The National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) last week announced a $30,000 funding opportunity available to tribal nations, nonprofits, and states working with tribal communities for projects “that expand the reach and impact of the federal Indian boarding school initiative,” according to an agency press release.

The funds will support projects aimed at cultural and language revitalization, community conversations on the impact of federal Indian boarding schools, research related to unmarked graves and burial sites associated with the intuitions, repatriation efforts, oral history projects, and the creation of educational materials on the history of federal Indian boarding schools.

Any non-tribal entity that applies for funding must be in consultation with a federally recognized tribe, Chair of the National Endowment for the Humanities, Shelly Lowe (Diné) told Native News Online.

Never miss Indian Country’s biggest stories and breaking news. Sign up to get our reporting sent straight to your inbox every weekday morning. 

She added that non-tribal grantees will be required to follow NEH’s Code of Ethics Related to Native Americans, including safeguarding “the rights, expressed interests and sensitivities of those originating the material,” where documents or objects are researched.

The announcement marks an expansion of a previously established, inter-agency partnership. In April, NEH committed $4 million to support the digitization of records and collection of oral histories from the more than 400 Indian boarding schools the United States operated or supported from the mid-1800s through the 60s.

In May 2021, the U.S. Department of the Interior released Volume 1 of its Federal Indian Boarding School Initiative Investigative Report detailing the history and ongoing legacy of the federal government’s 150-year policy of forcibly assimilating Native American children into white culture by sending them to Indian boarding schools.

The same month, Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland (Laguna Pueblo) announced a year-long “Road to Healing” tour across the country to provide Native survivors of the federal Indian boarding school system and their descendants an opportunity to share their experiences.

Lowe told Native News Online that this NEH funding is meant to complement the Road the Healing tour by supporting the community-specific healing needs afterward.

“One of the questions that communities ask all the time is: ‘What happens after this?’” Lowe said of the Road to Healing tour. “It is my intent to ensure that when we are in communities listening to this [boarding school history], that we don’t then walk away and not have something to support the communities with afterward. These special chairs grants are meant to help communities continue to think about history, to think about what the needs are in their own communities, and to create contexts that will help them continue to move forward.”

NEH will accept grant requests on a rolling basis until December 1, 2023. Drafts can be submitted to [email protected]. For questions on how to apply, visit the NEH website.

More Stories Like This

LA's Largest-Ever Land Back an 'Important Step' in the Movement
'It’s happy sad': Two Oyate Boys Leave Carlisle, Others Left Behind
'I just don’t want it to die in front of me' | One Ho-Chunk Man's Mission to Save Ho-Chunk Language
Association on American Indian Affairs Strengthens Executive Leadership with New Hire
California Excluded from Federal MMIP Support, Leaders Pressure Dept. of Justice for Inclusion

Native News is free to read.

We hope you enjoyed the story you've just read. For the past dozen years, we’ve covered the most important news stories that are usually overlooked by other media. From the protests at Standing Rock and the rise of the American Indian Movement (AIM), to the ongoing epidemic of Murdered and Missing Indigenous People (MMIP) and the past-due reckoning related to assimilation, cultural genocide and Indian Boarding Schools.

Our news is free for everyone to read, but it is not free to produce. That’s why we’re asking you to make a donation to help support our efforts. Any contribution — big or small — helps.  Most readers donate between $10 and $25 to help us cover the costs of salaries, travel and maintaining our digital platforms. If you’re in a position to do so, we ask you to consider making a recurring donation of $12 per month to join the Founder's Circle. All donations help us remain a force for change in Indian Country and tell the stories that are so often ignored, erased or overlooked.

Donate to Native News Online today and support independent Indigenous journalism. Thank you. 

About The Author
Native News Online Staff
Author: Native News Online StaffEmail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Native News Online is one of the most-read publications covering Indian Country and the news that matters to American Indians, Alaska Natives and other Indigenous people. Reach out to us at [email protected].