Onaway’s vision is of a world where Native Peoples are able to maintain their traditional lifestyles and preserve their knowledge, skills and traditions for a sustainable future.
The Onaway Trust was established in 1974 with the overall objective to relieve poverty and suffering. Spanning four decades, Onaway has supported a diverse and extensive number of projects worldwide, many of which have grown to become successful, sustainable organisations in their own right.
Central to Onaway's focus throughout has been the assistance for Indigenous Cultures, particularly Native Americans. Onaway's founder, John Morris visited the "Indians" in the early 1970s having been inspired by what he knew of their sacred, innate wisdom and respect for all living things. However, whilst sojourning from tribe to tribe, he quickly realised that their spirits had been almost shattered - the result of genocide and the ongoing oppression they'd suffered since the historic "discovery" of the Americas in 1492. Hence, Onaway was born.
In the last quarter century, various groups have benefited from Onaway's help. Onaway's grants aim to provide a measure of physical and spiritual upliftment, particularly amongst indigenes, by providing seed grants to groups and organisations with self-help and self sufficiency aims and purposes.
In a letter to the Trustees, José Barreiro, Director of the Office of Latin America at the National Museum of the American Indian, wrote:
"Again, I want to thank Onaway and its Trustees for its generous support of indigenous peoples and cultures. In my more than twenty years of knowing Onaway I have seen many projects emerging from its seed grants that have grown into tremendously important components of the revitalisation of indigenous peoples. Truly, Onaway is a big piece of the Native American movement. Perhaps other institutions have had more money to give but Onaway has been uncannily prescient in its choices of people and projects to support. This has made all the difference!"