FY 2016 Land Buy-Back Program for Tribal Nations

FY 2016 Land Buy-Back Program for Tribal Nations – The Secretary of the Interior established the Land Buy-Back Program for Tribal Nations (Buy-Back Program, Program) to implement the land consolidation provisions of the Cobell Settlement Agreement, which provided $1.9 billion to consolidate fractional land interests across Indian country. The Buy-Back Program allows interested individual owners to sell their land for immediate transfer to the recognized tribe that exercises jurisdiction. This effort will strengthen tribal sovereignty and put decision-making in the hands of the tribal government, freeing up resources that have been locked-up as land interests that have fractionated over time. The Buy-Back Program has announced 42 locations where land consolidation activities such as planning, outreach, mapping, mineral evaluations, appraisals or acquisitions are scheduled to take place through the middle of 2017. The Buy-Back Program is interested in partnering with the eligible tribes that have jurisdiction over these 42 locations, as well as any locations that are added to the implementation schedule, to gain their direct participation in land consolidation efforts given tribes’ unique qualifications to perform land consolidation activities for their reservations. Consequently, the Program intends to, whenever feasible and practical, enter into single source cooperative agreements with these eligible tribes to not only capitalize on their unique knowledge of their reservations but also to improve the overall effectiveness and efficiency of the Program. Eligible tribes will be given the opportunity to apply for a cooperative agreement, whenever feasible and practical, prior to the implementation of the Buy-Back Program at the location under their jurisdiction. The Buy-Back Program will continue to expand to other reservations over the next several years, and tribes with jurisdiction over locations not yet scheduled for implementation will receive information about how they can participate once their reservations are scheduled. Tribes are encouraged to contact Program staff for more information on developing the cooperative agreement application prior to submission. Tribes are not required to enter into cooperative agreements to participate in the Program. In certain cases, it may be unnecessary and other vehicles, such as memorandums of agreements, may be used. The Settlement Agreement limits the amount of funding that may be used for implementation costs associated with the Program (e.g., outreach, land research, and appraisals). Thus, to help ensure that it stays within the established limit on implementation costs, the Program will fund indirect costs through cooperative agreements equal to no more than 15% of the modified total direct costs. PLEASE NOTE: This is a 10-year program. The expiration on this posting reflects this current opportunity, and new opportunities will be posted over the duration of the Program. In addition, given that the Cobell Settlement specifically limits overall implementation costs for the duration of the Program, cooperative agreement awards are not intended to fund or support long-term, multi-year programs at each location or reservation. Most awards will provide funding for no longer than 1 year, and tribes are encouraged to utilize the award amount to work with existing tribal land offices and programs. Tribes are also encouraged to first review mapping and other information available from the Program and to work with Program staff in the development of the cooperative agreement application. Current Closing Date for Applications: September 30, 2016.

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Interior Department Proposes Pathway For Re-Establishing A Government-To-Government Relationship With The Native Hawaiian Community

(September 29, 2015) – The U.S. Department of the Interior announced today a proposal to create an administrative procedure and criteria that the Secretary of the Interior would apply if the Native Hawaiian community forms a unified government that then seeks a formal government-to-government relationship with the United States.

Under the new proposal, the Native Hawaiian community — not the Federal government — would decide whether to reorganize a Native Hawaiian government, what form that government would take, and whether it would seek a government-to-government relationship with the United States. “The United States has a long-standing policy of supporting self-governance for Native peoples, yet the benefits of the government-to-government relationship have long been denied to Native Hawaiians, one of our nation’s largest indigenous communities,” said Interior Secretary Sally Jewell. “Today’s proposal is testament to the Obama Administration’s strong support for our nation’s Native peoples’ right to self-determination.”

The proposal, which takes the form of a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM), builds on more than 150 Federal statutes that Congress has enacted over the last century to recognize and implement the special political and trust relationship between the United States and the Native Hawaiian community. The NPRM comes on the heels of a robust and transparent public comment period as part of an Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPRM) process that began last year and included public meetings. More than 5,000 members of the public submitted written responses to the ANPRM, and they overwhelmingly favored creating a pathway for reestablishing a formal government-to-government relationship. To view the public comments, click here.

“We’ve listened to the feedback we received during the public meetings and in writing and worked to improve the proposal to reflect those comments,” added Jewell. “We appreciate the many voices on this topic and look forward to hearing from the public on this proposal.” If a government-to-government relationship is reestablished, it can provide the community with greater flexibility to preserve its distinct culture and traditions, and special status under Federal law that enables the community to exercise powers of self-government over many issues directly impacting community members.

