Gabrielle Colfax

Gabrielle Colfax burns sage during a prayer walk dedicated to missing and murdered Indigenous people Wednesday, July 14, 2021, on South Camas Avenue in Wapato, Wash.

A nonprofit that supports Indigenous communities in the Pacific Northwest is providing grants to Native families that are searching for missing loved ones and promoting awareness of their missing relatives, among other efforts.

The Na’ah Illahee Fund opened applications for its Red Blanket Fund on Sept. 13. Grants of $1,000 each will be given to Indigenous individuals and families most in need in the ongoing crisis of missing and murdered Indigenous people, according to its website.

The Seattle-based nonprofit serves Native communities in Alaska, Idaho, Montana, Oregon, Washington and British Columbia. Indigenous and First Nation individuals are encouraged to apply.

Applications will close when all funding is awarded. Red Blanket grants will cover search-related costs, awareness efforts and care services for families whose loved ones come home.

Search-related costs include gas money, meals and hotel stays as they search across the state or states, printing costs for flyers and fees for hiring a private detective. Awareness efforts include prayer walks, community vigils held by family for those lost, rallies and memorials.

Care services for families whose loved ones come home include travel expenses, ceremony costs for victims and family members, and funeral expenses for those found.

Apply at Those who need to fill out an application over the phone or by email should contact Joni Crines, grants program officer, at or 206-565-8041.

— Yakima Herald-Republic

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