Mica Group Inc

aka MICA; Cultural Resource Fund   |   Baltimore, MD   |  www.micagroup.org

Mission

The MICA Group envisions a world in which American Indians and Alaska Natives have a voice and equitable resources, and where indigenous knowledge systems are recognized as inherently valuable world resources. MICA assists Tribal communities and their partners throughout the United States in building social and economic capital and systems of change through innovative, sustainable, and culturally appropriate strategies. Our notable projects include language and cultural revitalization and the protection of sacred and cultural places. MICA was nominated for an Innovations in American Government Award for our $10 million Cultural Resource Fund, which stimulated $14 million in matching funds from government and private philanthropy.

Notes from the nonprofit

The MICA Group was founded in 2006 by a multicultural group of visionary women. In its early years, MICA was fiscally sponsored by MICA founder Chief Wilma Mankiller's nonprofit organization, One Fire Development Corporation, and later, at the Tides Foundation. In mid-2017, MICA's founders incorporated MICA as a 501(c) (3) organization in its own right and gradually transferred MICA's assets from fiscal sponsorship to the new 501(c)(3); therefore, MICA's 2017 990 does not reflect MICA's total assets.

Ruling year info

2017

President/CEO

Ms. Peggy Mainor

President and CEO

Ms. Della Warrior

Main address

5301 Springlake Way

Baltimore, MD 21212 USA

Show more contact info

EIN

82-1503506

NTEE code info

Management & Technical Assistance (S02)

Fund Raising and/or Fund Distribution (A12)

Alliance/Advocacy Organizations (T01)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

MICA partners with Tribal Nations to develop and fund community-driven strategies to support Native cultures and help them to thrive. The words of our founder, Chief Wilma Mankiller, capture the MICA Group's approach: "To grapple with problems in a forward-thinking, positive way, we are beginning to look more and more to our own people, communities, and history for solutions. We’re trusting our own thinking again." Having been the subject of attempts to absorb them into the American melting pot by erasing their unique cultures, and facing some of the worst poverty, educational outcomes, and suicide rates in the country, Indian Tribes are poised on the brink of a renaissance. Tribes have unequivocally stated that cultural revitalization is the nourishment they need to thrive, and data supports them. Learning to speak heritage languages, practice traditional cultures, and having pride in their unique identity have tremendously beneficial effects on individual and community health.

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Cultural Resource Fund

The Cultural Resource Fund has achieved extraordinary results in Indian Country over the past 3 years, awarding 500 grants totaling $9.4 million to 205 tribes (59% of tribes in the continental U.S.) and 41 states, generating $15 million in matching (cash) funding. In recognition of its success, the CRF was nominated for a 2018 Harvard Innovations in American Government Award.

Created at the behest of the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation, an independent federal agency charged with the responsibility of protecting America’s cultural resources and historic sites, the CRF is administered by the MICA Group, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit that supports Tribal communities.

Tribal sovereignty and self-determination are at the center of our work. Participating Tribes set their own priorities for cultural revitalization, empowering them to create and complete innovative, successful projects.

CRF grants have:
• protected 50 significant cultural sites
• supported 22 new Tribal partnerships with states and the Nature Conservancy
• funded 6 new Tribal historic preservation offices, giving Tribes sovereignty over their own lands
• geo-mapped 11 entire reservations
• created a Tribe-to-Tribe site mentorship program
• restored 47 traditional cultural practices and
• with the help and participation of 17 nationally recognized language experts, including two MacArthur genius award winners, brought languages from dormant to recovering, providing 21 Tribes with the opportunity for language revitalization technical assistance.

Our direct giving to Tribes has achieved a 92% success rate in project completion.

The CRF’s greatest success has been in relationship building. Focusing our grantmaking on community well-being, as determined by those who live in the community, engenders trust, enabling us to support tribes in overcoming roadblocks to completing projects, monitor project success, offer technical assistance, and share best practices. Trust, combined with technical support and incentive funding, has proved to be the right formula for project completion on an unprecedented scale. The CRF has created a structure that works.

Population(s) Served
Indigenous peoples

Language loss threatens cultural survival and racial equity for American Indian people. Funded by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, Pathways to Fluency brought together 85 Indian Nations,17 Indigenous language visionaries, researchers, MacArthur genius award winners, philanthropic organizations, and government agencies to discuss strategic directions for community-led language revitalization.

The 18-month process culminated in language visionaries and Native communities working together to create Pathways on a Language Landscape: A Blueprint for Native Language Revitalization to support communities in mapping a pathway to language revitalization that is right for them.

