The shadows of poverty and intergenerational trauma still haunt many Native American reservations. Former leader Jeremy Zahn is on a mission to change that.
DALLAS, TEXAS, UNITED STATES, October 9, 2023 /EINPresswire.com/ — Grant writers, often unsung heroes, are the architects behind securing vital funding and resources for underserved communities and organizations in need. These communities often include Native American tribes, who are still recovering from centuries of forced assimilation and historical atrocities. With over 574 federally recognized tribes in the country, Jeremy Zahn, a former tribal leader, is blending this rare skill with Indigenous cultures and traditions to help underserved Native American communities overcome decades of poverty.
In a recent interview, Zahn, one of only 43 estimated Native American grant writers in the country, emphasized that many tribes are unaware of the numerous funding opportunities available to them and how to harness their unique ancestral stories and inherent sovereignty to access these resources. “My aim is serving as a super connector. There are more than 76,000 foundations and numerous federal and state government agencies looking to collaborate,” Zahn pointed out. “I believe that if more tribal nations were aware of these opportunities, we could turn things around.”
The Impact of a Former Leader
Zahn was formerly elected council member for the Tunica-Biloxi Tribe of Louisiana, where he established the Tribe’s first health clinic, an urban Indian center, and several other groundbreaking legislative reforms that led the tribe out of turmoil. After his elected term, he designed the first K-12 education program for Native American children in Texas, followed by the first anti-human trafficking program designed to help survivors in these overlooked communities recover and rebuild their lives. Today, Zahn is tackling some of the most pressing grant challenges faced by other tribes across the nation. These challenges include aiding tribes with complex grant proposals, addressing governance issues, and integrating cultural practices that research shows is crucial for improving Native American communities.
Writing a New Future
Now residing in Texas, Zahn attributes the inspiration behind his work to distant memories of growing up on the Tunica-Biloxi Indian reservation in rural Louisiana, alongside his mother and grandmother. “Our people are very creative and resilient. We are taught to take adversity and turn it into hope,” he reminisces. “When it comes to grant writing, we are writing about the world we want to live in.”
Zahn’s impact has already reached over 40 tribes, with many more eagerly waiting. “This is bigger than me,” says Zahn. “Many of our people still lack access to things like electricity and running water. We can’t afford to give up.”
To learn more about Jeremy Zahn, please visit www.jeremyzahn.com.
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Article originally published on www.einpresswire.com as Former Tribal Leader Is Writing a New Future for Native American Tribes