Native Cultures Fund Senior Program Officer

Humboldt Area Foundation

Posted: Oct. 13, 2021

Native Cultures Fund is a 20 year collaboration between philanthropy and Native cultural leaders in northern California to support the cultural revitalization of Indigenous California lifeways, teachings, arts, and intergenerational transmission of knowledge. The program is guided by an active NCF Advisory Council in partnership with staff employing a decolonization lens. NCF is a program of the Humboldt Area Foundation, and benefits from additional philanthropic support and partnerships from foundations such as the Hewlett Foundation and individual donors who wish to promote Native leadership and culture.

NCF offers cultural grant programs, scholarships for Native students active in their cultural communities, capacity building for Native led organization within philanthropy, advocacy around Indigenous issues, and gatherings to support the cultural momentum and of California Native leaders to tackle the problems that face their communities. NCF’s approach to philanthropic work includes a commitment to Native-led distribution of resources, centering cultural leadership, and a broad definition of culture that encompasses all of the lifeways and systems of knowledge that Native people are protecting and developing in the wake of genocide.

The staff of NCF, HAF leadership, and the NCF Advisory Council have identified collective leadership as a powerful, indigenized staffing model to move NCF forward. The Advisory Council is made up of California Native culture practitioners and community leaders who are integral to the vision of NCF. NCF’s co-Senior Program Officers work together with the Advisory Council’s guidance to implement the vision within the best practices of philanthropy. NCF is a program in the Community Solutions team reporting directly to the Vice President of Strategy, Program & Community Solution at Humboldt Area Foundation and actively collaborates across the organization with teams from finance, advancement, grantmaking administration, and other functions.

If you are seeking an opportunity to co-lead a philanthropic effort to foster the growth and thriving of California’s Indigenous cultures, HAF needs you! Native Cultures Fund (NCF) seeks two Senior Program Officers (SPO) to co-direct the fund focused on cultural revitalization in Native communities in California from the Tolowa Dee-ni’ Nation in the north, to the Paiute and Shoshone territories in the east, and south to the Chumash homelands. The two SPOs will be visioning partners between communities across California and philanthropy, specifically guiding the growth of NCF programs in continued collaboration with Native cultural leaders, while advancing HAF’s goals around racial equity, thriving youth and families, and environmental justice.

Program Leadership

The two co-directors of the Native Cultures Fund (NCF), dedicated to facilitating the continued growth of Indigenous cultural revitalization efforts across diverse Native communities, will co-design and develop statewide cultural revival, community wellbeing, and advocacy programs to further the goals of NCF via convenings, capacity building, storytelling, and education.

The Senior Program Officers (SPOs) will collaborate each other and with the NCF Advisory Council and HAF leadership to co-create NCF program vision, set priorities, and design program strategy and growth plans across NCF opportunities. The NCF Advisory Council, fellow Senior Program Officers, and HAF staff are eager to work with the SPOs to create a decolonized approach to leadership and decision making, and to develop a long-term structure and roles for NCF staff and advisory board.

The two SPOs will seek opportunities to strengthen and build relationships, networks, and partnerships to further the goals of NCF. The fund co-directors will conduct community outreach and listening, cultivate partnerships with Native led organizations and individuals dedicated to cultural revitalization, and develop convenings to address cultural responses to pressing issues and support the wellbeing of culture bearers. This role involves representing NCF and HAF in local, regional, statewide, and national partnerships appropriate to fulfill the goals of the program.


The SPOs are responsible for maintaining, administering, and developing grant and scholarship programs that support cultural revitalization across Native California communities, and ensuring the programs are executed with transparency, efficiency, and according to funder and donor intent. In relationship with current and potential grantees, the SPOs provide technical assistance and ensure grantee follow up and success in implementation of funds. As fund co-directors, the SPOs oversee the preparation of reports and analysis for program review and planning, and co-manage NCF funds, budgets, contracts (e.g., advisors, designers, evaluators), and support staff, while ensuring the coordination of the NCF program with other foundation programs. This role includes monitoring and evaluating program efficacy and impact, and adapting strategies accordingly.

Ideal Candidate

Your ability to dream big inspires radical imagination in others. Your authentic commitment to collaborative decision making, teamwork, and intra-team cooperation is demonstrated by your experience in co-management/co-leadership positions. Through your experience advancing Native cultural revitalization efforts in California, your ability to build relationships with Native cultural leaders, organizations, and potential donors is evident.

You are somebody who can communicate effectively with a diverse population, establish and maintain working relationships with individuals from diverse backgrounds, and handle interactions with creativity, kindness, and diplomacy. Your respect for cross-cultural and intertribal perspectives and experiences is evident to all who interact with you. You are an effective convener and facilitator of people of all backgrounds and beliefs, with a specialty in facilitating in Indigenous communities. You maintain confidentiality and protect sensitive information in accordance with organizational standards and Indigenous protocols.

Your work experience has provided you with strong knowledge of grantmaking procedures or nonprofit best practices, along with a proven ability to effectively manage a program including budgets, grants, financial reporting, and analysis. You have excellent organizational and project management skills, paired with the ability to take initiative and to collaborate in problem-solving.

Your strong written and verbal communication skills include social media savvy, public speaking experience, and business correspondence etiquette. Equally important is intermediate proficiency with the Microsoft Office Suite (Word, Excel, Outlook, etc.)

Exceptional candidates will have experience creating new programs through community listening and engagement. Experience in a related field including education, media, cultural revitalization, or social service is helpful. Experience leading and mentoring staff is a plus, as is experience working with advisory councils. Philanthropy experience is preferred but not required. Applicable bilingual proficiency in California Indigenous languages is a strong plus. Ideal, but not required, is possession of a current valid California driver’s license and ability to be covered under HAF’s auto insurance in order to work with community and attend events.

Key Qualifications

A successful candidate is expected to have a minimum of five years of progressively responsible experience working in advancing cultural revitalization and nonprofit, executive, academic, or policy leadership efforts in Native communities. Work experience must demonstrate knowledge of grantmaking procedures or nonprofit best practices, as well as an ability to effectively manage a program including related budgets and grants and financial reporting and analysis.

Please visit for application procedures and the complete job announcement, including all desired qualifications. For questions, contact Haley Clark at

Please email the following two (2) documents along with your salary requirements in Word or PDF format to

1. Resume

2. A cover letter, to include the following:

a. Explain your interest in the organization and position

b. Provide a short answer to at least one of the following questions:

i. What is your vision around what the future of California Indigenous cultural revitalization might look like?

ii. What elements of decolonization or indigenization would you want to apply to how NCF works with programs, staff, and partners?

iii. How could your privilege (race, gender, socio-economic, positional, educational, experiential, etc.) serve you in this work? How are you using it to create more equity?

Position is open until filled, but priority consideration will be given to those who apply by 8am on Monday, November 15, 2021.

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