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Incorporated in 2016, the Soul of Nations Foundation (SONF) is a for-purpose organization that aims to uplift Indigenous peoples through various forms of media, innovative strategy, and youth-led initiatives. The Soul of Nations Foundation is headquartered in Washington, D.C; has a seasonal field office in Tucson, Arizona; and international branches in Genova, Italy, and Kigali, Rwanda.
Our mission is to progress Indigenous youth and communities through the arts, research, and scholarship. We are continuing to meet this goal by providing domestic and international programming for young Indigenous leaders in the fields of visual art, policy research, and academic scholarship; remaining a safe space for creative thought through boundary-pushing youth-led strategies; expanding our platform for free expression by pioneering futuristic and experimental initiatives; and galvanizing a powerful network of talented and multifaceted leaders to create a longstanding impact in our world. 
We envision a world where all Indigenous communities and people of color are respected as contemporary societies and have greater access to equal opportunities in the social, creative, academic, and economic sectors.
In 2020, the Soul of Nations Foundation team began to revision a more inclusive definition for the term “Indigenous” that our international constituency would better identify with. Thanks to a report produced by the International Fund for Indigenous Peoples and the Samdhana Institute, the Soul of Nations Foundation team was able to formulate the following definition which coincides with our organizational values:
Indigenous communities, peoples, and nations are those which, having a historical continuity with pre-invasion and pre-colonial societies that developed on their territories, consider themselves distinct from other sectors of the societies now prevailing on those territories, or parts of them. They form at present dominant and non-dominant sectors of society and are determined to preserve, develop and transmit to future generations their ancestral territories, and their ethnic identity, as the basis of their continued existence as peoples, in accordance with their own cultural patterns, social institutions, and legal system.
The Soul of Nations Foundation has a four-year track record of successful programming in three continents for lower- and middle-income Tribal communities. Our level of organizational expertise for positive youth development was enhanced by partnerships with Tribal and non-Tribal governments, policy-making and opinion leaders, academic research institutions, artists, architects, activities, and like-minded grassroots organizations; all of which are key influences on enhancing social change and authenticating community voices.
We are guided by the Jemez Principles of Democratic Organizing and strive to become advocates for the implementation of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous people while bringing balance to the perspective provided on the international stage.
When the Soul of Nations Foundation first entered into the world of philanthropy, the majority of our programmatic work was place-based in a small town called Gallup, New Mexico, which is positioned just outside of the Navajo Nation. Through the launch of the Indigenous Art Expansion Initiative and the International Policy Network Initiative, the Soul of Nations Foundation was able to fulfill its mission far beyond the reservation lands of the American Southwest. Now, Soul of Nations is able to expand it’s level of programmatic outreach both domestically and abroad.
Through the launch of the Indigenous Art Expansion Initiative and the International Policy Network Initiative, the Soul of Nations Foundation was able to fulfill its mission far beyond the reservation lands of the American Southwest.  As a result of the Indigenous Art Expansion Initiative, Soul of Nations was able to open two new field offices, open an international base in Europe, and increase unconventional domestic and international art programming by attendance by 70 percent by introducing Soul Center for the Art, Indigenous International, the Native Collegiate Artist Residency, the Congressional Exhibition Project, and the Indigenous Dream Scholarship.
The goal of the Indigenous Art Expansion initiative is to provide Native American youth and disadvantaged communities with greater access to contemporary art and arts education. Through implementing systemic and organizational change, the Indigenous Art Expansion initiative will increase the Soul of Nations Foundation’s level of impact, both regionally and internationally. This work will help Soul of Nations to continue achieving its mission and build longterm organizational sustainability. Having the proper resources through this transformative walk is vital for the Soul of Nations Foundation’s health and growth. Through this transformation, the Soul of Nations Foundation has been more equipped to become a key influencer in the field of Indigenous Contemporary Art and has provided better access to arts education. 
The International Policy Network Initiative was introduced in 2020 and aims to lead the development of public policy and guided strategic implementation to benefit Indigenous nations within the Americas and around the world. The initiative will be implemented through the Institute for Indigenous Progressive Policy, which is a think tank operated through the Soul of Nations Foundation. The Institute for Indigenous Progressive Policy will provide a platform for young Indigenous voices to lead as a catalyst for conscious thought, inclusive discourse, and policy reform to impact Indigenous nations and communities through youth-led research initiatives throughout the Americas and Africa, while also focusing on similar issues that Indigenous communities face in parts of Australia and Northern Europe to promote cross-cultural organizing.
