top of page

Mellon Foundation supports two years of First Foods Programming through their Humanities in Place Grant


Alexandria Cruz - Communications Manager


New York - The Grinding Stone Collective (GSC) is thrilled to announce that they have been awarded a $550,000 grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation through their new Humanities in Place program. Funding from this grant will be used to support organizational capacity as well as programmatic offerings through the First Foods Program over the next two years, including the A New Day for Old Ways educational series and the Inter-Tribal Pantry. A portion of the funds will support Lakota kin at Tiyospaye Winyan Maka who previously served as GSC's fiscal sponsor.

The First Foods Program is dedicated to promoting the health, well-being and culture of Native American communities through the revitalization of traditional food systems and practices. GSC accomplishes this mission through Education, Reciprocity, and Stewardship. As an Indigenous-led program made by, and for, Indigenous people and  allies, the educational series is led by indigenous culture bears and knowledge keepers. The GSC believes that preserving Indigenous ecological knowledge in First Foods can only be achieved through Indigenous Food Sovereignty, which they define as "Our right to govern our own food systems from extraction to distribution using ancestral & contemporary knowledge. Our work helps facilitate this process by providing an Indigenized community-led food culture education that breaks the barriers to access that are experienced by Urban & Rural Natives."

"We are honored to be recognized by the Mellon Foundation for our work in preserving and revitalizing traditional indigenous food systems," said Brooke Rodriguez, founder of the Grinding Stone Collective. "It will allow us to continue our important work of preserving and promoting indigenous food culture. We look forward to expanding our reach through in-person and online classes and creating new inter-tribal relations by providing jobs and resources to our communities at a time when they are needed most."

The Mellon Foundation's Humanities in Place program provides support to organizations that are working to strengthen the connection between the humanities and the places, allowing them to rethink the past and envision new ways of understanding America's history.

About The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation
The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation is the nation’s largest supporter of the arts and humanities. Since 1969, the Foundation has been guided by its core belief that the humanities and arts are essential to human understanding. The Foundation believes that the arts and humanities are where we express our complex humanity, and that everyone deserves the beauty, transcendence, and freedom that can be found there. Through our grants, we seek to build just communities enriched by meaning and empowered by critical thinking, where ideas and imagination can thrive. Learn more at

About Tiyospaye Winyan Maka
Tiyospaye Winyan Maka, a 501(c)(3) registered non-profit, has a strategic vision to address the multitude of issues facing the Lakota and other indigenous people by merging traditional wisdom and values with contemporary regenerative practices, particularly in the building trade.

For more information about the Grinding Stone Collective and their First Foods program, please visit their website at


Jan 17, 2023

Alexandria Cruz

bottom of page