First Nations Helps Two Nonprofits Form and Gain Tax-Exempt Status

Utah organizers with First Nations' Montoya Whiteman (far left) and Lisa Yellow Eagle (second from right in back row)

First Nations Development Institute received funding from the Office on Violence Against Women, which is part of the U.S. Justice Department, to help two new tribal coalitions form in states that previously did not have tribal coalitions to build education and awareness about violence against American Indian women.

The project was a big success! First Nations assisted two fledgling nonprofit organizations – Restoring Ancestral Winds (RAW) and the Wabanaki Women’s Coalition (WWC) – with the formation process.  This included assistance with drafting their articles of incorporation, mission and vision statements, and bylaws.  First Nations also helped them establish their boards of directors, and provided training on the roles and responsibilities of nonprofit board members. We also helped them finalize and submit their IRS applications for tax-exempt status.

Each organization has now received its 501(c)(3) tax-exempt status from the IRS!

Restoring Ancestral Winds is located in Utah.  Its mission is to support healing in Indigenous communities as a tribal coalition that will advocate for healthy relationships and educate Utah communities on issues surrounding stalking and domestic, sexual, dating and family violence.  RAW also will provide training to service providers engaged in similar work and collaborate with Great Basin community members and stakeholders on these issues.  RAW will provide a much-needed service for the Indigenous populations in Utah.  If you support RAW’s mission, you can contact or donate to it at this address: Restoring Ancestral Winds, P.O. Box 104, Tremonton, UT, 84337.

Organizers of the new Maine coalition

Wabanaki Women’s Coalition (WWC) is located in Maine.  Its mission is to increase the capacity of tribal communities to respond to domestic and sexual violence and influence tribal, national and regional systems to increase awareness, safety, justice and healing.  WWC has already provided an “advocacy training” for tribal advocates and Indian child welfare staff in Maine’s tribal communities.  WWC has been actively meeting with various state officials and attending meetings to inform them of the new tribal coalition’s presence and to represent the Maine tribal communities.  If you support WWC’s Mission, you can contact or donate to it at this address: Wabanaki Women’s Coalition, P.O. Box 365, Lincolnville, ME 04849-0365.  You can learn more about WWC at

Also, if you want to learn more about incorporating a nonprofit organization, please visit the First Nations Knowledge Center to download a free copy of our new “How-To Guide for Incorporating a Nonprofit Organization” at this link:

By Lisa Yellow Eagle, First Nations Program Officer

One thought on “First Nations Helps Two Nonprofits Form and Gain Tax-Exempt Status

  1. Many years ago I was the only (Anglo) female mental health counselor in a small FL town. A brave, wonderful woman from an Indigenous Nation (not a FL one), came to me for help. It took nearly 6 months before she could trust me with her story (that I had already guessed from her scars and frequent bruises). She had no family in the state, little money, and major health problems, but also a brave spirit and a wonderful intelligence. She also had a mean, controlling white husband. Together, over the next year we built a women’s support program & linked her with a women’s underground escape group. When she was ready, it took her 4 months to get back to her Nation, but she made it. She took with her what she had learned in FL and not only shared it with other women, but would go out to help others get back to their Nation(s) when they couldn’t find an underground program to help them.

    Sadly, she lost her life to her health issues. Happily, she did die with her family, in her home, and in her Nation. Though I don’t think any of you knew her (she made me promise to keep her story anonymous), thank you for continuing the tradition of women protecting women – no matter their histories. God bless you all.

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