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Announcing the Bush Foundation’s partnership with the Good Relatives Collaborative

(April 19, 2022, ST. PAUL, MINN) — The Bush Foundation is committed to sharing power in our grantmaking by providing grants through community-rooted partners. Today, we are excited to announce that the Good Relatives Collaborative is our newest partner. They will design and operate a community-based grant program serving the Native nations and communities across our region.

The Good Relatives Collaborative — made up of Sacred Pipe Resource Center (ND), Black Hills Community Loan Fund (SD), Four Bands Community Fund (SD) and the Minnesota Indigenous Business Alliance (MN) — will work closely with their community to design the grant program and to make grant decisions. The program will reflect the purpose of the Bush Foundation’s Community Innovation program: to develop, test and spread ideas that make the region better for everyone and to inspire, equip and connect leaders to more effectively lead equitable change.

“The Good Relatives Collaborative was selected because of their deep connections to the communities and people they serve. Their strong leadership and reach across the region is outstanding,” said Bush Foundation Grantmaking Director Eileen Briggs. “Though the Collaborative is made of four unique organizations, they are poised to work well together. They share a vision of meeting community where they’re at and see themselves as thought partners with community instead of just grant makers."

The Good Relatives Collaborative brings a unique approach to this work. “Our vision for the grant program centers on two concepts: supporting community and healing,” said Cheryl Ann Kary, executive director of the Sacred Pipe Resource Center, based in Mandan, North Dakota. “We want people to think about grants differently. We want to create a grant program that reflects our own tribal traditions, a program that helps our community care for each other, rather than compete with one another. When people are considering applying for a grant, we want them to ask themselves: Who can I partner with? Who can I bring to the table who will help me do this work? And, how will this project help our community heal?”

“We also know that in our communities, there are thinkers and doers who aren’t necessarily writers, or who aren’t familiar with the technical aspects of grant management,” Kary continued. “We plan to offer resources and support to make sure that great ideas don’t get lost just because someone is not an expert in the logistical details.”

Organizations will be able to apply for grants from the Good Relatives Collaborative when the program opens later this year. Progress will be shared at as the program is developed, and will also be announced locally via each partner organization.

To reach the partner organizations directly, please contact:

Sacred Pipe Resource Center (ND): Cheryl Ann Kary,

Black Hills Community Loan Fund (SD): Barbara Schmitt,

Four Bands Community Fund (SD): Lakota Vogel,

Minnesota Indigenous Business Alliance (MN): Pamela Standing,

The Good Relatives Collaborative joins the Bush Foundation’s other community grant partners, Headwaters Foundation for Justice, South Dakota Community Foundation and Strengthen ND. These partner organizations will all open their grant programs for applications later this year. If you are looking for an open grant program immediately, consider applying for a Community Innovation grant from the Bush Foundation.


Cheryl Ann Kary


About the Bush Foundation

The Bush Foundation invests in great ideas and the people who power them in Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota and the 23 Native nations that share the same geography. Established in 1953 by 3M Executive Archibald Bush and his wife Edyth, the Foundation supports organizations and people to think bigger and think differently about what is possible in their communities. We work to inspire and support creative problem solving — within and across sectors — to make our region better for everyone. For more information, visit

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