First Peoples Worldwide is one of the only international organizations led by Indigenous Peoples dedicated to promoting Indigenous economic determination and strengthening Indigenous communities through asset control and the dissemination of knowledge. Through regranting, technical assistance, education, and advocacy, First Peoples provides Indigenous Peoples with the tools, information, and relationships necessary to build community capacity to leverage assets for sustainable economic development. First Peoples builds bridges between Indigenous communities, NGOs, governments, and policy makers.
- The programs of First Peoples Worldwide are grounded in the belief that assets are the building
blocks of wealth; Indigenous Peoples own substantial assets but frequently lack the control
necessary to benefit from them. First Peoples also believes that successful economic development is
a holistic process that takes into account the political, social, and cultural variables of a
community. First Peoples works to stop and reverse injustices by equipping Indigenous Peoples with
resources to challenge government, corporation and conservation policies. At the same time, First
Peoples is building capacity in Indigenous communities to play an active role in
- The Keepers of the Earth Fund, First Peoples Worldwide's first global
strategic initiative, presents a unique alternative to traditional land and biodiversity
conservation practices by shifting the responsibility for the design and management of an
Indigenous territory to local Indigenous Peoples as stewards of their lands. The KOE model utilizes
sustainable time-honored traditional knowledge in its distinctive approach to conservation. In
using these proven methods, the Keepers of the Earth Fund not only protects land and biodiversity
in a proven manner, but also ensures that the unique Indigenous cultures from which this knowledge
stems are also safeguarded for generations to come.
- In addition to working directly with Indigenous Peoples, First Peoples Worldwide also advocates
for policy changes within U.S. and foreign governments and global agencies. It also promotes social
responsibility to corporations and businesses involved in resource and extractive industries. It
provides a training program that will assist corporations in developing positive relations with
- Indigenous Peoples are on the front-lines of the battle for the
future. By networking and sharing common experiences, First Peoples Worldwide believes that
Indigenous Peoples can learn from each other in order to secure their future.
The convergence of significant, biodiversity-rich areas and Indigenous territories presents an enormous opportunity to expand efforts to conserve biodiversity beyond any of our current strategies and on a scale to save the planet. If only half of Indigenous territories were managed by Indigenous Peoples, it could place an additional 12 percent of the world’s land surface under protected status. These protected areas, combined with the over 12 percent of the earth's land surface already under conventional protected status, would double the amount of the entire world's land surface under conservation protection. The Keepers of the Earth Program will advocate that Indigenous communities receive equitable funding for conservation efforts on their own territories where they currently execute conservation models at a substantially lower cost.
First Peoples Worldwide began supporting the Koiyaki Guiding School and Wilderness Camp in 2007. After visiting this school, First Peoples was inspired to support the advancement of the education initiatives being undertaken by the Maasai community. This unique school is owned and managed by the Indigenous Maasai community and is located in a wildlife-rich region adjacent to the Masai Mara Game Reserve. The School uses funding to equip local Maasai people with skills necessary for their full participation in the conservation and management of wildlife and related enterprises. Full Story