Kw’umut Lelum Foundation

An Indigenous-led community foundation centering Coast Salish Protocol and supporting nations and community-based solutions that uplift culture, language and well-being.

About us

As one of only a few Indigenous-led community foundations across the lands called canada, Kw’umut Lelum Foundation (KLF) is deeply committed to embedding Coast Salish protocol into its granting. 

KLF emerged through a collaboration between nine Coast Salish member nations from the Malahat to Qualicum. “These nations have been working together and governing their own child welfare for 25 years,” KLF Executive Director, Ha-Youly (Sharon Hobenshield), proudly shared. “Sovereignty is most important, and these nations have a strong history of collaboration and shared vision. Through the foundation, we are investing in forward thinking programming and taking a holistic approach to support sovereignty, community and culture,” Ha-Youly described. 

Read more about the nine member nations.

Kw’umut Lelum – which translates to house of bringing up children – started taking charge of children in care decades ago, ensuring that their young people were supported, and working to make sure they knew their heritage and culture. In this work, they kept coming up against funding restrictions that were contrary to Coast Salish teachings that uphold inclusivity and looking after everyone. 

Working together, the nations started to invest in programming that focused on prevention, solutions, and health and wellness that truly served their children and communities. They offered drumming circles and culture camps that connected people and place and built a service model that supported families. To increase access to charitable funds and maintain their own decision-making, they eventually created a foundation and that is how KLF came to be.

Sharing her passion for what is possible, Ha-Youly says, “Indigenous-led community foundations can start to support longer-term solutions and investments so we aren’t only looking at the short-term and stuck dealing only with crises as they arise. Our communities have the solutions, we just need the resources to support long-term initiatives.” 

After nearly one year of work, KLF is getting ready to start granting through a combination of scholarships, language arts and culture grants, and a community request fund. With the latter, each of the nine nations will have the opportunity to bring forward their ideas for initiatives that will benefit their communities in a way that heeds their wisdom and respects their autonomy. At the heart of the foundation’s priorities are: transparency, protocol, health and wellness and youth.

KLF is committed to inviting applications according to Coast Salish protocol and practicing trust-based philanthropy with the nine member nations. The foundation is a catalyst between community, culture, and sovereignty and is committed to growing the foundation and supporting transformative work on the lands now known as Vancouver Island.

Mission + Purpose + Values

  • Investing in the future through Indigenous-led collaborations that open pathways, power, and potential
  • Creating transformational change by expanding cultural, economic, social, educational and recreational access
  • Working hand-in-hand as nine powerful Nations through purposeful collaborative actions with external partners

We exist to connect commitment with limitless potential. We collaborate with a vibrant community of private and public donors, united in our efforts to expand cultural, economic, social, educational and recreational access in support of Indigenous children and their families.

Uy’ ya’tulct ci’cuwatulct
Walking hand-in-hand in a good way

Stitumstuxw tun shqwuluwun

Xwunuts’amaat uw’ muqwstem 

Kw’umut Lelum Foundation


Federally incorporated charity

Geographic Region

Coast Salish Territories


Child welfare, Collaborative, Community foundation, Education, Health and wellness, Indigenous youth, Indigenous-led, Self-determination, Upstream approach

How Kw’umut Lelum Foundation upholds United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP)

Article 3
Indigenous peoples have the right to self-determination. By virtue of that right they freely determine their political status and freely pursue their economic, social and cultural development.

Article 18
Indigenous peoples have the right to participate in decision-making in matters which would affect their rights, through representatives chosen by themselves in accordance with their own procedures, as well as to maintain and develop their own indigneou decision-making institutions.

There are 46 Articles within the Declaration and they are all interrelated. The above list is not exhaustive but makes direct links between UNDRIP and this organization.

similar organizations

Fort William First Nation
Atlantic Coast (HQ in Nova Scotia)
Tkaronto (with a cross-canada network)
Fort William First Nation
Atlantic Coast (HQ in Nova Scotia)

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Organization Name:
Kw’umut Lelum Foundation