PEAK2020 Online Keynote | Building Equity for Native Communities Through Collaboration

At PEAK2019, keynote speaker Edgar Villanueva challenged us to recognize blind spots in philanthropy, and focus our efforts on centering Native peoples in all aspects of philanthropy. But how are foundations actually doing this, and how do grants management processes and data factor in?

The panel examines how grants management processes and data can be used to make funding more accessible to, and focused on, Native communities. In addition to exploring the funding data tied to Native communities, panelists also discuss the transformative journeys of the Bush Foundation and the Calgary Foundation as they’ve pursued inclusivity through internal practice change.

This session was sponsored by the Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust.

Original air date: May 28, 2020

Carly Bad Heart Bull

Executive Director

Native Ways Federation

Carly Bad Heart Bull (Bdewakantunwan Dakota/Muskogee Creek and a citizen of the Flandreau Santee Sioux Tribe in South Dakota) is executive director of the Native Ways Federation (NWF), Inc., an organization uniting nonprofit organizations to better serve and create awareness of American Indian communities across the United States. Previously, she was a Native Nations Activities Manager at the Bush Foundation.

Carly has a background in law, and was an Assistant County Attorney for the Hennepin County Attorney’s Office (Minneapolis, Minnesota) in its child protection division. She also taught the Dakota language to early childhood students in South Minneapolis. She serves as vice chairwoman of the board of local nonprofit and indigenous farm, Dream of Wild Health, and on the board of Native Americans in Philanthropy. In 2018, Carly was named an “Unsung Hero” of Minnesota by local media outlet City Pages for her instrumental work on reclaiming the Dakota name of Minneapolis’ largest lake (formerly Lake Calhoun) to Bde Maka Ska. In 2019, she was selected by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation as a Community Leadership Network Fellow, a program for leaders across the country working to create transformational change toward a more equitable society for all.

Carly, whose legal education focused on civil rights, made the transition from law to philanthropy because “My legal career exposed me to the systemic issues that our communities face from a different perspective. I was working within a system that wasn’t set up to serve our people but was in fact intentionally set up to disenfranchise us.” Yet her legal education was vital to her work in the nonprofit sector. “The experience taught me how to speak a new language—the language of law and how to navigate systems of power. I learned how to be an interpreter of sorts.”

Tim Fox

​Vice President of Indigenous Relations

Calgary Foundation

Tim Fox works to strengthen and enhance the Calgary Foundation’s culture and practice while incorporating the work of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, both internally and in the broader community. Tim is a proud member of the Blackfoot confederacy from the Blood (Kainai) reserve, comes from the nonprofit children and youth sector, and has been fortunate to build strong connections within the urban Indigenous community.

​Jen Bokoff

Director of Stakeholder Engagement


Jen Bokoff is the director of stakeholder engagement at Candid (formerly Foundation Center + GuideStar). She develops partnerships, projects, and insights power the work of the philanthropic sector. She likes asking “so what?” to push Candid’s data-driven work to be as valuable and actionable as it can be. She also runs GrantCraft, a free service that taps the practical wisdom of funders to improve the collective knowledge of the philanthropy field. In her role, Jen regularly speaks at conferences and facilitates workshops, and connects people to resources, ideas, and one another. Previously, she has enjoyed giving money in her work at a private foundation, taking money in her work for the IRS, and budgeting money in her work as a client advocate. A graduate of Tufts University, Jen studied community health and sociology and spent two years involved in the Learning by Giving philanthropy program. She serves on the Alumni Council’s executive committee and also serves on an advisory committee for The Moth’s education programs. In her spare time, she is an amateur comedic improviser, CrossFitter, and second base woman on Foundation Center’s winning-in-spirit softball team. Jen is a firm believer that innovation and change happen only when passionate people across different industries collaborate; being a strong connector enables this growth in local communities and throughout the world.

Principles for Peak Grantmaking

Drive Equity - Build grantmaking practices and policies that minimize bias and support decisions that promote justice, inclusion, and equity.


Grants Management Professional Competency Model

Cross-Cutting Competencies

  • Communications: Listen to others and communicate effectively.
  • Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion: Promote diversity, equity, and inclusion in grantmaking practices.
  • Process and Change Management: Plan and monitor processes efficiently and effectively and manage change as needed to contribute to grantmaker's strategic goals and grantee's success.

  • Registration Closed


Impact Report: Strengthening Relationships with Indigenous Communities (Calgary Foundation)
Video: Land Acknowledgement (Calgary Foundation) You must register to access.
Native Philanthropy (Candid)
Investing in Indian Country: Bush Foundation Evaluates Its Data (Candid)
Native Nations Investment Report (Bush Foundation)