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A Partnership between the American Indian Center and North Carolina Botanical Garden

The American Indian Cultural Garden (AICG) will create a gathering place to celebrate American Indian cultures and Indigenous ecological knowledge, support American Indian students in adjusting to life on campus, and serve as a teaching tool for the greater community. This garden space  affirms American Indian identity, culture, and Indigenous ecological knowledge for American Indian students, UNC campus community and local Triangle community, honoring Tribal Nations state- and nation-wide. To learn more about the design, visit the American Indian Cultural Garden Overview.

This garden is a community-driven effort that comes from numerous conversations and input of which can be found in the final report. To view more please visit our final project report which includes personal stories, details on how decisions were made, and a closer look at elements of the Garden.


amą:i (earth) Steward Awards

Through the American Indian Cultural Garden and with the generous support of the Mellon Foundation, the American Indian Center (AIC) at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill is excited to offer amą:i (“earth” in Saponi) Steward Awards to support projects that elevate Indigenous culture and heritage within public places.

Apply here!

AIC will begin accepting proposals starting April 30, 2024, for projects that address place-making and humanities activities (cultural preservation, oral stories, arts, music, and much more) among North Carolina tribal communities and urban organizations. The due date for all applications is July 31, 2024.

Projects funded by amą:i Steward Awards will be supported by culturally relevant technical assistance, capacity building workshops, and gatherings that promote intertribal sharing of traditional knowledge systems and culturally designed spaces on tribal lands. Awardees will have opportunities to share progress and successes with other awardees and gather resources from campus and local partners such as the North Carolina Botanical Garden.

● Activities that integrate Indigenous culture and/or oral stories with community spaces

● Tribal infrastructure improvements (indoor or outdoor)

● Cultural revitalization and preservation activities

● Activities and educational programming that promote Indigenous ecological knowledge

● Equipment, supplies, and strategies to sustain cultural heritage

● Human resource development (i.e., staff, internships, conferences, other educational opportunities)

Native nations and urban Indian organizations that share geography with the state of North Carolina are eligible to apply.

You can apply here
Applications will be reviewed by a selection committee. Applications must be accompanied by a W-9 form. Incomplete applications and applications submitted after the deadline will not be accepted.

amą:i (earth) Stewards Application Opens: April 30, 2024

amą:i (earth) Stewards Application Closes: July 31, 2024, 11:59pm EDT

Notification of amą:i (earth) Stewards Awards: September 1, 2024

Grant period: October 2024 – September 2026

To learn more, please reach out to one of the amą:i (earth) Steward Award program contacts!

Marissa Carmi

Associate Director


Lyric Locklear

Undergraduate Intern


Cayley Robinson

Undergraduate Intern


American Indian Center

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

205 Wilson Street

Campus Box 3457

Chapel Hill, NC 27516

The American Indian Cultural Garden is a partnership between the American Indian Center at UNC-Chapel Hill and the North Carolina Botanical Garden.

About The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation

The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation is the nation’s largest supporter of the arts and humanities. Since 1969, the Foundation has been guided by its core belief that the humanities and arts are essential to human understanding. The Foundation believes that the arts and humanities are where we express our complex humanity, and that everyone deserves the beauty, transcendence, and freedom that can be found there. Through our grants, we seek to build just communities enriched by meaning and empowered by critical thinking, where ideas and imagination can thrive. Learn more at

About the North Carolina Botanical Garden

The North Carolina Botanical Garden is a conservation garden guided by a mission to inspire understanding, appreciation, and conservation of plants and to advance a sustainable relationship between people and nature. It is nationally known for its conservation programs, educational collections, and diverse programs including native plant studies, botanical illustration, and horticultural therapy. As a garden focused on conserving the biodiversity of southeastern native plants, weNCBG recognizes that just as biodiversity is critical to a healthy ecosystem, diversity in people and perspectives makes theour organization and community stronger. NCBG is committed to creating an environment in our gardens and natural areas where everyone’s voice is heard and everyone feels safe and welcome.


To donate please visit this link and select “The Native American Cultural Garden Fund 525431.”