“Everyone was so open about their experiences in their communities about language. It was like everyone had been waiting for this opportunity to convene and discuss language revitalization with such humanity and shared passion. I think this aspect of the gathering will be sending people back home with renewed energy and ideas.” — Participant

“We are designing our own plan using the steps shared by the language visionaries.” –Participant

“The most valuable part was realizing how we are all working toward the same goals, but just getting there may be in different ways, to different degrees, but how the planning practices are the same!” –Participant

For more information, please visit http://culturalresourcefund.org.

Population(s) Served
Indigenous peoples

MICA Group's Protecting Our Places Project, in partnership with the National Tribal Geographic Information Support Center, matches Tribes interested in protecting sacred and cultural places through geo-mapping with Tribes that have geo-mapping expertise.

Population(s) Served
Indigenous peoples
Tribal and indigenous religious groups

Next Steps in Language Revitalization responded to the tribes’ request that MICA arrange for the assistance of language experts to provide support to tribes to rapidly and sustainably move their language programs to the next level. Next Steps is a fast-developing national program that provides tribes with individualized consultations with leading national language experts. Next Steps coordinator Jacob Manatowa-Bailey was one of a small number of language leaders invited to present at the United Nations’ International Year of Indigenous Languages in May 2019.
Participating tribes meet, free of charge, with national language experts for an on-site strategic planning consultation. The tribes receive a written language revitalization plan and one year of follow-up support. The eight tribes currently participating are well on the way to reversing language loss.
Once tribes have completed the strategic planning process, they may receive small incentive grants of up to $10,000.

Population(s) Served
Indigenous peoples

Where we work

Our results

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

How does this organization measure their results? It's a hard question but an important one.

Number of Tribes supported in strengthening heritage languages

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Indigenous peoples

Related Program

Pathways to Fluency: Cultural Survival Through Language Revitalization

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

Our program supports Tribal communities in building the internal capacity to plan, develop, and implement programs that address the language revitalization goals they have set for themselves.

Number of Tribes supported in strengthening protections for cultural and sacred sites

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Indigenous peoples

Related Program

Cultural Resource Fund

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

Our Protecting Our Places program provides technical expertise and grants to support Tribes in developing, planning, and implementing cultural site protection plans that they create for themselves.

Number of Tribes supported in strengthening traditional cultural practices

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Indigenous peoples

Related Program

Cultural Resource Fund

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

MICA/CRF grants support the restoration and revitalization of Traditional Cultural Practices.

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

The MICA Group seeks a world in which American Indian, Alaskan Native, and other indigenous cultures have a voice, equitable resources, and the capacity to flourish; a world in which Indigenous knowledge systems are recognized as valuable world resources.

For American Indian communities, racial equity and social justice means retaining and reclaiming their identities as distinct peoples. MICA listened to Tribal Nations, communities, and individuals, and universally, this is what they said they wanted. While each Tribal Nation and community is different, cultural revitalization often includes revitalizing heritage languages, reclaiming traditional cultural practices, rethinking education in tribal schools, new approaches to achieving health and wellness, and protecting sacred and culturally significant places.

MICA’s strategy is to support Tribal Nations in recovering, retaining, and revitalizing their traditional cultures in the broadest sense, and as defined by each Nation and community. We strongly believe that Indian people know best how to nurture their own communities. Attempts to assimilate Native people into the mainstream culture and to impose outside solutions that may have worked in non-Native communities have not strengthened Indian communities. Studies and data confirm that being grounded in their Tribal identity improves the physical and mental health of Native peoples and the health of their communities. Acting from a strong sense of identity as indigenous and Tribal peoples strengthens Native voices, empowers them to demand equitable resources, and enables them to flourish.

MICA connects Tribes and communities with the people and resources they need to achieve their goals. Each Tribe and community has its own goals and needs, so we meet with each Tribe, Nation, and Native community that wishes to revitalize its language and culture and protect its traditional cultural places. We meet communities where they are, in partnership, and work together to meet community goals.

With Tribal sovereignty and self-determination at the center of our work, and with respectful listening and principled action in accordance with our philosophy, MICA seeks partnerships with governments, NGOs, and private philanthropy to support Tribes in developing the resources they need to meet their cultural revitalization goals. In this way, we honor cultural diversity and indigenous ways of knowing in order to create a just, humane, and sustainable world.

