Cognizant of societal inequalities, ENF is committed to attracting, welcoming, and serving people of diverse cultures, ethnicities, faiths, identities, and socioeconomic backgrounds. Our community ethos fosters belonging, self-awareness, respect, honesty, empathy, inclusion, and equity. We strive to honor the perspectives and traditions of all members of our community.

We Value Inclusive Communities

As an organization, Eagle’s Nest Foundation practices and teaches anti-racism, and works actively to eliminate racism. In 2018, the Foundation established a Diversity, Equity and Inclusion(DEI) committee with a dedicated coordinator from amongst the full-time staff. Our DEI community is comprised of Directors of Programs, Faculty, and Staff representing all programs. The committee meets regularly to review our programs and policies, and make updates in an effort to end potentially harmful practices as well provide greater support to all members of our community.

Additionally, the Eagle’s Nest Foundation Board of Trustees formed a Transcultural Responsiveness Committee in 2020 which meets three times a year to provide ongoing training for trustees and set strategic priorities around the Foundation’s DEI initiatives.


Land Acknowledgment

Eagle’s Nest Foundation acknowledges, with respect, that the land on which we provide programming is the traditional, ancestral land of the Cherokee people past and present. We recognize that our organization and its participants are guests on this land. We are committed to learning more about the land’s history and creating programs and opportunities that are respectful and inclusive of the Cherokee people.

History of Little River Valley and Surrounding Area



As a Foundation, we provide anti-racism education and training at Eagle’s Nest for our full-time and seasonal staff members. We also provide funding for employees to attend anti-racism webinars, conferences, and training. 

The ENF Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion(DEI) Committee oversees a number of sub-committees working on specific projects related to DEI work in the organization.  These projects include supporting individuals with disabilities, hosting monthly DEI discussion groups, and writing blog posts and Eagle bi-annual newsletter articles to share updates with our readers on DEI Committee projects and proposals. 

More on anti-racism work at eagle’s nest foundation:

  • 2018-2019- ENF hired Niambi Jaha-Echols, who is a Cultural Agility Strategist, as a consultant to produce a Cross-Cultural Intelligence Assessment Report using findings from both ENF the organization and ENF as the body of individuals.  This report offered specific action items or suggestions to effect organizational change.
  • 2019-2022- Full-time staff members attended Racial Equity Workshops Phase I and II on Groundwater Approach by Racial Equity Institute(REI)
  • January 2019- Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion(DEI) staff-wide training on the Groundwater Approach.
  • Fall 2020- Updated Eagle’s Nest Camp Songbook to remove songs with harmful language or origins.
  • Fall 2021-Spring 2022- Eagle’s Nest Camp full-time team engages in an internal anti-racism series focusing on “marking whiteness” within our programming in an effort to target areas for anti-racism work.
  • Spring 2022- Created ENF DEI Resource Library, which is a collection of books donated to ENF related to DEI work.  This collection is housed in our on-campus library and accessible to all staff, faculty, students, campers, and participants to check-out books.
  • Summer 2022- Anti-racism training conducted during orientation for Summer 2022 Camp Seasonal Staff. This training will be repeated for Summer 2023 seasonal staff.
  • January 2023-Anti-racism training retreat for all full-time ENF staff with focus on “Five Whys” strategy to identify racism in the workplace and use the “SMART” strategy to create effective anti-racism goals.
  • Spring-Summer 2023- Working to create voluntary demographic surveys for our applicants, participants, campers, families, and students to complete. Goal: to acknowledge the importance of tracking specific metrics related to the work of anti-racism in our recruiting and retention of traditionally underrepresented communities in our programs and among our staff. 
In keeping with our Transcultural Commitment we know we need to continue to educate ourselves and also actively be anti-racist. Following are some resources that we would like to share to support the work of anti-racism. Join us in listening, reading, watching, and learning; call your communities to this work; listen to voices of people of color; stay updated and engaged.

Cultural Appropriation

At Eagle’s Nest we have been learning about how we can provide a more equitable, just, and inclusive experience for all of our participants, faculty, staff, alumni, and trustees. In this effort, we have been combing through our institutional culture for practices that are derived from Native American traditions in a concerted effort to replace these practices while retaining the educational aspect of this work.  We are working toward the removal of elements in our programs that are disrespectful, harmful, or simplistic uses of Indigenous cultures. Though our practices arose in admiration, our use over the years amounted to appropriation and oppression.

In 2016, we began this process by revising how we describe camp advancements, the names of the group leaders, and other portions of our community ceremonies. In 2021, we restructured our camp “tribal” system to become Kindreds and removed symbols, names, and activities irreverent of Native American peoples and cultures.  We recognize this work is ongoing and welcome your assistance in identifying other areas in need of change as well as ideas for new or revised practices that honor our core values, support our mission, and nurture a community of belonging and respect.


Support for the LGBTQIA+ Community

All programs within Eagle’s Nest Foundation are open and inclusive. We are welcoming of all members of the LGBTQIA+ community. Through our programs, ENF provides a safe space for LGBTQIA+ individuals, and we advocate for all of our campers, staff, students, faculty, and participants who are part of the LGBTQIA+ community.  Our goal is to foster a nurturing community for all.  At the center of campus,  we proudly fly the Rainbow flag as a symbol of LGBTQIA+ pride and a demonstration of our commitment to support all of our campers, participants and staff members.


Gender Inclusion

Eagle’s Nest Foundation is committed to the creation of a positive and inclusive learning environment that is sensitive and supportive of the gender identities of children, teens, and adults.  We teach and foster empathy and respect throughout our community. The ways in which we are able to programmatically address gender identity on our residential campus are constantly evolving, and our goal is to ensure all people feel safe and supported regardless of their gender identity or expression.


DEI All Staff Training Workshops

Every January, Eagle’s Nest hosts an All Staff Retreat with two sessions devoted to DEI workshops.  Below are materials used in these DEI workshops conducted by ENF staff.

January 22, 2024 ENF DEI Workshop “Belonging and Culture”


Belonging and Culture Workshop Resources

Belonging and Culture Workshop PowerPoint

Cultural Strategy Workshop Attributes and Case Studies

DEI Resources Amazon Wishlist

**Consider donating a book from Eagle’s Nest’s DEI Amazon Wish List. This book will go to our physical DEI library located on campus where staff, faculty, and students can check-out books. To donate, visit the Wish List below.  You will receive a donation acknowledgement from our Development Office in recognition of your donation.

**Eagle’s Nest Foundation DEI Amazon Wishlist

Thank you to all of the donors who have helped to purchase our Wish List so far!