The Native Hawaiian community has not had a formal government since the overthrow of the Kingdom of Hawaii in 1893. In 1993, Congress enacted the Apology Resolution which offered an apology to Native Hawaiians on behalf of the United States for its role in the overthrow and committed the Federal government to a process of reconciliation. As part of that reconciliation process, in 2000 the Department of the Interior and the Department of Justice jointly issued a report identifying as its lead recommendation the need to foster self-determination for Native Hawaiians under Federal law.

Today’s proposal is available for review at www.doi.gov/ohr, and public comments on it will be accepted for the next 90 days. Members of the public are encouraged to read the proposal and provide comments in writing by email to part50@doi.gov, on www.regulations.gov (docket no. DOI-2015-0005), or by U.S. mail/hand delivery to the Office of the Secretary, Department of the Interior, Room 7228, 1849 C St. NW, Washington, DC 20240. The public is also encouraged to participate in teleconferences on the proposed rule, a schedule of which is available here.

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Justice Department Awards Over $97 Million to Improve Public Safety and Victim Services for American Indians and Alaska Natives

(September 16, 2015) The Department of Justice today announced 206 awards, totaling more than $97 million, to American Indian tribes, Alaska Native villages, tribal consortia and tribal designees.  The announcement was made at the 2015 Tribal Leader Briefing, sponsored by the National Congress of American Indians and included Tribal leaders, Members of Congress and Administration officials.

“For the past five years, the CTAS program has helped tribes develop their own comprehensive approaches to making their communities safer and healthier,” said Acting Associate Attorney General Stuart F. Delery.  “CTAS grants have funded hundreds of programs to better serve crime victims, promote community policing and strengthen justice systems.  This year’s awards also support efforts to reduce domestic and dating violence and promote wellness and healing for tribal youth, among many other programs.”

The awards are made through the department’s Coordinated Tribal Assistance Solicitation (CTAS), a single application for tribal-specific grant programs.  The department developed CTAS through its Office of Community Oriented Policing Services, Office of Justice Programs and Office on Violence Against Women and administered the first round of consolidated grants in September 2010.

Since then, more than 1,400 grants totaling more than $620 million have been provided to enhance law enforcement practices, victim services and sustain crime prevention and intervention efforts in nine purpose areas; public safety and community policing; justice systems planning: alcohol and substance abuse; corrections and correctional alternatives; children’s justice act partnerships; services for victims of crime; violence against women; juvenile justice; and tribal youth programs.

American Indians and Alaska Natives experience disproportionate rates of violence and victimization and often encounter significant obstacles to identifying and accessing culturally relevant services.  CTAS funding helps tribes to develop and strengthen tribal justice systems’ response to crime, while significantly increasing programs and services available to them.

A listing of today’s awards is available at http://www.justice.gov/tribal/file/771691/download.  A fact sheet on CTAS is available at http://www.justice.gov/tribal/file/771781/download.

Today’s announcement is part of the Justice Department’s ongoing initiative to increase engagement, coordination and action on public safety in American Indian and Alaska Native communities.

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Nursing Workforce Diversity (NWD) Program

Nursing Workforce Diversity (NWD) Program – This announcement solicits applications for the Nursing Workforce Diversity (NWD) program. Program Purpose The NWD program increases nursing education opportunities for individuals from disadvantaged backgrounds, including racial and ethnic minorities that are underrepresented among registered nurses by using social determinants to guide the selection of evidence-based approaches that have been successful in retaining students from disadvantaged backgrounds in schools of nursing. The program supports projects that provide student stipends or scholarships, stipends for diploma or associate degree nurses to enter a bridge or degree completion program, student scholarships or stipends for accelerated nursing degree programs, pre-entry preparation, advanced education preparation, and retention activities. Program Requirements Eligible institutions must identify and describe the root causes of attrition among students from disadvantaged backgrounds. The description should include a discussion of the social determinants that inhibit student achievement and success. Applicants must document how an understanding of the social determinants will be used to guide the selection of appropriate evidence-based approaches that have been successful in retaining students from disadvantaged backgrounds (including racial and ethnic minorities) in schools of nursing. Next, applicants must propose a feasible plan to apply evidence-based strategies to increase retention of students from disadvantaged backgrounds in schools of nursing student. Successful evidence-based strategies to address student retention should include various combinations of:

  • Academic and peer support
  • Mentoring
  • Institutional and community partnerships
  • Student financial support.

