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Tribal Nations Awarded Through the Build Back Better Regional Challenge

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EDA Assistant Secretary Alejandra Castillo speaking at a Build Back Better Regional Challenge event in Fresno, California.

On September 2, 2022, President Joe Biden announced the 21 winners of EDA’s $1 billion Build Back Better Regional Challenge. It was the culmination of more than a year’s work, which began with 529 applications from all across the country.

Indian country was well represented among the awardees. The Four Bands Community Fund in South Dakota received a $45 million grant to accelerate the growth of the Indigenous finance sector. It will also expand economic opportunity in Native American communities through an alliance of nine Native Community Development Financial Institutions.

Oklahoma’s Indian Nations Council of Governments received a $39 million EDA grant as part of this program. It will help transition the region from its legacy of oil and gas and traditional manufacturing to advanced mobility, automation, and unmanned aerial systems.

Alaska’s Southeast Conference received a $49 million grant to catalyze a sustainable mariculture industry, producing shellfish and seaweed for the long-term benefit of Alaska’s economy, environment, and communities.

In addition, there were a number of winning coalitions who included Tribal development among their project proposals. As part of its $25 million grant, the North Carolina Biotechnology Center will collaborate with the University of North Carolina, Pembroke, an historically American Indian University, to establish six training hubs for underserved populations. The Oklahoma City Economic Development Foundation, recipient of a $35 million grant, will support expansion of the region’s clinical trials center to include more disease types and patients served, with a specific focus on Tribal communities. Meanwhile, the Port of Portland, which received a $41 million grant to accelerate its mass timber industry, will collaborate with Tribal partners as part of the project.

Congratulations to all our winners!

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