The Soul of Nations Foundation team is highly qualified and eager to continue helping Indigenous communities reclaim agency through arts, research, and scholarship. Together we can be the voice!
Ernest Christoph Hill, Executive Director ernest@soulofnations.org
Lisa Napper, Assistant Director lisa@soulofnations.org
Darnelle Casimir, Operations Manager darnelle@soulofations.org
Ruth Nsiah, Gallery Assistant – Italy Office ruth@soulofnations.org
Felicia Begay, Grants Manager support@soulofnations.org
During the site visit, MASS  Design Group gave a presentation to the Rwandan participants explaining the design phases of the site at RICA. MASS also gave the participants a tour of the site while explaining the day-to-day operations and their vision for the future.
MASS Design Group is serving as a project partner for the Soul of Nations Foundation’s Indigenous International: Green Architecture Project in Rwanda. Through this partnership, MASS will lead workshops, provide design and materials support, and lead site visits for our project participants in Rwanda.
Words from our Executive Director, Ernest Christoph Hill: “Your silence is your complicity. Across the globe, people of color who now live in western or colonial society fear for their lives daily. In America, the issues of racial murder, violence, and tension have taken center stage — yet again.”
“This piece is not for you. This is an unapologetic grasp for identity.” So begins a new multimedia artistic work born out of an international exchange program called Digital Natives, which brought together a group of young Indigenous artists from the Americas and Africa (by way of  Belgium).
Rwandan participants from the Indigenous International: Green Architecture Project had the opportunity to engage in the first workshop held by MASS Design Group at the Rwanda Art Museum. During the workshop, the participants explored culture, home, and stability through various forms of artistic media, technology, and design.
The Institute of National Museums of Rwanda explores the development of art from olden times to the modern-day and considers how traditional and modern imaginations can blend and fuse. The Rwanda Art Museum director, Vivaldi Ngenzi, and curatorial staff are committed to program partners for the Indigenous International: Green Architecture Project in Rwanda.
Landscapes From Within is the representation of how the territory and traditions suffocate the identity of the populations that are part of it when viewed through the lens of being indigenous, the right to sovereignty, and the current living conditions in Turtle Island. Turtle Island is the territory better known today as North America, which as known was “frequented” by Christopher Columbus.
Landscapes From Within is the representation of how the territory and traditions suffocate the identity of the populations that are part of it when viewed through the lens of being indigenous, the right to sovereignty, and the current living conditions in Turtle Island. Turtle Island is the territory better known today as North America, which as known was “frequented” by Christopher Columbus.
Every quarter we like to shine a spotlight on some of the exciting work and grassroots efforts of our past youth program attendees. See what our Indigenous Youth Network is up to! 
The Indigenous International: Green Architecture Project in Rwanda presents the opportunity for young Indigenous female artists/architects from the Americas to connect with young Rwandan female artists/architects living in Kigali through a two-week exchange that has virtual and in-person components. The exchange is facilitated through a research residency that will result in one collaborative online and physical exhibition to be open to the public
The Congressional Exhibition Project is an initiative created to display young and emerging Native American contemporary artists in honor of November’s Native American Heritage Month
In partnership with New York University Tisch School of the Arts, the Native Collegiate Artist Residency is a seven-day project held exclusively for Indigenous high school students ages 15-18 who are interested in furthering their education and careers in fields related to: photography and imaging, film and television, creative writing, or interactive media arts.
Students attending accredited undergraduate and graduate university programs are encouraged to apply for the Indigenous Dream Scholarship. Sub-awards are given students, ages of 15-35, majoring in fields related to business, visual art, health services, and law.
The Institute for Indigenous Progressive Policy is a think tank, operated through the Soul of Nations Foundation, that will provide a platform for young Indigenous voices to lead as a catalyst for conscious thought, inclusive discourse, and policy reform to impact Indigenous nations and communities through youth-led research initiatives that focus on human rights, governance, and environmentalism.
The Indigenous International: Digital Natives Project in Belgium is built around an artistic reflection on the accessibility to technology and the representation of minorities historically — and today — online, explored through the prism of multiculturalism and cultural heritage. Ten Native American students and ten afro-Belgian students from underrepresented communities participate in a seven-month exchange in the United States and in Brussels, Belgium. 
Soul Center for the Arts is an art gallery dedicated to exhibiting Indigenous contemporary works and life. This center also facilitates workshops to encourage international art programming for emerging Indigenous artists native to the Western hemisphere.
The Soul of Nations Magazine Creative Writing Program is a pilot initiative, launching in Winter 2020, which is designed to keep young creatives inspired during uncertain times. Creative writers will be invited to submitted articles to the Soul of Nations Magazine’s online and print publication.

Soul of Nations Foundation, Inc.

Email: info@soulofnations.org              

Phone: +1 202.643.2164

© 2020  Soul of Nations Inc.

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