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NIFA Celebrates Native American Heritage Month

Nifa Author
Rachel Dotson, Public Affairs Specialist (Social Media)

This November, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) joins together to celebrate Native American Heritage Month. During this month, we acknowledge the people, culture, and contributions of the Native American community.

Through numerous programs and services, read how NIFA supports the tribal community through promoting education, youth development, and environmental conservation.

Tribal College Research Grant Program: This grant program helps 1994 Land-grant universities become centers of scientific inquiry and learning for remote and rural reservation communities. The 1994 Land-grants often serve as the primary institution of scientific inquiry, knowledge, and learning for reservation communities. This funding allows them to address the questions that matter to these communities, such as protecting reservation forests or monitoring water quality. Projects may help a tribe improve bison herd productivity, discover whether traditional plants can play a role in managing diabetes or control invasive species.

Federally-Recognized Tribes Extension Program: The Federally-Recognized Tribes Extension Program (FRTEP) funds Extension programs on American Indian Reservations and Tribal jurisdictions that address the unique needs and problems of American Indian Tribal Nations. FRTEP is the link to building the Native American community's capacity through 4-H and tribal youth development, agriculture and natural resource management, and entrepreneurship and business development. This competitive grant program provides education and research-based knowledge to those who might not otherwise receive it.

Tribal Extension Grant Program: This grant supports community-based education at the federally recognized tribal colleges. With this funding, the 1994 Land-grants impact the reservation’s youth, farmers, and families with activities that enhance health, promote prosperity, and support learning. The Tribal College Extension grant program allows the 1994 Land-grants to create extension offices for their reservation communities.

Tribal Equity Grants Program: Tribal Equity grants fund formal learning at 1994 Land-grants. Faculty use the funding to improve their courses, enhance their teaching ability, provide student stipends, or invest in new technology to reach more students in remote reservation communities. The 1994 Land-grants may use the Tribal Equity Grant Program to support student recruitment and retention. The 1994 Land-grants use the Tribal Equity Grants to assist faculty who develop classes and degree programs that teach science and math to Native Americans.

New Beginning for Tribal Students (NBTS): This grant supports land-grant colleges and universities to assist Tribal students on their path to higher education. The NBTS provides competitive grants to land-grant colleges and universities to support specifically targeted for Tribal students. This grant will use funds for the support of Tribal students for articulation agreements with 1994’s; dual credit programs; recruiting; tuition and related fees; experiential learning; student services, including tutoring; counseling; academic advising; and other student services that would increase the retention and graduation rate of Tribal students enrolled at the land-grant college or university, as determined by the Secretary. 
This article is part of a series celebrating Native American Heritage Month 2021. Follow along as NIFA highlights its impacts throughout the month.

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