Four Directions Development Corporation (FDDC) was recently awarded $425,000 in multi-year grant funding by the Elmina B. Sewall Foundation to support the Wabanaki Tribal Broadband Project and to advance the transformational work of developing an inter-tribal Wabanaki Consortium. The grant awards also provide critical operating funds that support FDDC’s mission to improve the social and economic conditions of the four Native American tribes in Maine- Maliseet, Mi’kmaq, Passamaquoddy, and Penobscot.
As a Native American institution, FDDC focuses its efforts on projects that increase self-determination for Wabanaki people and tribal communities in Maine. As a community development financial institution (CDFI), FDDC offers loans, technical assistance, and financial education to Native homebuyers, homeowners, and entrepreneurs. “We are excited to receive support from the Sewall Foundation and inspired by the foundation’s commitment to partnering with Four Directions to create meaningful impact for Wabanaki people and tribal communities in Maine”, said Charlene Virgilio, Executive Director of FDDC. “This award empowers our organization to deliver broadband and economic and community development programs and services that will truly make a difference for the tribal communities we serve.”
The Wabanaki Tribal Broadband Project is a new initiative that aims to bring equity to broadband access in Indian Country and ensure that all tribal members have the connectivity essential to fully participate in education, training, health care and the economy. The Wabanaki Consortium is among the most transformative inter-tribal projects that Four Directions has undertaken. The purpose of the project is, “to catalyze economic and community development that builds assets, strengthens nation building, advances sovereignty and enhances community wellbeing within and across tribes.” With aligned values and the harmony of a unified voice, the consortium will be a vehicle for collaborative economic development activities that produce transformational Wabanaki-wide impacts. Four Directions is able to further its work in these areas with the support received from the Sewall Foundation.
The Elmina B. Sewall Foundation supports work in Maine to improve the well-being of people, animals, and the environment, while fostering equity and centering community voices. The foundation is committed to practicing trust-based philanthropy that contributes to advancing equity, shifting power, and building trusting and accountable relationships with grantees. The grant awards to FDDC were received through the Sewall Foundation’s Wabanaki Communities and Tribal Governments focus area, part of the Healthy People Healthy Places program. “The Sewall Foundation is honored to partner in supporting the transformational work of FDDC, changing the systems and structures to improve the conditions in which indigenous communities and tribal governments in Maine live and work, said Gabriela Alcalde, Executive Director of the Sewall Foundation. “We are committed to and will continue working to become a good partner to Wabanaki-led organizations and communities.”
Four Directions is honored to be selected to receive support from the Elmina B. Sewall Foundation. To learn more about Four Directions, please visit fourdirectionsmaine.org.