Programs for Tribal Organizations
The Interior Department received $500 million in stimulus-related funding to support a variety of projects for federally recognized tribes across the nation. Among the programs that are included are:
- School improvement and repairs — $143.1 million to repair buildings and system components in Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) schools.
- School replacement construction — $134.6 million will be provided to replace existing BIA schools in a pre-established order.
- Housing improvement program — $19 million will support the construction of new homes for eligible Indian families.
- Detention center maintenance and repairs — $7.3 million has been designated for improvements and repairs at the bureau’s detention facilities.
- Indian guaranteed loan program — $9.5 million has been set aside to help Indian entrepreneurs to get the capital they need to start or grow small-to-medium-sized businesses.
- Administrative costs — $25 million has been set aside to support BIA’s administrative needs with monitoring and oversight of contracts.
More information is available by clicking here.
Click here for more information about other stimulus act programs that are specifically designated for tribal organizations.
Indian Health Service
The Indian Health Service, an agency within the Health and Human Services (HHS) Department, has received $85 million to improve its health information technology (HIT) services. The money is designated for use in developing and modernizing telehealth services and related infrastructure.
Funds, awarded through competitive contracts, will be used to acquire new hardware and network services and to develop additional software. About half of the total amount will be administered by tribes, and $28 million will be used to extend and accelerate existing contracts.
The Indian Health Service (IHS) assists nearly two million people belonging to more than 500 federally recognized tribes in 35 states. There are 161 IHS and tribally managed service units nationwide, heightening the importance of telehealth services in delivering quality healthcare, decreasing disparities in service, minimizing errors, protecting patient records and streamlining administrative functions.
Some of the stimulus funds will be used to upgrade videoconference capabilities. Other telehealth initiatives include upgrading network routers and domain controllers, expanding the storage network and improving security.
For more details, including a breakdown of how funds are being allocated, please visit:
Broadband Technology Opportunity Grants
The Commerce Department’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) and the Agriculture Department’s Rural Utilities Service (RUS) are making available a total of $4.7 billion in stimulus funding to promote the deployment of broadband services in rural and underserved areas. Tribal organizations are among the entities that are eligible to apply.
An initial round of funding, totaling $1.6 billion, will be awarded by September 30, 2009 through these three programs:
- Broadband Infrastructure — Up to $1.2 billion will be available to support projects that deliver specific kinds of broadband service through precisely defined unserved or underserved areas.
- Public Computer Centers — Up to $50 million will be available to fund projects that expand the computer center capacity at facilities that permit the public to use computers. These sites can include Native American chapter houses, as well as schools, libraries, youth centers, community health centers and employment centers, among others.
- Sustainable Broadband Adoption — Up to $150 million will support “innovative projects” that promote broadband demand, such as initiatives to increase broadband education, awareness, training, access, equipment and support, particularly among vulnerable populations.
Funds will be made available in the form of grants, loans or a combination of the two. Another $200 million may be distributed in this round or saved for later application rounds. The application deadline for the first round of funding is August 14, 2009.
Click here for full details on the program, including additional eligibility criteria.
The full application packet is available by clicking here. NTIA and RUS are using a common application form and working together to review applications.