$5.3 Million Awarded to Help American Indian Youth Become College-, Career-Ready

U.S. Departments of Education, Interior Partner to Announce Important Funding for Investments in Native Youth Success

Last edited 09/29/2021

Date: September 24, 2015
Contact: Jessica Kershaw, Interior_Press@ios.doi.gov

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Education today, in conjunction with the U.S. Department of the Interior, announced the award of more than $5 million in grants to help Native American youth become college- and career-ready.

Under the new Native Youth Community Projects (NYCP) program, the Department of Education is making grants to a dozen recipients in nine states that will impact more than thirty tribes and involve more than 48 schools. These awards are a demonstration of President Obama’s strong commitment to improving the lives of American Indian and Alaska Native children and a key element of his Generation Indigenous “Gen I” Initiative to help Native American youth.

“These grants are an unprecedented investment in Native youth, and a recognition that tribal communities are best positioned to drive solutions and lead change,” said U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan. “These grants are a down payment on President Obama’s commitment last summer at his historic trip to the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation in North Dakota to create new opportunities for American Indian youth to cultivate the next generation of Native leaders.”

“The investments we're announcing today underscore the Obama Administration's commitment to self-determination by putting tribal communities in the driver’s seat for developing a strong and prosperous future for Indian Country,” said U.S. Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell, who joined Education Secretary Arne Duncan in announcing the funding awards today and is responsible for the management of more than 180 Bureau of Indian Education Schools, three of which are recipients of these Native Youth Community Projects program grants. “These grants provide tools to tribes to not only assist in the transition from federal to tribal control of school operations and management but also ensure college-readiness for the next generation of Native American leaders.” 

Each grant will support a coordinated, focused approach chosen by a community partnership that includes a tribe, local schools, and other organizations. For example, the program allows tribes to identify culturally-appropriate, community-specific supports for college and career readiness – whether it’s early learning, language immersion or mental health services.

The President’s FY 2016 budget proposal calls for increased investments across Indian Country, including a total request of $20.8 billion for a range of federal programs that serve tribes – a $1.5 billion increase over the 2015-enacted level. The budget proposal includes $53 million for fiscal year 2016 – a $50 million increase from this year’s budget – to significantly expand the Native Youth Community Projects program.

For more on the Administration’s investment in Native American issues, visit https://www.whitehouse.gov/nativeamericans.

Among the projects:

Alaska Cook Inlet Tribal Council Inc., $600,000 – The Cook Inlet Tribal Council, in partnership with the Anchorage School District, will administer Journey Ahead, a middle-school intervention designed to improve the college and career readiness of Alaska Native and American Indian students in Anchorage. The project will stress outcomes key to developing college and career readiness, including academic achievement, attendance, and a respectful school climate with caring adults.

North Dakota (Wahpeton) Circle of Nations School, $440,217 – The Circle of Nations School Native Youth Community Project will improve education indicators for college and career readiness through a community-wide approach providing academic, social, health, and other supports promoting school engagement and commitment to learning, which the project partners identified as the primary barrier among students at the U.S. Bureau of Indian Education-funded boarding school that serves students in grades 4-8.

New Mexico Native American Community Academy Foundation, $472,806 – The Native American Community Academy Foundation (NACA) will expand its network of high-performing schools dedicated solely to Indigenous education in Northwest New Mexico. Following a 3-year piloting phase, the NACA-Inspired Schools Network emerged out of community efforts to establish the first network of high-performing schools that seek to reimagine what Indigenous education and the school experience can be for Native students by creating schools of academic excellence and cultural relevance

Following are all of the grant recipients and levels of funding.


City (Area Served)


Tribal partner





Cook Inlet Tribal Council Inc.






Phoenix Indian Center Inc.

Gila River Indian Community and Salt River Pima Maricopa Indian Community




Happy Camp (Humboldt and Siskiyou Counties)

Karuk Tribe





Northern Cheyenne Indian reservation  in MT; and Little Axe, Bristow, Darlington, and El Reno School Districts in OK

Tribal Education Departments National Assembly Co. (Bureau of Indian Education partnership with Northern Cheyenne School in MT)

Northern Cheyenne Tribe, Absentee Shawnee Tribe, The Muscogee (Creek) Nation, and Cheyenne and Arapaho Tribes




Hollister (rural southeastern Warren and rural southwestern Halifax Counties)

Haliwa-Saponi Indian Tribe Inc.





Pembroke (Robeson County)

Lumbee Land Development





Wahpeton (Across ND)

Circle of Nations School (Bureau of Indian Education operated)

Sisseton-Wahpeton Oyate




Winnebago (Winnebago Indian Reservation)

HoChunk Community Development Corporation

Winnebago Tribe of Nebraska Education Department




Albuquerque (Cibola County, Gallup, Navajo, Santa Clara Pueblo, and Shiprock)

Native American Community Academy Foundation (Bureau of Indian Education partnership with Santa Clara Day School)

Santa Clara Pueblo Department of Youth and Learning





American Indian Resource Center Inc.

Cherokee Nation Educational Department





Grand View School

Cherokee Nation





Osage County Interlocal Cooperative

Osage Nation and Otoe-Missouri Tribe.









Was this page helpful?

Please provide a comment