Participating Tribes and communities set their own priorities for cultural revitalization. MICA brings supportive resources to assist them in reaching their goals. Strategies include:

• Partnerships with government, corporations and private philanthropy. MICA serves as an intermediary grantmaking organization for American Indian and Alaska Native Tribes, organizations, and communities. Focusing our grantmaking on community well-being, as determined by those who live in the community, has engendered trust, enabling us to support Tribes in overcoming roadblocks to completing projects, monitor project success, offer technical assistance, and share best practices;
• Themed best practices conferences. Bringing together the most experienced, innovative minds from around the world to raise the level of information and expertise available to Indian communities;
• Relationship building through individual Tribal consultations and site visits. Trust, combined with technical support and incentive funding, has proved to be the right formula for successful project completion on an unprecedented scale;
• One-to-one technical assistance. MICA utilizes language experts and site consultants to meet with Tribes on a one-to-one basis to tackle problems and plan realistic next steps.
• Mentorship Programs. MICA is piloting a Tribe-to-Tribe mentorship program in which Tribes experienced in the field that the mentee Tribe seeks to address (i.e geographic information systems, ground-penetrating radar, and other site-protection techniques) provide expert support and resources to assist and empower the mentee Tribe. MICA monitors the mentor/mentee relationship and provides support as needed to ensure a successful collaboration.
• Knowledge Base. The 566 grant applications received form a treasure trove of information about tribal priorities and the state of hundreds of endangered languages. Our direct giving to Tribes has achieved a 92% success rate in project completion, documented by photographs and written close-out reports.

The CRF has spent the past four years creating a structure to support Tribal Nations and communities make community-driven change. Our approach works. We are seeking a broader coalition to build on our successful strategies and provide on-ramps for significant and ongoing funding. We seek to continue to support Tribes in protecting these precious, irreplaceable sites and the languages and cultures that nurture them – on their terms.

MICA Group's Cultural Resource Fund project has achieved extraordinary results in Indian Country. Over the past 3½ years, the CRF awarded 500 language, cultural, and site protection grants totaling $9.4 million to 206 Tribes (60% of Tribes in the continental U.S.) and 41 state historic preservation offices (Tribal Nations that do not have Tribal Historic Preservation Offices (THPOs) are under the jurisdiction of State Historic Preservation Offices (SHPOs)). Our grantmaking generated $15 million in new matching (cash) funding. 92% of the projects we funded have been successfully completed. In recognition of its success, the CRF was nominated for a 2018 Harvard Innovations in American Government Award.

MICA’s management team brings experience and accomplishments in project management, community mobilization, educational transformation, cultural revitalization, and economic empowerment. We draw on a deep pool of experts, both indigenous and others, as needed for each project. We bring ideas, contacts, encouragement, and new frameworks along with tools and methodologies that can be leveraged for years to come. Most of all, we bring an unfailing belief in the strength and resilience of indigenous peoples and their right to determine how best to nurture their communities.
MICA's CRF project is governed by an Advisory Board of respected leaders in Indian Country:
Samuel E. Cata (Ohkay Owingeh) -- Former Deputy Director and Interim Director State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO);
Walter Echo-Hawk, J.D. (Pawnee) -- Committed culture bearer, attorney, tribal judge, activist, educator and author; attorney for the Native American Rights Fund (NARF) for thirty-five years;
Marshall McKay (Yocha Dehe) -- Chairman Emeritus, Yocha Dehe Wintun Nation; member, California Native American Heritage Commission;
Katherine “Kak” Slick -- former Executive Director of the United States Committee of the International Council on Monuments and Sites; former Director and State Historic Preservation Officer State of New Mexico;
Richard Trudell, J.D. (Santee Sioux) -- Principal, Blue Stone Strategy Group; founder and former Executive Director of the American Indian Lawyer Training Program;
Della Warrior, M.Ed. (Otoe-Missouria) -- Director, Museum of Indian Arts and Culture, Santa Fe, New Mexico; former Chairperson and CEO, Otoe-Missouria Tribe;
W. Richard West, Jr., A.M., J.D. (Southern Cheyenne) -- President and CEO, Autry National Center of the American West; Founding Director and Director Emeritus, National Museum of the American Indian, Smithsonian Institute.

CRF grants have:
• protected over 50 significant cultural sites;
• supported 22 new tribal partnerships with states and the Nature Conservancy;
• hosted two national conferences, one on language revitalization ("Pathways to Fluency," December 2016) and one on cultural and sacred site protection ("Respecting Place," December 2017), each attended by over 150 representatives of over 100 Tribal Nations;
• funded 6 new tribal historic preservation (THPO) offices, giving Tribes sovereignty over their own lands;
• geo-mapped 11 entire reservations;
• created a Tribe-to-Tribe site mentorship program;
• restored 47 traditional cultural practices; and
• with the help and participation of 17 nationally recognized language experts, including two MacArthur genius award winners, brought languages from dormant to recovering, providing 21 Tribes with the opportunity for language revitalization technical assistance.

MICA is seeking funding partners to continue our work. We are excited about our new Tribe-to-Tribe Sacred and Cultural Site Mentoring program set to begin in 2019, with 12 tribal mentees and 4 mentoring Tribes. Our "Next Steps" language project, requested by Tribes, provides on-site technical assistance for language revitalization. Our language study project offers technical assistance to established, successful, model language programs seeking to study themselves and publish the data in a peer-reviewed journal. Our goal is to bring to national attention the success of these unsung hero language programs.

