Ongoing funding avenues

The Land and Water Conservation Fund is a funding source to help local, state, and tribal governments buy land and/or construct improvements on land for conservation and recreation. In Maine it is administered by the Bureau of Parks and Lands in the Maine Department of Agriculture, specifically by Doug Beck ( You can read more about the fund on this website. You can also view Doug Beck’s powerpoint made specifically to answer questions from tribal members here.

The Native American Agriculture Fund (NAAF) seeks grant applications from state and federally recognized Tribes, 501(c)(3) organizations, educational organizations, and Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs). Toni Stanger-Mclaughlin (Colville), NAAF Director of Programs, said of the fund: “The promise of self-determination through our food systems is within our grasp and we look forward to funding projects that uplift all of Indian Country, especially our Native farmers and ranchers, with this funding cycle.”

The fund RAISE or “Rebuilding American Infrastructure with Sustainability and Equity” is an option for municipal, county, state or tribal agencies to build alternative transit trails. Rural locales may be eligible for more than 80% project costs.

National Parks Service: Underrepresented Community Grant Program. The National Park Service is offering grants between $15,000-$50,000 as part of their Underrepresented Community Grant Program through the Historic Preservation Fund. The purpose of these grants is “to diversify the nominations submitted to the National Register of Historic Places to include communities that are currently underrepresented.”  Possible projects they would fund include surveys and inventories of historic properties associated with communities underrepresented in the National Register, as well as the development or amendment of nominations to the National Register. The primary “applicant” must be either a state historic preservation office, tribal historic preservation office, tribal government, or certified local government. Read their official write up here

The Conservation for All grant program invests in organizations and projects that build strong connections between people in Maine and our land and water. The Maine outdoors is a uniquely special place, and we believe it is for everyone. Groups that may apply include Indian tribal governments (or political subdivisions) recognized by the Department of the Interior.

The Best Resources for Indigenous American Entrepreneurs. Organizations on this list provide valuable support for Indigenous entrepreneurs. Networking, financing options, and business skill development opportunities expand Indigenous small business platforms. Financial aid and scholarships can also offer support for Indigenous entrepreneurs seeking business degrees and ongoing education.

The American Indian Alaska Native Tourism Association compiles funding sources that may be of interest to Indigenous enterprises “looking to grow their tourism, culture, heritage, arts, agritourism or other culture and heritage programming”.

Native CDFIs like the Indian Land Capital Company can offer loans for land tenure and economic development projects. This article offers an overview of what might be possible with Native-led financing.

Past Funding Sources Archive (check back, these opportunities may be re-upped)

NDN Collective is an Indigenous-led organization dedicated to building Indigenous power. Through organizing, activism, philanthropy, grantmaking, capacity-building and narrative change, they are creating sustainable solutions on Indigenous terms. On August 2nd 2021 they launched what is called the Community Self Determination grant, through which grants of up to $100,000 per year, with commitments up to two years, are available to Indigenous-led organizations and Tribes working in the defense, development, and/or decolonization of Indigenous Peoples and the planet. 

Native Language Grants: First Nations, a native-led development nonprofit, is again awarding funding through their Native Language Immersion Initiative with grants ranging from $45,000 to $75,000 to build the capacity of Native-controlled nonprofit organizations and tribal government programs actively supporting Native language immersion programs. The application deadline was November 10, 2021.

Setting the Table for a Healthy Food System in Indian Country Grant: First Nations, a native-led development nonprofit, is again awarding funding to support work to build the organizational and program capacity of Native American food pantries and food banks, thus boosting control, cultural responsiveness, and infrastructure of community food systems. They will award 12 grants averaging $35,000 to support Native American-led food pantries and food banks. Read more and apply here. The deadline was November 12, 2021.

The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law represents an enormous investment in funds for land and development across the US, and it includes more than $15 billion that may be available to Tribes and Indigenous entities. In April, our partners at the Highstead Foundation presented on programs associated with the law that may be available to Wabanaki communities. Resources from their presentation, including a spreadsheet listing all of the programs and application details, are available here.

The Northeastern States Research Cooperative: Indigenous Forest Knowledge FundNSRC recognizes and respects the deep, primary knowledge of Tribal Nations in the Northern Forest region and announces the NSRC Indigenous Forest Knowledge Fund to support: The education, mentorship, and training of Indigenous youth in applied forest research and/or Traditional Ecological Knowledge about forest systems; New applied forest research that advances Tribal Priorities; and The synthesis and translation of forest research and/or Traditional Ecological Knowledge to advance communications, outreach, and economic programs for Tribal Nations and Indigenous communities. In 2022, $200,000 will be available to support two-five projects, and proposals will be due on July 1. Contact: Anthea Lavallee ( or the Maine NSRC state manager Meg Fergusson (