Tribal Programs and Resources

The programs and resources listed here were developed exclusively for Tribes, Native Americans, and Alaska Natives. Don’t forget you can also find funding and information available to you listed in the other listings on the Help for Rural Communities page.  

Agriculture & Forestry

Farm Service Agency (FSA) Programs
Contact your local office or USDA Service Center to learn more about FSA programs:

  • Farm Loans: If you are a beginning farmer or rancher and cannot get affordable financing from microlenders and commercial lenders – or if you need loans to operate or purchase your farm, or to install conservation measures, meet with your local FSA staff to learn about their direct and guaranteed farm loans. Emergency loans are available if your operation suffered losses from a disaster. Individual ag operators as well as Tribal organizations can apply.
  • Highly Fractionated Indian Land Loan Program: Organizations that have experience making loans can apply to FSA for funding to re-lend to help Tribes, individuals, and entities purchase and consolidate fractionated land. 
  • Indian Tribal Land Acquisition Loan Program: These FSA loans help Tribes purchase property within the reservation to increase current farm operations, increase productivity, and save farmland for future.

Intertribal Agricultural Council (IAC)
 The IAC conducts a wide range of programs designed to further the goal of improving Indian agriculture, natural resource management, market development for agricultural products and Native foods, and more. The IAC promotes the Indian use of Indian resources and contracts with federal agencies to maximize resources for tribal members. Contact them for technical assistance meet individual producer and Tribal community priorities related to agriculture, land management, and community development.  

Native American Agriculture Fund (NAAF)
Tribes, nonprofits, CDFIs, and educational organizations can apply for grants to provide agricultural education, business assistance, and technical support for Native farmers and ranchers. 

Working Lands Conservation Assistance
Tribes and Native American farmers and ranchers can apply to USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) for help planning conservation practices to improve farm operations as well as the environment. You can apply for cost share and grants to make those improvements. If you want to protect and maintain wetlands, agricultural lands, or forests long-term, look at NRCS easement programs. 

Broadband & Telecommunications

National Tribal Broadband Grant
Eligible federally recognized Tribes can apply for grants of $100,000 to $175,000 from the Bureau of Indian Affairs. Funds can pay consultants to conduct assessments of current services, feasibility studies, engineering assessments and/or to develop cost estimates and identify potential funding to build or expand broadband services.

Tribal Broadband Planning Toolkit
BroadbandUSA’s Tribal Broadband Planning Toolkit provides guidance and resources to design, implement, and execute a broadband plan in tribal communities. Designed for interactive use, the toolkit walks users through seven basic, common elements that serve as the building blocks of a tribal broadband plan, each with a dedicated worksheet and a tab in an accompanying, downloadable Excel-based template.

Community Development

Community Development Block Grant Program for Indian Tribes and Alaska Native Villages
Your Tribal government can use these funds for a wide range of activities to improve housing, services, public safety, infrastructure, the local economy, and more.

USDA Resource Guide for American Indians and Alaska Natives
You’ll find a helpful summary of USDA programs specifically written for Tribes, Native Americans, and Alaska Natives across four categories: agriculture, food sovereignty, and traditional foods; Indian Country economic development; conservation and forestry; and research, extension, and outreach.

Disaster

There is a FEMA Tribal Liaison for each region of Indian Country. A Tribal Liaison will be part of the response team if a federally declared disaster impacts your tribe or village. Tribal Liaisons are a great resource and can answer questions and provide technical assistance. They are the informational gateway to FEMA programs and funding opportunities to support disaster mitigation and emergency planning. Tribal Liaisons can be reached through FEMA’s Intergovernmental Affairs office. Please email ready@dhs.gov for information.

Webinar: FEMA and Tribal Nations: Building Capacity and Resilience
FEMA webinar to gain a better understanding of Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) disaster declaration process, funding mechanisms, and trainings. View the presentation as a PDF.

Training: FEMA’s Emergency Management Institute
Tribal emergency managers, community response personnel, and leaders can attend  this free training series in-person or online to prepare for natural disasters, reduce vulnerabilities, respond quickly and effectively, and recover after disasters strike. These courses address tribal culture, tradition, sovereignty, governance and other unique emergency management needs of Sovereign Nations.

Ready Indian Country
The Ready Indian Country website provides preparedness resources for Tribal communities. Find resources and information designed for Indian Country and tailored to your geographic region.

Tribal Mitigation Planning and Hazard Mitigation Assistance Grant Application Job Aid
Learn how to develop strong applications for FEMA’s Public Assistance, Fire Management Assistance Grant, and Hazard Mitigation Assistance programs.

Economic Development 

Native American Business Development Institute (NABDI) Grant
This competitive grant program helps Tribes complete feasibility studies for projects to create jobs and stimulate economic activity within a Native community.

