News Release

Administration for Native Americans

This week, the Administration for Children and Families’ Administration for Native Americans (ANA) announced the availability of $19 million in supplemental grant funding through the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (ARP). The Administration for Native Americans is currently accepting grant applications from Tribal governments and organizations designated by Tribal letter, for the distribution of this American Rescue Plan relief funding. This funding is designated to assist Tribes and organizations as they seek to ensure the survival and continuing vitality of Native American languages.

Tribal governments and Native communities recognized early on that elders and language speakers were some of the most vulnerable to the pandemic. In response, many governments and community organizations quickly implemented efforts to check on the health and welfare of their elderly populations through the delivery of food, and some tribes prioritized language speakers to receive COVID-19 vaccination to help protect them from the deadly virus. However, despite closing borders, issuing mask mandates, and instating curfews, many elders and language speakers continued to succumb to the virus. For some communities, these losses have put their Native languages on the precipice of extinction. This funding will go to communities whose urgent work to save indigenous languages had been greatly impacted due to the dire effects of the pandemic.

Interested Tribal governments have until June 25, 2021 to apply for this grant funding and should apply by visiting: https://www.grants.gov/web/grants/view-opportunity.html?oppId=333793. A pre-recorded training is available on the Administration for Native Americans website. Additionally, the Administration for Native Americans will also host a live pre-application session on June 15 for Tribes. Attendance to this session is not required to apply for a grant.

Each year, the Administration for Native Americans awards approximately $13 million in discretionary funds to 50 community-based language projects, awarded on a competitive basis. The additional funding made available this year through the American Rescue Plan, more than doubles the amount of funding available and will allow the Administration for Native Americans to reach many more communities.

“I have heard first-hand about the heroic efforts to save languages both before, but especially during this pandemic. I have read so many tragic news stories about the devastating losses of fluent speakers in our communities. This funding feels like an answer to a prayer because we don’t reach all the communities whose languages are in danger. To be able to more than double our funding for Native Language preservation and revitalization is a huge relief,” said Acting Commissioner Michelle Sauve. 

“When a language dies, we don’t just lose the language as a form of communication. We also lose the scientific, ecological, traditional, ceremonial, and cultural knowledge developed over millennia within each community. The Administration for Native Americans stands ready to support our nation’s Native communities in their fight for the survival of their languages.”

About the Administration for Native Americans

Established in 1974 through the Native American Programs Act (NAPA), the Administration for Native Americans (ANA) serves all Native Americans, including federally recognized tribes, American Indian and Alaska Native organizations, Native Hawaiian organizations and Native populations throughout the Pacific Basin (including American Samoa, Guam, and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands). The Administration for Native Americans promotes self-sufficiency for Native Americans by providing discretionary grant funding for community-based projects as well as training and technical assistance to eligible tribes and native organizations. Visit the Administration for Native Americans website to learn more.

The Administration for Native Americans at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Administration for Children and Families, ANA