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Assistant Secretary Sweeney Announces $3 Million

Living Languages Grant Program Funding Opportunity

June 3, 2020

WASHINGTON – Assistant Secretary – Indian Affairs Tara Mac Lean Sweeney announced today that the Office of Indian Energy and Economic Development (IEED) is soliciting applications to the Living Languages Grant Program (LLGP).  This $3 Million grant program will fund between 15 and 60 grants, ranging from $25,000-$200,000, to federally recognized American Indian tribes and Alaska Native entities to document, preserve and revitalize Native languages and build active speaker capacity.


"Native languages are a vibrant aspect to the cultural heritage of the United States,” Sweeney said.  “The Living Languages Grant Program will offer competitive funding to programs that promote, preserve and protect Native languages.  Indian Affairs is proud to support American Indian and Alaska Native cultures through this new grant program.”


“Native languages are core to the very being of Native peoples.  Protecting and supporting Native languages has long been one of my priorities, as they are essential for younger generations who seek to learn the ways of their elders and ancestors and to navigate the modern world with a strong sense of pride in one’s heritage,” said U.S. Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-AK).  “It’s critical to keep these languages alive for generations to come.  I look forward to seeing these grants support the important work of documenting, preserving and revitalizing Native languages in Alaska and throughout the nation.”


IEED’s solicitation for LLGP funding and details on how to apply can be found in the Federal Register and at Grants.Gov.

LLGP is a competitive, discretionary program.  To qualify for funding, applicants must submit a proposal and a supporting tribal resolution to IEED no later than August 24, 2020.


Applications will be evaluated on the following:


  • Their completeness, organization and reasonableness of identified costs;

  • How the activity sought for funding would document, preserve or revitalize a Native language;

  • The extent to which the Native language addressed by the proposal is jeopardized or nearing extinction and the degree to which the proposal would revitalize the language by arresting or minimizing intergenerational disruption; and

  • The number of students or percentage of tribal members who would be directly and indirectly benefitted by the proposal.

While only tribes may be applicants for LLGP grants, grantees may retain tribal organizations or for-profit and non- profit community groups to perform a grant’s scope of work.  Bureau of Indian Education-administered schools and BIE-funded schools or programs targeting students enrolled in those schools are not eligible for LLGP funding.

All LLGP applicants must use the standard Application for Federal Assistance SF-424 and the Project Narrative Attachment Form.  These forms can be found at www.grants.gov.


IEED is administering this program through its Division of Economic Development (DED).  Visit the Indian Affairs website for more information about IEED’s programs and services.


The Assistant Secretary – Indian Affairs advises the Secretary of the Interior on Indian Affairs policy issues, communicates policy to and oversees the programs of the BIA and the BIE, provides leadership in consultations with tribes, and serves as the DOI official for intra- and inter-departmental coordination and liaison within the Executive Branch on Indian matters.

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