Indigenous Communities Frequently Asked Questions
- Who is eligible for an Indigenous Communities grant?
- What types of projects are eligible for funding under the Indigenous Communities program?
- Is there a match rate requirement for Indigenous Communities grants?
- What differences should I be aware of for an Indigenous Communities grant compared to a traditional EDA Economic Adjustment Assistance grant?
- My Tribe/organization submitted a grant application but was not selected for funding under the CARES Act. Can we resubmit our application for American Rescue Plan funding?
- Can a Tribe apply for the Indigenous Communities program with a non-Tribal co-applicant that would not otherwise be eligible under the Indigenous Communities NOFO?
- How can I submit my application for EDA funding?
- What is the deadline to submit my application?
- What should I do if I have additional questions not answered in this FAQ?
Eligible entities under this EDA program are:
- Indian Tribes or a consortium of Indian Tribes, as defined 13 C.F.R. § 300.3, which includes any entity on the list of recognized Tribes published pursuant to the Federally Recognized Indian Tribe List Act of 1994, as amended (Pub. L. 103-454) (25 U.S.C. 479a et seq.) and any Alaska Native Village or Regional Corporation (as defined in or established under the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act (43 U.S.C. 1601 et seq.).
- A public or private non-profit organization or association1 serving Native Hawaiians.
- A public or private non-profit organization or association1 serving Native Pacific Islanders of Guam, American Samoa, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, the Republic of the Marshall Islands, the Federated States of Micronesia, or the Republic of Palau.
State-recognized Tribes, unrecognized Tribes, and non-profits that do not fall within the definitions above are not eligible.
Under EDA’s regulations, the term “Indian Tribe” includes:
- the governing body of an Indian Tribe
- a non-profit Indian corporation (restricted to Indians)
- an Indian authority
- any other non-profit Indian tribal organization or entity; provided that the Indian tribal organization or entity is wholly owned by, and established for the benefit of, the Indian Tribe
Tribes and other eligible entities may also apply for funding under any other American Rescue Plan Notices of Funding Opportunity (NOFO). They are not required to apply under this NOFO.
All Economic Adjustment Assistance project types (construction and non-construction) that will support recovery from the economic effects of the coronavirus pandemic are eligible.
This includes traditional EDA-funded project types plus some additional project types that EDA will consider eligible only under this NOFO. Foundational economic infrastructure such as broadband, energy, roads, water, and wastewater projects (including community water facilities), vocational and higher education facilities, and community health facilities are all eligible project types, even if the connection to job creation is indirect.
Projects that directly support tribal gaming establishments remain ineligible, as do requests to supplement operating budgets or replace revenue lost during the pandemic.
All awards will be made at a 100% grant rate; no matching funds are required.
4. What differences should I be aware of for an Indigenous Communities grant compared to a traditional EDA Economic Adjustment Assistance grant?
EDA will reimburse successful applicants certain pre-award project costs, including necessary and reasonable costs of preparing a Preliminary Engineering Report or costs associated with compliance with environmental and historic preservation requirements. All costs must be compliant with 2 C.F.R. § 200.458, which generally means that they are incurred in anticipation of the federal award, are necessary for the efficient and timely performance of the scope of work, and are procured in accordance with federal requirements. Any pre-award costs are allowable only to the extent that they would have been allowable if incurred after the date of an award and only with written approval of EDA.
Please note that EDA must approve an award before any costs to be reimbursed with federal funds. The full text of 2 C.F.R. § 200.458 can be found at https://www.ecfr.gov/cgi-bin/text-idx?SID=428b9d90f2a68bef431bf570de2e204b&mc=true&node=pt2.1.200&rgn=div5.
EDA still will not approve pre-award or award costs associated with application preparation costs (e.g., completion of Forms SF-424, ED-900, etc.) or the costs of application expediters.
Applicants are strongly encouraged to contact their EDA Regional Office prior to incurring any pre-award project costs.
5. My Tribe/organization submitted a grant application but was not selected for funding under the CARES Act. Can we resubmit our application for American Rescue Plan funding?
For a project that was not selected for funding under the FY 2020 CARES Act Addendum, if the applicant would like EDA to consider the application unchanged, the applicant can resubmit under an American Rescue Plan NOFO with a letter to EDA requesting a review. The letter must contain a certification that the project is unchanged and all matching funds remain available. If there are any changes to the application, the applicant must submit a new application. Applicants should note that the evaluation criteria for this program are different than that under EDA’s CARES program and EDA will be using the new criteria. Applicants may choose to adjust their applications accordingly and submit the application again through www.grants.gov. See section E.1 of the Indigenous Communities NOFO for additional information on this program’s evaluation criteria.
EDA will reconsider your application for funding using the new Investment Priorities; applicants may choose to adjust their applications accordingly and submit again through www.grants.gov. All applications for CARES Act funding were required to demonstrate that they were aligned with EDA’s “Recovery and Resilience” investment priority, and because “Recovery and Resilience” remains an investment priority, applicants should not be adversely affected by the change in investment priorities.
Please visit EDA's Funding Opportunities site for additional details on project eligibility requirements.
6. Can a Tribe apply for the Indigenous Communities program with a non-Tribal co-applicant that would not otherwise be eligible under the Indigenous Communities NOFO?
Yes, as long as the economic development outcomes of the project principally benefit the Tribe, the other entity is an eligible EDA applicant, and the other entity is legally required for successful completion of the Tribal-focused project. For example, if a Tribe does not own its own wastewater treatment plant but wants to expand service within the Tribe, the Tribe could apply with the plant’s owner, so long as the plant’s owner is also an eligible applicant for EDA assistance.
All EDA NOFOs and application forms are posted at www.grants.gov, and can be accessed either by searching www.grants.gov for the funding opportunity you would like, or accessing the link directly through EDA's Funding Opportunities site.
Applicants who are unable to apply through Grants.gov should contact their EDA Regional Office to request an application and discuss alternative methods of application submission.
Before applying for EDA funding, an organization must take several steps to obtain credentials and register with several systems that may require 25 or more business days to complete. The technical requirements and systems associated with generating these credentials require confirmation at each step and the process can be lengthy—especially for organizations without an employer identification number (EIN) —and require interaction with multiple organizations outside of EDA.
EDA strongly encourages applicants in the process of forming or that have formed but are not yet registered on Grants.gov, to do so as soon as possible.
While EDA will accept applications on a rolling basis under the American Rescue Plan Indigenous Communities NOFO, the American Rescue Plan requires EDA to award funds by September 30, 2022. EDA plans to accept and award grant applications subject to the availability of funds. EDA encourages eligible applicants to submit their applications as soon as possible, and strongly advises eligible applicants to submit complete applications no later than March 31, 2022 so that EDA can review and process the application in time to get a potential award in place prior to deadlines imposed by Congress. Submission by March 31, 2022 is not a guarantee of funding. Any award is subject to the availability of funds.
Please note that other American Rescue Plan programs do have application deadlines, which are set out in the Notice of Funding Opportunity specific to each program. Please visit EDA's Funding Opportunities site for details on each program’s deadline.
EDA strongly encourages applicants to submit applications early and not wait until the application deadline.
- Email your questions to EDA’s Indigenous Communities inbox: Indigenous@eda.gov
- Connect with your Economic Development Representative. Contact information can be found at: https://eda.gov/contact/
- Find your Economic Development District for planning support and technical assistance.
1. Non-profit organizations serving Native Hawaiian or Native Pacific Islanders groups must show that they are acting in coordination with a political subdivision of a State unless the applicant is proposing a project of significant regional or national scope.