Tribal Tourism Grant Program
Your Tribe – or a Tribal organization – can apply to Indian Affairs' Office of Indian Economic Development for grants of $25,000 to $150,000 to conduct feasibility studies or develop business plans for tourism projects or businesses that create jobs and stimulate economic activity through tourism in Native communities. 

Education

Indian Education Formula Grants
This program provides annual, enrolled Indian student count-based funding to schools serving Indian children that are enrolled in one of the following entity types: School districts, Bureau of Indian Education schools, Indian Tribes, Indian organizations, Indian community-based organizations, and consortia of the previously identified entities to help meet the unique cultural, language, and education needs of Indian students and ensure that all students meet the challenging state academic standard. School districts must submit a plan in collaboration with a local committee composed primarily of parents and family members of Indian children and must include student performance goals, a description of professional development activities that the applicant will carry out, and an explanation of how it will assess students’ progress toward meeting its goals and will provide the results of this assessment to the parent committee, Indian community, and Tribes whose children are served by the school district. The program does not require matched funding.

Tribal College Initiative Grants
Tribal colleges can receive up to $250,000 from USDA to upgrade infrastructure, facilities, equipment.  Funds may be used for schools, equipment, libraries, dorms, vehicles, and education and cultural projects. A five-percent match is required. 

Employment & Workforce 

Indian and Native American Programs – Employment and Training Grants
The Department of Labor’s Native American employment and training program provides through job placement, education and occupational skills training to help low-income and unemployed American Indians, Alaska Natives and Native Hawaiians obtain employment and increased wages. Grant funds may be used to provide an array of employment and training services including hiring employment and career counselors, occupational skills training, GED classes, educational assistance, short-term subsidized employment to acquire work experience, on-the-job training, and support services including childcare, transportation, etc. Tribes, Tribal serving organizations, and Tribal colleges and universities can apply for this annual competitive grant – with no match required – to develop and deliver career pathways or other strategies that are culturally and locally customized. Apprenticeship and pre-apprenticeship programs are encouraged.

Energy & Energy Efficiency

Energy Infrastructure Deployment on Tribal Lands 
The Department of Energy provides direct grant support to federally recognized Indian tribes for projects that will improve access to clean energy, energy efficiency, and energy resilience on Tribal lands. Grants will cover 90% of the project costs. Applications will be open later this year. More information can be found in the Notice of Intent

Unelectrified Tribal Buildings 
The Department of Energy provides direct grant support to federally recognized Indian tribes for infrastructure to electrify Tribal buildings. Grants will cover 90% of the project costs. Applications will be open later this year. More information can be found in the Notice of Intent. 

Technical Assistance for Tribes and Tribal Entities 
The Department of Energy provides technical and financial analysis assistance and strategic energy planning on a wide range of tribal energy projects. Federally recognized Indian tribes can request assistance anytime through the Office of Indian Energy website

Webinars: Tribal Energy Series
These recorded webinars from the Department of Energy are developed to provide Tribes, Native Americans, and Alaska Natives with information on energy efficiency and renewable energy technologies and project development.

Environment & Natural Resources

Indian General Assistance Program
Federally recognized Tribes and Tribal consortia may apply to the Environmental Protection Agency for grants to help them plan, develop, and establish environmental protection programs in Indian country, and to develop and implement solid and hazardous waste programs on tribal lands.

Tribal Indoor Air Quality Training and Resource Directory
This directory was developed by the Environmental Protection Agency for Tribes who are starting or expanding indoor air quality programs. You will find information and resources about ventilation, source control, filtration, vapor intrusion, pesticides, volatile organic compounds, mold, tobacco smoke, radon, drinking water contaminants and green cleaning, and more.

Webinar: EJSCREEN 101, Mapping Tools and EPA Competitive Grants
This webinar recorded by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will show you how to use EJSCREEN effectively in your EPA grant applications, as well as how to tailor its usage to Tribes’ specific needs. Several competitive grants issued by EPA are now including EJ provisions. Grant applicants are encouraged, as appropriate, to include data from EPA’s EJSCREEN tool (or other EJ-focused geospatial mapping tools) as part of their application to help characterize and describe the affected communities/populations and area(s). View the presentation as a PDF.

Families & Children

Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations (FDPIR)
Low-income households on Indian reservations and Native American households residing in designated areas near reservations or in Oklahoma can receive free, healthy foods from USDA. You can select the foods you want. To sign up, contact the office administering the program in your area.  Tribes interested in bringing the program to your people should contact the USDA Food and Nutrition Service Regional Office.  

