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New Tribal Tourism Grant Announced By BIA

New Tribal Tourism Grant Announced By BIA


On August 23, the Indian Affairs Office of Indian Economic Development announced it is now accepting applications for the 2022 Tribal Tourism Grant Program

This grant program is designed to promote more Indigenous tourist sites, positively affecting economic growth, tourist innovation, and cultural awareness. 

Details About the Tribal Tourism Grant Program 

The Tribal Tourism Grant Program intends to fund between 20 and 35 grants ranging from $25,000 to $150,000 for tribes and tribal organizations. Further, the grant money is intended for tribes to hire consultants, conduct performance studies, and develop business plans for future tourism projects. 

Essentially, as long as a tribe is a federally recognized American Indian or Alaska Native tribe and fills out the application by the required time, they are eligible to apply. That said, applications must be submitted before 5 PM EST on October 24, 2022. 

Should there be any questions about the application process, tribal leaders can contact Dennis Wilson, the Grant Management Specialist, at (505) 917-3235 or dennis.wilson@bia.gov. 

The Purpose of this Grant Money 

The Indian Affairs Office created this grant program to promote economic growth within tribal communities through tourism. 

In addition to economic growth, Bryan Newland, the Assistant Secretary for Indian Affairs, says the grants can do more. That said, Newland attests the grants “make sure that people have the opportunity to live safe, healthy, and fulfilling lives in their Tribal communities.” 

Because of the significant funding available, the hope is that tribes will explore different tourism options and how they can adapt tourism programs. 

Additionally, the grants are meant to help tribal communities recover from the COVID-19 pandemic. Sadly, Native American communities were more harshly affected by the coronavirus, specifically their economies. Therefore, creating more avenues that generate revenue is extraordinarily helpful. 

Why Tourism is Important for Native American Communities  

Promoting more tourism in Native American communities is an integral piece of boosting tribal economies, preserving cultural heritage, and giving outsiders a chance to learn about Indigenous history. 

In terms of economic growth, the more diverse and creative tribes can be with their tourism events and programs, the more revenue they can generate. In return, the tribes will pour the funds right back into the community, promoting economic growth. 

Also, the preservation of Native American culture is critical, especially when so many tribes are at risk of losing parts of it. 

Lastly, promoting tourism opens the door for non-Native Americans to learn more about Indigenous history, culture, and traditions. As a result, people learn to respect the land on which they live and the people that originally lived there. 

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