety of activities for students that don’t necessarily fit within one type of movement. So we created a program called ‘F.I.T.S.’ (Fitness in Tribal Schools).”

Through the inspiration of that one student, the Indian Health Council pursued and received support from the N7 Fund to create a summer camp as well as yearlong after-school programming for the All Tribes Charter School. This past July, they kicked off the “F.I.T.S.” program by hosting a summer camp with a variety of activities for the kids. “Many of these kids would have been at home doing nothing as there’s not a lot to do here on the reservation. You don’t see a lot of kids playing outside, especially during the severe heat of the summer,” said Renteria. “Thanks to the camp and the generous support from the N7 Fund, local youth from the Pala and Rincon Indian Reservations had an outlet and something fun to do this summer.”

During the school year, the F.I.T.S. program fills the gaps at the school by providing four days a week of a variety of physical activities and nutrition guidance for the 9th-12th graders at the school. According to Michelle Parada, the All Tribes Charter School principal, “By providing a variety of fun activities, exercise and nutrition education options to our students, the F.I.T.S.  curriculum has elevated our PE program to a new level. Taking what they have learned from the F.I.T.S. activities, we are hopeful that our students will develop into physically active and healthy young adults.”


Nike N7 Fund Awardees

The following organizations received grants from the Nike N7 Fund at CAF America:

Grassroots Grant Recipients
Organization Project Description
Aboriginal Sport and Recreation – New Brunswick, Canada Offer a grassroots Rookie Rugby program that encompasses balance through emotional, spiritual and intellectual involvement for a variety of youth.
Aboriginal Sports Circle of the Northwest Territories – Canada Develop community wellness through sport, recreation and cultural activities for a variety of isolated communities across the Northwest Territories.
American Indian Center, Inc. – Illinois Provide alternative athletic activity during after-school hours and throughout the summer to encourage athletic development and life skills via the Native Chicago Intertribal Athletics Program (NCIAP).
Burns Paiute Tribe – Oregon Offer sports activities in a safe environment to provide healthy alternatives while promoting healthy minds and paths to local youth.
Center Pole – Montana Offer a variety of year-round physical activities that fit the lifestyle, culture, and history of the community to help promote healthy living and lifestyles.
Dene Tha’ First Nation – Alberta, Canada Provide more recreational activities through Play FAIR, a program that encompasses all the physical activities, games and cultural gathering for indigenous youth, helping them develop their basic skills with their needs (physical, emotional, social, mental and spiritual).
Gedakina, Inc. – New England Reinforce a traditional indigenous philosophy through the PathFinders program, which builds capacity among tribal youth by integrating physical fitness, traditional ecological knowledge, leadership and mentoring.
Indian Health Council – California Support the F.I.T.S. (Fitness in Tribal Schools) Program, a collaboration between Indian Health Council and All Tribes American Indian Charter School designed with youth empowerment, health and well-being in mind.
Keres Children’s Learning Center – New Mexico Support the Dancing Earth Creations and Nature Walk programs, which incorporate strenuous and meaningful physical activity into the school day through Pueblo tradition, roots and teachings.
The Muscogee (Creek) Nation – Oklahoma Expand the annual Mvskoke Youth Games to a year-round opportunity to engage 80 youth, ages 12-18, in traditional Mvskoke games to encourage physical activity and sustain the Mvskoke way of life through cultural connections.
Pine Ridge Girls School, Inc. – South Dakota Empower girls through rigorous academic, physical, and wellness curriculum grounded in Lakota culture, history and language.
Spirit North – Edmonton, Canada Increase health and well-being outcomes for indigenous children and youth by increasing the capacity of the current programs; exposing youth to the outdoors; encouraging active collaboration amongst educators, families and community leaders; and encouraging cultural sensitivity and respectful dialogue amongst the community.
Tkemlups te Secwepemc – British Columbia, Canada Develop an entire curriculum for teaching kids leadership, self-esteem and anger-management skills through mountain biking.
Umo N Ho N Nation Public Schools – Nebraska Offer quality after-school care that promotes exercise and athletic agility for emerging athletes to help students have a safe and nurturing environment with quality instruction so they can develop pride in themselves and their school.
White Earth Band of Chippewa Indians – Minnesota Expand existing and establish new basketball leagues within four tribal communities, engaging youth in healthy activities that will build leadership qualities through year-round sports activities.


Build the Field Grant Recipients
Organization Project Description
Inter Tribal Sports, Inc.  – California Unify tribal youth and communities through structured athletic programs while providing necessary resources and strong foundations in Native culture, leadership and wellness.
Zuni Youth Enrichment Project (ZYEP) – New Mexico Enhance the health of Zuni youth through innovative programs that promote a healthy lifestyle and a strong connection to Zuni culture.
Wings of America – New Mexico Influence Native youth and their families by inspiring them through the legacy of Native champions to strengthen their personal values and cultural identity to become mentors for the next generation.
Indigenous Sport Physical Activity and Recreation Partners Council (ISPARC) – British Columbia, Canada Deliver community-based programs designed to support active lifestyles, increase access to sport and physical activity, address the underrepresentation of Indigenous athletes in mainstream sport, and support the desire for transformative change in the health and well-being of Indigenous communities, families and individuals.
Boys and Girls Club of America – United States Enable all young people to reach their full potential as productive, caring, responsible citizens. Work directly with youth living in Indian Country to promote healthy lifestyles with a focus on becoming more physically active, eating well and improving confidence and interpersonal skills.


About Nike Community Impact 

Nike believes in the power of sport to unleash human potential and build community. We fuel this belief through Made to Play, our commitment to getting kids moving through play and sport so they can lead healthier, happier and more successful lives. Together with community partners and our employees around the world, we’re designing innovative solutions to get more than 16 million kids playing, running and jumping their way to a brighter future. Find out more about Nike’s commitment to getting kids moving and providing opportunities for equal playing fields for all at

About CAF America
CAF America is a 501c3 public charity in the United States that assists corporations, foundations and individuals with their international philanthropy. They streamline the grant-making process to eliminate risk and administrative burden, and they help donors support great causes by assisting them in making strategic, effective, and tax-advantaged grants internationally and domestically. In the last five years alone, CAF America and its subsidiary, the CAF American Donor Fund (CADF), have given more than $440 million to charitable organizations in over 100 countries around the world. Nike Inc. has established the Nike N7 Fund at CAF America to help facilitate its grant-making.