To accomplish the program goal, applicants are expected to demonstrate that a combination of academic/peer support, mentoring, institutional and community partnerships, and/or student financial support will be effectively used to retain students from disadvantaged backgrounds with low academic achievement who are at risk of failing in schools of nursing. Specifically, applicants must utilize social determinants that affect their target student population’s achievement and success in schools of nursing by: 1. Implementing at least one partnership with an internal (i.e., institutional) and external (i.e., community) organization to improve academic achievement of students from disadvantaged backgrounds, academic enhancement, science and math instructional enrichment, and mentoring, and 2. Identifying and addressing institutional structures within schools of nursing that function as barriers to student achievement and academic success. For this funding opportunity, successful applicants must be well positioned to implement institutional and community partnership models, approaches, and/or strategies that incorporate the social determinants into the design, implementation, and evaluation of student retention programs. Current Closing Date for Applications: November 16, 2015.

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Native American/Native Hawaiian Museum Services

Native American/Native Hawaiian Museum Services – Native American/Native Hawaiian Museum Services (NANH) grants support Indian tribes and organizations that primarily serve and represent Native Hawaiians. They are intended to provide opportunities to sustain heritage, culture, and knowledge through strengthened activities in areas such as exhibitions, educational services and programming, professional development, and collections stewardship. Current Closing Date for Applications: December 01, 2015.

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Deployment of Clean Energy and Energy Efficiency Projects on Indian Lands – 2015

Deployment of Clean Energy and Energy Efficiency Projects on Indian Lands – 2015 – Through this Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA), the Department’s Office of Indian Energy is soliciting applications from Indian tribes (including Alaska Native regional corporations, village corporations, tribal consortia, and tribal organizations) and Tribal Energy Resource Development Organizations to install (1) facility-scale clean energy and energy efficiency projects and (2) community-scale clean energy projects on Indian lands. The Funding Opportunity Announcement is soliciting applications under two Topic Areas: (1) Install clean energy and energy efficiency retrofit projects for tribal buildings (Topic Area 1); a. Clean Energy Systems (Topic Area 1.a.) b. “Deep Energy Retrofit” Energy Efficiency Measures (Topic Area 1.b.) And, (2) Deploy clean energy systems on a community-scale (Topic Area 2). Under Topic Area 1, DOE is seeking applications for the deployment of facility-scale: (a) clean energy systems (renewable energy power systems or combined heat and power systems) to displace electrical, heating and/or cooling loads by at least 15%; and (b) deep energy retrofit energy efficiency measures to reduce the total of all energy used in a building or buildings by at least a 20%. Under Topic Area 2, DOE is soliciting applications for the deployment of community-scale clean energy systems of 50 kW or more (or for heating or cooling the Btu equivalent of 170,607 Btu/hour) on Indian lands to provide electricity, and/or heating or cooling for many buildings or to an entire tribal community. Under this FOA, a 50% cost share of total project costs (100% match against DOE funds) is required, unless an Applicant requests a reduction in the cost share as part of the application and receives approval from DOE. Applicants may request up to a 40% reduction in cost share, to no less than 10% of the total project costs. Cost share reduction requests to less than 10% will not be considered. If DOE does not grant a request for reduced cost share, the Applicant will be required to meet the requisite 50% cost share. DOE expects to make approximately $4 million to $6 million of Federal funding available for new awards under this FOA, subject to the availability of appropriated funds. DOE anticipates making approximately 6 to 10 awards under this FOA. DOE may issue awards in one, multiple, or none of the following topic areas. The full Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) is posted on the EERE eXCHANGE website at https://eere-exchange.energy.gov. Applications must be submitted through the EERE eXCHANGE website to be considered for award. The applicant must first register and create an account on the EERE eXCHANGE website. A User Guide for the EERE eXCHANGE can be found on the EERE website http://eere.energy.gov/financing/exchangeExchange/Manuals.aspx after logging in to the system. Information on where to submit questions regarding the content of the announcement and where to submit questions regarding submission of applications is found in the full FOA posted on the EERE Exchange website. Current Closing Date for Applications: December 10, 2015.

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OVW FY 2015 Sexual Assault Justice Initiative

OVW FY 2015 Sexual Assault Justice Initiative – The Sexual Assault Justice Initiative (SAJI) will fund up to seven sites to implement–as part of a victim-centered, coordinated community response to sexual assault–a set of performance measures that look beyond conviction rates to define and measure successful prosecution in sexual assault cases. Eligible Applicants: State governments, City, County governments or township governments, and Native American tribal governments (Federally recognized). Current Closing Date for Applications: October 13, 2015.

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