Definitions of Black and Indigenous Groups, Organizations and Collaboratives

The YOF welcomes and prioritizes projects that are created by and for Indigenous and Black communities. Here's what we mean when we talk about Black and Indigenous Grassroots Groups, Organizations and Collaboratives.

What is a Black-led grassroots group?

To be considered a Black-led grassroots group, please ensure your group meets the following criteria: 

Who are your core group members?

  • The majority of your group's core team are Black.
  • Black core group members initiated the project, and are central to the project’s vision, design, delivery, and decision-making.

How anchored in Black culture and community is your work?

  • Your group emerged organically or by design from the efforts of Black community members impacted by and dedicated to improving access and opportunities for Black peoples.
  • Your group is committed to engaging, listening, and learning from Black community members on an ongoing basis.
  • Your initiative is designed explicitly by and for Black youth or Black parents, guardian and caregivers.

What is an Indigenous-led Grassroots Group?

To be considered an Indigenous-led grassroots group, please ensure your group meets the following criteria: 

Who are your core group members?

  • The majority of your group’s core team are Indigenous, identifying as First Nation, Métis, or Inuit.
  • Indigenous core group members initiated the project, and are central to the project’s vision, design, delivery, and decision-making.

How anchored in Indigenous culture and community is your work?

  • Your group emerged organically or by design from the efforts of Indigenous community members impacted by and dedicated to improving access and opportunities for Indigenous peoples.
  • Your group is committed to engaging, listening, and learning from Indigenous community members on an ongoing basis.
  • Your initiative is designed explicitly by and for Indigenous youth, or Indigenous parents, guardian and/or caregivers.

How committed are you to equity and anti-oppression?

  • Through your work, your group addresses, or aims to address, the impacts of colonization and anti-Indigenous racism at systemic, ideological and/or individual levels.
  • Your group recognizes the diversity of experiences, both in the urban and rural context, and the ways oppressions intersect resulting in specific experiences of marginalization.
  • Your group and project create opportunities and spaces for Indigenous peoples to grow, thrive, and be active, empowered members of their communities.

What is a Black organization?

  • Black identity is at the centre of the organization's programming
  • A majority of the governance structure is held by Black people
  • Black staff are included at the executive, senior and all staff levels

What is a Black collaborative?

To be considered a Black collaborative, please ensure your collaborative and project meet the following criteria: 

Who leads and is part of your collaborative?

  • A Black collaborative is one that is led by a Black organization or;
  • A Black collaborative is one where at least one third of collaborative members are Black organizations and these Black organizations have a significant and clear role in the vision, design, delivery, and decision-making of your strategic project.
  • In all cases a Black collaborative must include Black youth who are central to the project’s vision, design, delivery, and decision-making.

How anchored in Black culture and community is the collaborative’s work?

  • Your strategic project is designed explicitly for Black youth. It recognizes the diversity of the Black communities it serves.
  • Your collaborative emerged explicitly to change or rebuild oppressive systems impacting Black youth.
  • Your collaborative is committed to elevating Black cultures, histories, and healing through its work.
  • Collaborative partners/members are recognized as leaders in Black communities.
  • Your collaborative is committed to engaging, listening, and learning from Black leadership, grassroots groups and community members.

How committed is the collaborative to equity and anti-oppression?

  • Your collaborative aims to address the impacts of anti-Black racism and commits to challenge and change the status quo through systems change.
  • Addressing systemic oppression of Black youth is central to the vision and strategies of your collaborative's work.
  • Your collaborative aims to increase access to and build power in Black communities.

What is an Indigenous organization?

  • Indigenous identity is at the centre of the organization's programming
  • A majority of the governance structure is held by Indigenous peoples
  • Indigenous staff are included at the executive, senior and all staff levels

What is an Indigenous collaborative?

To be considered an Indigenous collaborative, please ensure your collaborative and project meet the following criteria: 

Who leads and is part of your collaborative?

  • An Indigenous (First Nation, Métis, or Inuit) collaborative is one that is led by an Indigenous organization, including Band Council or;
  • An Indigenous collaborative is one where at least a third of collaborative members are Indigenous organizations and these Indigenous organizations have a significant and clear role in the vision, design, delivery, and decision-making of your strategic project.
  • In all cases an Indigenous collaborative must include Indigenous youth who are central to the project’s vision, design, delivery, and decision-making.

How anchored in Indigenous culture and community is your work?

  • Your strategic project is designed explicitly for Indigenous youth. It recognizes the diversity of the Indigenous communities it serves. 
  • Your collaborative emerged explicitly to change or rebuild oppressive systems impacting Indigenous youth.
  • Your collaborative is rooted in Indigenous history and values, and is reflective of Indigenous cultures, traditions, and spirituality.
  • Collaborative members/individuals are recognized as leaders in Indigenous communities.
  • Your collaborative is committed to engaging, listening, and learning from Indigenous leadership, grassroots groups and community members.

How committed is the collaborative to equity and anti-oppression?

  • Your collaborative aims to address the impacts of colonization and anti-Indigenous racism and commits to challenge and change the status quo through systems change.
  • Addressing systemic oppression of Indigenous youth is central to the vision and strategies of your collaborative’s work.
  • Your collaborative aims to increase access to, and build power in Indigenous communities.