Custom forms and illustrations improve the the application process for indigenous peoples seeking project funding.
Keepers of the Earth is a grant provided by First Peoples Worldwide that funds locally-initiated development projects in indigenous communities around the world. By allowing these communities to create and implement their own solutions rather than taking a prescriptive tack, Keepers of the Earth fosters cooperation with, respect for, and reciprocity with indigenous peoples.
Recipients of the old Keepers of the Earth application and grant report—plain text Microsoft Word files—expressed a desire for the documents’ style to reflect indigenous culture. I created a series of patterns inspired by the traditional backstrap textiles of Peruvian weavers (a group served by the grant).
Because many applicants have limited Internet access, we decided on an interactive PDF format to give applicants ample flexibility (the forms can be completed and submitted electronically or printed and mailed). I typeset the documents in three languages: English, Spanish, and French.
In addition to receiving a standard award letter, recipients of the grant will also receive a mailed certificate for a greater sense of ceremony, celebration, and kinship.