WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Heidi Heitkamp, a member of the Senate Indian Affairs Committee, today announced more than $900,000 in federal funding to provide low-income and struggling Native Americans with employment and training opportunities on Spirit Lake, Three Affiliated Tribes, Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, and Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa Indian reservations, as well as United Tribes Technical College in Bismarck.
North Dakota U.S. Senator Heidi Heitkamp
The funds will be used to help individuals develop the academic, occupational, and literacy skills to make them more competitive in the workforce and promote economic and social development in Native communities in ways that reflect the tribes’ goals and values.
“Improving the educational and employment conditions for our Native families is a must, and I’ve been working to support these goals since I was Attorney General,” said Heitkamp. “While the federal government has many programs to assist Indian Country, the unmet needs in our state are great and these funds will help tribe members develop the skills themselves to get good jobs and continue to make a positive impact on their communities for years to come.”
The grants are distributed as follows:
- Spirit Lake Sioux Tribe – will receive $126,821.
- Three Affiliated Tribes – will receive $153,347.
- Standing Rock Sioux Tribe – will receive $183,598.
- United Tribes Technical College – will receive $195,662.
- Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa Indians – will receive $249,983.
These funds are authorized by the U.S. Department of Interior’s Office of Indian Energy and Economic Development. A total of more than $58 million was awarded to 180 Native American entities nationwide.
Since joining the Senate, Heitkamp has fought to support Native American families. The first bill Heitkamp introduced in the Senate would create a Commission on Native Children. Specifically, the bill would improve the lives of Native American children by examining and addressing high poverty rates, unemployment, child abuse, domestic violence, substance abuse, and few economic opportunities – and make tangible recommendations on how to make sure they are protected and supported. Recently, Heitkamp’s bipartisan bill passed a Senate Committee, the final step before the legislation goes to the full Senate.