How we listen

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Seeking feedback from people served makes programs more responsive and effective. Here’s how this organization is listening.

done We shared information about our current feedback practices.
  • Who are the people you serve with your mission?

    American Indian Tribes and communities.

  • How is your organization collecting feedback from the people you serve?

    Electronic surveys (by email, tablet, etc.),

  • How is your organization using feedback from the people you serve?

    To inform the development of new programs/projects, To strengthen relationships with the people we serve,

  • What significant change resulted from feedback?

    We started a broadband support program.

  • With whom is the organization sharing feedback?

    The people we serve, Our staff, Our board, Our funders, Our community partners,

  • How has asking for feedback from the people you serve changed your relationship?

    We have always been a participatory grantmaker.

  • Which of the following feedback practices does your organization routinely carry out?

    We take steps to get feedback from marginalized or under-represented people, We aim to collect feedback from as many people we serve as possible, We take steps to ensure people feel comfortable being honest with us, We act on the feedback we receive, We tell the people who gave us feedback how we acted on their feedback,

  • What challenges does the organization face when collecting feedback?

    We don't have any major challenges to collecting feedback,

Financials

Mica Group Inc
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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

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Connect with nonprofit leaders

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Connect with nonprofit leaders

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  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
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  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

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Mica Group Inc

Board of directors
as of 7/11/2021
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Ms. Della Warrior

Director, Museum of Indian Arts & Culture, Santa Fe, NM; Former President, Institute of American Indian Arts; Chair Emeritus, Otoe-Missouria Tribe

Term: 2017 - 2020

W. Richard West, Jr. (Southern Cheyenne)

CEO, Autry National Center; Founding Director, Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian

Walter Echo-Hawk (Pawnee)

Author, Law Professor, Attorney Emeritus, Native American Rights Fund (NARF)

Katherine Slick

former Historic Preservation Officer, State of New Mexico; former President, Internatiopnal Commission on Monuments and Sites

Sam Cata (Ohkay Owingeh)

Consultant & Tribal Liaison, Centine Health Corporation

Marshall McKay (Yocha Dehe Wintun)

Founder, Mabel McKay Foundation; Chairman Emeritus, Yocha Dehe Wintun Nation

Rosana Rodriquez

Retired, W.K. Kellogg Foundation

Hon. Jacqueline Knox Brown

Consultant; former Assistant secretary, U.S. Department of Energy

Richard Trudell (Santee Sioux)

Consultant, Blue Stone Strategy Group; founding director, American Indian Lawyer Training Program

Hon. Veronica Gonzales

Cabinet Secretary Emeritus, State of New Mexico Department of Cultural Affairs; former Executive Director, American Indian Higher Education Consortium (AIHEC)

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? No
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? No
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? Yes
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Yes
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? No

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 07/11/2021

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? GuideStar partnered on this section with CHANGE Philanthropy and Equity in the Center.

Leadership

No data

The organization's co-leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
Native American/American Indian/Indigenous
Gender identity
Female
Sexual orientation
Heterosexual or Straight
Disability status
Person without a disability

Race & ethnicity

Gender identity

 

Sexual orientation

No data

Disability

No data

Equity strategies

Last updated: 11/07/2019

GuideStar partnered with Equity in the Center - an organization that works to shift mindsets, practices, and systems to increase racial equity - to create this section. Learn more

Data
  • We review compensation data across the organization (and by staff levels) to identify disparities by race.
  • We ask team members to identify racial disparities in their programs and / or portfolios.
  • We analyze disaggregated data and root causes of race disparities that impact the organization's programs, portfolios, and the populations served.
  • We disaggregate data to adjust programming goals to keep pace with changing needs of the communities we support.
  • We employ non-traditional ways of gathering feedback on programs and trainings, which may include interviews, roundtables, and external reviews with/by community stakeholders.
Policies and processes
  • We use a vetting process to identify vendors and partners that share our commitment to race equity.
  • We have a promotion process that anticipates and mitigates implicit and explicit biases about people of color serving in leadership positions.
  • We seek individuals from various race backgrounds for board and executive director/CEO positions within our organization.
  • We have community representation at the board level, either on the board itself or through a community advisory board.
  • We help senior leadership understand how to be inclusive leaders with learning approaches that emphasize reflection, iteration, and adaptability.
  • We measure and then disaggregate job satisfaction and retention data by race, function, level, and/or team.
  • We engage everyone, from the board to staff levels of the organization, in race equity work and ensure that individuals understand their roles in creating culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.