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Doris Duke Foundation and Partners Announce Over $100 Million for Tribal-led Conservation

Doris Duke Foundation Committed $32M to the Joint Effort of 15 Philanthropies, in Partnership With the Biden-Harris Administration

Washington, D.C.—Today, the Doris Duke Foundation (DDF), in partnership with Native Americans in Philanthropy, the Biodiversity Funders Group and 14 other philanthropies, announced $102.5 million in commitments to the Tribal National Conservation Pledge. The Doris Duke Foundation is providing about a third of the total commitment ($32 million) as part of its new Indigenous-led conservation initiative, which supports Tribes and Native communities in the critical work of protecting and preserving the environment. 

The first-of-its-kind commitment was announced at the White House summit, “Conservation in Action: Building A Better America,” where both President Joe Biden and Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland spoke on the importance of funding Indigenous-led conservation efforts. (See the White House fact sheet here.)

“We are proud to stand with Native Americans in Philanthropy and other leading foundations to support Tribal and Indigenous populations in applying centuries of knowledge, insight and commitment toward conservation that serves communities, protects the nation’s rich biodiversity and addresses climate change,” said Sam Gill, president and CEO of the Doris Duke Foundation. “Conservation led by Tribal and Indigenous communities is one the biggest opportunities to assure a more sustainable and just future for all.”

The Tribal National Conservation Pledge is part of the Biden-Harris Administration’s America the Beautiful Challenge, which seeks to streamline funding for conservation efforts. The pledge supports the conservation work of Tribal Nations as well as public-private partnerships between the Administration, Tribes and philanthropy.  

“The Doris Duke Foundation works to ensure a thriving, resilient environment for wildlife and people, and to foster an inclusive, effective conservation movement. Providing support to traditionally underfunded Tribal and Indigenous-led conservation efforts is mission-critical if we’re going to preserve and protect an environment that can sustain us all,” said Sacha Spector, program director for the environment at the Doris Duke Foundation. 

The foundation’s new initiative will support the biodiversity and conservation efforts of Tribes, inter-Tribal organizations, Tribal consortia and Indigenous-led nonprofits working in partnership with Tribes. Direct funding to Tribes and Tribally-led collaboratives enables large-scale deployment of traditional ecological knowledge to combat species extinction, equip Tribes to co-manage federally owned lands using traditional practices, build capacity for inter-Tribal coordination, rematriate traditional lands and track key metrics of preservation measures for land and waterways. 

As part of this broader effort, the Doris Duke Foundation is also honored to have played a role in the return of the sacred Split Rock Mountain property to the Ramapo people this morning. The foundation provided funding to the Land Conservancy of New Jersey to purchase the land, after which the Land Conservancy returned it to the Ramapo Munsee Land Alliance, a transaction completed today. This landmark moment returns stewardship of sacred land to the Ramapo nation for the first time since 1737. 

For more information about the land transfer, see here. For more information about the Tribal National Conservation Pledge, see here

The Doris Duke Foundation supports the well-being of people and the planet for a more creative, equitable and sustainable future. We operate five national grantmaking programs—in the performing arts, the environment, medical research, child and family well-being, and mutual understanding between communities—as well as Duke Farms and Shangri La, two centers that directly serve the public. Through the Environment Program, the foundation seeks to ensure a thriving, resilient environment for wildlife and people, and foster an inclusive, effective conservation movement. We support initiatives that increase the pace and scale of land conservation and stewardship across the United States to protect biodiversity, bolster the resilience of natural areas and advance climate change mitigation. To achieve these goals, the foundation concentrates on three complementary and intersecting areas of focus: nature, climate and equity. Visit to learn more.