Free Financial Coaching Available to Tribal Citizens
Confidential financial coaching is available to any American Indian or Alaska Native in the United States, regardless of where they reside provided by the Oklahoma Native Assets Coalition, Inc. 

Webinars: Opioids in Indian Country
This three-part webinar series discusses best practices and how several native communities have responded to the opioid crisis provided by the Tribal Training and Technical Assistance Center of the Department of Health and Human Services.

Special Diabetes Program for Indians
Indian health programs operated by Indian Tribes or Tribal organizations may apply to the Indian Health Service for cooperative agreement funds to operate programs to reduce the risk of diabetes , provide high quality care to those with diagnosed diabetes, and/or reduce the complications of diabetes.

Tribal Training and Technical Assistance Center
The center provides a variety of technical assistance to help Tribes develop culturally appropriate strategies and programs to address mental and substance use disorders, suicide prevention, and mental health promotion. The center is administered by the substance Abuse and mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA)..

Webinar: Celebrating Families
This two-part webinar series developed by the Tribal Training and Technical Assistance Center of the Department of Health and Human Services focuses on creating balance and prosperity within families.

Youth Regional Treatment Center Aftercare Program
The Indian Health Service (HIS) administers cooperative agreement funding for HIS-funded Youth Regional Treatment Centers (YRTC) to develop and sustain a continuum of care that fully supports explicit, measurable outcomes of safety, sobriety, and employability among AI/AN youth after discharge from a YRTC.

Housing

Housing Improvement Program
If you need to repair or replace your home, live in a Tribal service area, and qualify as low-income,  contact your Indian Housing Authority or Tribally Designated Housing Entity to see if you qualify for home grant funds from the Bureau of Indian Affairs. 

Section 184 Indian Home Loan Guarantee Program
The Section 184 Indian Home Loan Guarantee Program, administered by the US Department of Housing and Urban Development, is a home mortgage specifically designed for American Indian and Alaska Native families, Alaska villages, Tribes, and Tribally designated housing entities. Borrowers can get into a home with a low down-payment and flexible underwriting. Section 184 loans can be used both on and off native lands for new construction, rehabilitation, purchase of an existing home, or refinance.

Military & Veterans

Tribal Housing and Urban Development-Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing (HUD-VASH)
Your Tribe or Tribally Designated Housing Entity can set up a rental assistance program for Native American Veterans who are homeless or at risk of homelessness. The program combines HUD rental assistance with case management, clinical, and supportive services from the Department of Veterans Affairs.

Public Safety

Tribal Homeland Security Grant Program
Your Tribe can apply for funds to prevent, protect against, respond to and recover from potential terrorist attacks and other hazards. Matching funds are not required but recommended for a competitive application.

Seniors

Native Elder Service Locator 
Use this interactive Tribal service locator to find locations that provide elderly services for Native Americans.

Senior Community Service Employment Program
If you are an elder over 55 years old and are looking for new employment options, the National Indian Council on Aging can help you find work, develop new skills, and build work experience to bolster your economic security. 

Services for Native Americans Grants
Tribes and Tribal organizations can apply for grants from the Administration for Community Living to provide a broad range of services to older Native Americans, including:

  • Congregate and home-delivered meals
  • Information and referrals
  • Transportation
  • Personal care
  • Chores
  • Health promotion and disease prevention
  • Other supportive services. 

The grant can also fund services to help caregivers of older relatives with chronic illness or disability and grandparents caring for their grandchildren.

Technical Assistance and Resource Center
Learn about creative ways to support and advocate for elders and Native people living with disabilities and the resources available to them. Training supported by the National Indian Council on Aging includes cultural norms, preferences, and best practices for success in Indian Country.

Transportation

Tribal Transportation Program Safety Fund
The Federal Highway Administration provides funding through the Office of Federal Lands Highway for tribal governments for the purposes of transportation projects related to safety, safety planning and safety/infrastructure.

Water & Wastewater Infrastructure

Grants for Rural and Native Alaskan Villages
This USDA program helps Native Alaskans without access to community water and sewer install systems so they no longer have to haul water to or human waste from their homes. Tribes and state entities may apply for 75 percent of the costs for drinking water or waste disposal services to promote clean and healthy conditions and prevent disease. 

Water & Waste Disposal Grants to Alleviate Health Risks on Indian Lands and Colonias
If residents face significant health risks because they don’t have access to adequate, affordable drinking water or waste disposal services, this USDA grant can help construct basic water, sewer, or storm drainage systems. Matching funds are encouraged, but 100% grant funding may be offered in some circumstances if funds are available.

Women

Thriving Women Program
The Seventh Generation Fund for Indigenous Peoples offers grants to support grassroots projects that empower indigenous women-led work to prevent violence against women and girls and nurture healthy and thriving Native peoples and families.