Tribal Nations awarded $26.7 mil through America the Beautiful Challenge

NFWF awards 14 Tribes funding for ecological restoration and planning projects, including its largest ever grant awarded to a Tribal Nation

Washington, DC – On Thursday, November 10, 2022, the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) announced $91 million in grants for ecosystem restoration projects through the America the Beautiful Challenge (AtBC). Tribal Nations made up roughly one third of the funds awarded.

In May 2022, the NFWF released the 2022 AtBC request for proposals to fund state, territory, and Tribal-led projects focused on landscape-level conservation, community resilience, and access to the outdoors. Shortly after the application period for this new funding opportunity opened, the Native Americans in Philanthropy offered to cover the 3% match requirements for all Tribal proposals, removing a barrier for Tribal applicants.

Of the 55 grants awarded through AtBC, Tribal Nations will receive 14 totaling $26.7 million, including the largest-ever grant from the Foundation to a Tribe. Of the projects awarded, seven will contribute to the implementation of restoration projects and seven projects will focus on capacity building through planning, collaboration, and engagement. (See list of Tribal projects below).

In total, NFWF received $326 million (of $1.1 billion) in proposals from Tribal Nations, the most the Foundation has ever received for a single RFP. While the outcome of the America the Beautiful Challenge is a positive step forward, it also demonstrates the critical need to increase funding for Tribal conservation efforts.

Preparing for the 2023 America the Beautiful Challenge
The Native American Fish and Wildlife Society was proud to partner with the First Nations Development Institute in providing technical assistance to Tribes applying for AtBC. Follow us on our website and on social media (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn) for announcements of technical assistance opportunities for the 2023 America the Beautiful Challenge.

AtBC Tribal Grant Recipients

Congratulations to the following Tribes awarded AtBC funding:

Implementation Grants

  • Bristol Bay Native Corporation: $1,000,000 – Advancing Wetlands Mapping for Improved Regional Habitat Management in Bristol Bay (AK)
  • Confederated Tribes and Bands of the Yakama Nation: $2,500,000 – Healing Land: Landscape Scale Reconnection of Culturally and Ecologically Important Pathways (WA)
  • Fort Belknap Indian Community: $4,985,200 – Intertribal Approach to Restoring Plains Bison and Landscape Connectivity on Tribal Lands (MT)
  • Nez Perce Tribe: $5,041,500 – Restoring Sockeye Salmon Habitat Connectivity at the Wallowa Dam (OR)
  • Santa Clara Pueblo: $4,250,000 – Riparian Wildlife Corridor Restoration and Wildfire Recovery at Santa Clara Pueblo (NM)
  • United Keetoowah Band of Cherokee in Oklahoma: $1,907,100 – River Cane Ecosystem Conservation and Connection to Keetoowah Traditional Practices (AR, OK)
  • Confederated Tribes of Coos, Lower Umpqua and Siuslaw Indians: $3,515,100 – Tidal Wetland Restoration to Improve Oregon Coast Coho Salmon Habitat in the Siuslaw River Estuary

Planning, Collaboration and Engagement Grants

  • Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians: $300,000 – Interagency Conservation Planning for Culturally Significant Species (NC)
  • Blackfeet Tribe of the Blackfeet Indian Reservation: $937,500 – Blackfeet Ecological and Cultural Stewardship in the Ninnaastakoo (Chief Mountain) Area (MT)
  • Igiugig Village Council: $339,900 – Building Capacity for Indigenous Community-Led Environmental Monitoring in Southwest Alaska
  • Summit Lake Paiute Tribe: $457,800 – Designing Habitat Connectivity and Ensuring Resilience for Lahontan Cutthroat Trout (NV)
  • Stockbridge-Munsee Community: $723,200 – Developing a Lënapehòkink Cultural Heritage Homelands Fellowship Along the Delaware River (DE, PA, NJ, NY)
  • Rosebud Economic Development Corporation: $536,500 – Keya Wakpala Woicageyapi Wetlands Restoration and Nature-Based Community Engagement (SD)
  • Fond du Lac Band of Lake Superior Chippewa: $218,800 – Maajii-akii-gikenjigewin: Launching an Indigenous Young Adult Conservation Crew (MI, MN, WI)

Read the NFWF Press Release and about all funded projects.

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NAFWS is the only national Tribal organization with a specific focus on Tribal fish and wildlife resources. As a unique membership organization with 227 Support Member Tribes in 7 regions, NAFWS strives to meet the needs of its Individual Members and Member Tribes through conferences, trainings, youth education, and by participating with innovative projects and initiatives in Indian Country.

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