Priority communities

Throughout U.S. history, Indigenous peoples have persevered through systemic oppression, racism, and economic injustice. What’s more, Native Americans in Philanthropy reports that Native communities continue to be the most under-invested in the United States, receiving less than half a percent of all private philanthropic funding.

Better Way Foundation is honored to partner with Native American leaders and communities to fulfill their vision for high-quality, community-driven, culturally rooted early childhood learning and development. The strength and creativity of the solutions our partners share inspire us and we prioritize allocating resources across Indian Country to support their efforts to restore languages and cultures and help children and families thrive.

Our Work in Indian Country


  • 2014

    We merge with the Sieben Foundation, combining programmatic initiatives supporting American Indian Catholic Schools and ECD service delivery

  • 2016

    The board prioritizes grantmaking to changing ECD systems with a focus on children ages 3-5; following a needs assessment by Echo Hawk Consulting, we launch a 5-year, $5 million commitment to ECD in Indian Country


  • 2018

    We double our commitment by kicking off a 10-year, $10 million commitment to Native ECD; along with community partners, we explore Truth & Healing–as an organization with Catholic roots–in Indian Country

  • 2019

    We issue our first Program-Related Investment (in a Native Community Development Financial Institution); the first Truth, Healing & Reconciliation Task Force meeting convenes, exploring our perspective and potential role


  • 2020

    Strategic planning affirms our commitment to Indian Country; we issue COVID-19 relief funds and amends grant terms for maximum flexibility

  • 2021

    The board approves an open call to award grants that support Indigenous ECD professional development, pre-k transitions, Truth & Healing, and development of Native-led ECD programs


  • 2023

    We reach our goal of investing $3 million in Native CDFIs through 8 PRIs

As a foundation dedicated to supporting positive change in Indigenous ECD, we are excited to share with you recent progress:  Explore our 2023 Annual Report

We remain in awe of our partners’ dedication to achieve systemic, holistic, and evidence-based approaches that support the positive development of all children.

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