CHICAGO, Oct. 30, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- In observance of National Native American Heritage Month in November, Boeing [NYSE: BA] today committed $1.3 million to support Indigenous communities across the United States.
The investment package includes $300,000 in grants for Southwest Tribal Nations to improve access to clean water, bridge the digital divide in education and provide better natural disaster response and preparation. The package also includes $140,000 in grants in the Pacific Northwest and a $60,000 grant in Oklahoma supporting STEM education programs for students. An additional $840,000 will fund future projects for Native American and Indigenous communities to be detailed at a later date.
"We recognize the toll on Native American and Indigenous communities from centuries of injustice, and we take seriously our role in supporting education and development in these communities," said Marc Allen, Boeing's chief strategy officer, senior vice president of Strategy and Corporate Development and enterprise executive sponsor of the Boeing Native American Network. "Today's exciting announcement continues our longstanding efforts to lift up equity and opportunity in the communities where our employees live and work."
The new investments build on the company's previously announced multi-year commitment to combat racism and advance racial equity and social justice at all levels.
"It is inspiring to see Boeing continue to make its commitment to help improve the lives of those they serve," said Gwendena Lee-Gatewood, chairwoman of the White Mountain Apache Tribe. "Boeing funds will help our children obtain assistance and empower young people across the Apache Nation with new leadership skills, new education partnerships, and health and technology. As children, we were all taught to treasure what the Earth gives us and to make sure that we leave it for the next generation, and by helping improve educational needs of our children, we are helping empower them. This is truly magnificent."
"The lack of clean running water on the Navajo Nation was dire before the pandemic hit," said Emma Robbins, Diné (Navajo) activist and director of the Navajo Water Project. "Over 30% of families on the Navajo Nation are without water access. COVID-19 exacerbated an existing problem, and Boeing's generous donation will allow us to address this crisis head on and accelerate our efforts to expand water access across the Navajo Nation."
"Since time immemorial, Indigenous people have used science and technology to survive, to adapt, to create and to thrive," said Puget Sound Educational Service District NAEP Manager Jason LaFontaine (Turtle Mountain Chippewa). "The focus of the Boeing STEM grant is to show Native youth how their cultural ways of knowing and their future can be seen through the lens of science, technology, engineering and math."
In the past two years, Boeing and its employees have invested close to $660,000 in organizations supporting Native American and other Indigenous communities – bringing the company's global support for these populations to $2 million. In addition, the company's employee-led Boeing Native American Network Business Resource Group promotes awareness for the richness and diversity of Native American and Indigenous cultures, encourages STEM careers for Native American youth and provides training opportunities for Native Americans and others to develop their professional and personal skills.
"Having been raised on the Rosebud Reservation in South Dakota, I learned at a young age about determination, overcoming obstacles and personal accountability. I know firsthand how important resources are to this community," said Kathleen Jolivette, Boeing vice president of Attack Helicopter programs and senior Mesa, Arizona, site executive. "And just as I am proud to be a Native American, I too am proud to work for a company that is not only continuing to address racial equity by funding immediate needs, but also looking for ways to partner with Indigenous communities for long-term solutions."
Nonprofits receiving immediate grant funding include:
Boeing plans to make additional announcements related to its racial equity and social justice investment strategy in the future.