Indigenous Fellowship Program Form

Information required to apply to the Fellowship Program.

Candidate information

  • First name
  • Last name
  • Email
  • Phone
  • Country of residence
  • Nationality (may be more than one)
  • Which Indigenous group do you belong to?
  • Gender (Female/Male/Prefer not to say)
  • Year of Birth

Application information

Opportunity you apply for (select only one):

  1. Young Indigenous Practitioners
  2. Indigenous Leadership and Networking
  3. Indigenous Capacity
  4. Business Development Fellowship

Date you are available to start :

Evaluate your level in the languages below: (Native/Fluent/Good/Beginner/None)

  • English
  • Spanish
  • French
  • Portuguese

Attach the presentation and motivation file(s) :

Attach 2 reference letters by Indigenous Peoples’ organizations:

How did you hear about this fellowship?


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Business Development Fellowship

For this first round of the Ancestral Seeds Fund, proposals will be received from Indigenous youth entrepreneurs.

For this first round of the Ancestral Seeds Fund, proposals will be received from Indigenous youth entrepreneurs from four different regions of the world: Africa, Asia, South America, and Mesoamerica that have previously participated in programs or projects implemented by USAID implementing partners in the country from they are applying. This information must be verifiable. This sub-program has two components:

1. Indigenous business skills and knowledge

Aimed to strengthen young Indigenous entrepreneurs and Indigenous traditional business management capacities of youth to promote and consolidate their initiatives and generate a greater impact in their communities. This strengthening will be carried out through a coaching for entrepreneurship and business management program.

2. Indigenous accelerating investment

Directed to Indigenous entrepreneurs and businesses, which will contribute to their long-term self-development and Indigenous self-reliance through small seed funds. Each of the selected entrepreneurships will receive USD 3,000, which should be executed within 6 months after receiving the support, according to their Indigenous business plan.

Young Indigenous entrepreneurs between the age of 18 to 30 will be able to apply to this program. The Indigenous entrepreneurs that are interested in applying must be working within the following economic sectors:

  • Forestry and ecosystem services
  • Agricultural, agroforestry or livestock
  • Industrial sector, which may include fabrics, handicrafts, processed agricultural products, among other similar products.
  • Service sector, which may include sustainable tourism, financial services, healthcare, among other similar activities.
  • Technology, education, and communications.
  • Cultural or orange economy.

Indigenous youth entrepreneurs may be part of one or more economic sectors. It is recommended to address several cross-cutting topics such as the ones mentioned in the last section. Each of the selected entrepreneurships will be verified with the USAID operator in whose program or project they have previously participated.

The format to submit your proposal should include the following items:

Proposals can be submitted in different formats (video, pdf document, slide presentation, canvas, among others)

Title of entrepreneurship, country/province/community of implementation, economic sector, and crosscutting topics to which it applies. Including a letter from an Indigenous Peoples’ organization supporting the initiative.

Describe the entrepreneurship and its impact in the community. Please include the number of possible families to be benefited from the proposal.

Describe the internal organization of the entrepreneurship, year of creation, contact information, assets. The proponents should identify their needs for organizational development and other technical needs to strengthen their entrepreneurship.

Explain why this entrepreneurship should be selected. Mention the expected result.

Explain how the accelerating investment is going to be used and how it will contribute to Indigenous self-development and Indigenous self-reliance. Explain when it is going to be executed, including a budget and execution schedule.

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A new generation of Indigenous leaders to promote rights and an alternate vision of development

Expert Degree empowers 44 Indigenous community leaders from Latin America to create and support agendas for change

The FSC Indigenous Foundation (FSC-IF) supported the 16th edition of the Course: Expert Degree in Indigenous Peoples, Human Rights, and International Cooperation for Indigenous leaders in Latin America offered by the Fund for the Development of the Indigenous Peoples of Latin America and the Caribbean (FILAC) through the Universidad Carlos III de Madrid. 

Strong Indigenous leadership is essential for community development. The students who attended the course will become part of a new generation of global leaders who will provide solutions to protect Mother Earth, rooted in their cosmovision, ancestral knowledge, and innovation.

The future of the whole planet depends on the future of Indigenous Peoples. 

The course provided participants with training to assume responsibilities and leadership roles in the design and creation of national public policies to defend and protect Indigenous Peoples’ rights. In addition to leadership and capacity development, the Expert Degree promoted community and knowledge exchange around to the common values among the Indigenous students and awareness of shared challenges. 

Myrna Cunningham, Vice President of the board of FILAC, explained, “we have tried to promote a new intercultural higher education model which combines, in a very respectful way, the knowledge of our Indigenous Peoples with the knowledge of modern science together, and innovate, through a constructive dialogue, solutions to respond to the barriers which keep our peoples oppressed and discriminated against.”  

Francisco Souza, Managing Director of the FSC-IF, emphasized why Indigenous leadership is so important. “Less than 5% of the population of the planet manages almost 50% of the territory. And this 50% of the territory has been extremely effective in protecting Mother Earth. Here we are talking about 70% of the planet’s native forests…Indigenous Peoples are important in proposing solutions to challenges we face in different parts of the planet.” 

Scholarships funded by the Spanish Agency for International Development Cooperation (AECID), the Anne Deruyttere Foundation, the International Labor Organization (ILO), and the FSC Indigenous Foundation allowed 44 students to attend this course, including 25 Indigenous women leaders. The FSC-IF supported nine students from different Indigenous Peoples organizations in Bolivia, Guatemala, and Panama. 

“These topics deepen knowledge related to the human rights of Indigenous Peoples to achieve an alternative vision of more human development,” said Enrique Obaldia Pérez of the Guna People of Panama, one of the students supported by the FSC-IF. 

Listen to him discuss the importance of learning about the colonization of power, of being and knowing, intercultural education, multilingualism, development of identity, racism, and of living well.  

“I will continue to strengthen this knowledge which I consider a way to keep the essence of our true identity as Indigenous Peoples alive,” said Liria Elizabeth Tay Ajquill of the Maya Kaqchikel People of Guatemala, another student supported by the FSC-IF. 

Watch Liria’s video on how knowledge can lead to increased visibility of Indigenous Peoples and societies where collective rights and identity are respected and protected. 

Read more testimonies of previous graduates here.  

At FSC-IF we believe that Indigenous Peoples and their organizations have the capacity and should have access to the right tools and skills to be able to defend their rights, territories and livelihoods and achieve their vision of development. The FSC-IF and its Program the Indigenous Peoples Alliance for Rights and Development (IPARD) work to strengthen the capacities of Indigenous Peoples’ organizations through the development of leadership, planning, management, organizational, technical, and negotiation skills, as well as the capacities of other stakeholders in Indigenous issues.  

Watch the closing ceremony of the 16th edition of the Expert Degree here

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