PUBLISHED: 10:42 AM on Wednesday, August 10, 2005
HHS Awards $4 million to support Alaska Natives
Grants will enhance environment, preserve language and develop economies

HHS Deputy Secretary Alex Azar announced August 2nd $3,960,830 in 13 grants, including funds for environmental enhancement, language preservation and social and economic development for Alaska natives. The grants were unveiled this week by Deputy Secretary Azar and Assistant Secretary for Children and Families Dr. Wade F. Horn during a week of site visits to Alaska native communities.

OPresident Bush is dedicated to empowering Native American tribes and respecting their self-governance,O Deputy Secretary Azar said. OThese grants will help Alaska natives enhance the environment, preserve and strengthen their language and culture and strengthen economies.O

The grants to Alaska include environment enhancement awards to preserve and maintain environments and watersheds of importance to the Alaska native community; Alaska Social and Economic Development Strategies (SEDS) grants, which reduce dependency on public funds and social services by increasing community development; and Native Language Preservation and Maintenance grants to ensure the preservation and enhancement of native languages.

OThese awards further demonstrate this Administration's commitment to achieve self-sufficiency for Native Americans,O said Wade F. Horn, Ph.D., HHS assistant secretary for children and families. OThe grants will provide funding to strengthen native children, families and villages in Alaska.O

The awards are administered through the Administration for Native Americans (ANA) at HHS' Administration for Children and Families (ACF). This year, ANA has provided $37 million to Native American communities around the country in social and economic development, language preservation and environmental regulatory enhancement grants.

These grants include the following:

Environmental Enhancement Grant Awards

• $614,960 over three years to the Yukon River Inter-Tribal Watershed Council in Fairbanks to implement a water quality monitoring plan for the lower Yukon River.
• $742,993 over three years to the Chickaloon Native Village in Chickaloon to develop an environmental plan that will enhance the tribe's technical and program capacity to carry out a comprehensive environmental program.
• $276,469 over two years to the Port Graham Village Council in Port Graham to document its traditional knowledge and practices of resource management and apply these methods in its Environmental Management Plan.

Language Preservation Grant Awards

• $521,966 over three years to the Kotzebue Native Village in Kotzebue to complete the necessary organizational development required for a major expansion of Kotzebue's existing K-6th language immersion school.
• $350,000 over two years to the Sealaska Heritage Institute in Juneau to produce hardcopy, online and CD-ROM dictionaries of the Tlingit, Haida and Tsimshian languages.
• $61,068 over one year to the Gulkana Village Council in Gakona to conduct an assessment of the current status and viability of the Ahtna Athabascan Language.
• $525,000 over three years to the Chickaloon Native Village in Chickaloon to expand the Ahtna Athabascan language skills of two younger language teachers which will allow them to teach a total immersion class.

Alaska Social and Economic Development Grant Awards

• $359,224 over three years to Kawerak, Inc. in Nome to develop a culturally-appropriate plan to build a center in Nome for tribes located in the Bering Strait Region.
• $89,997 over one year to the Kotzebue Native Village in Kotzebue for training of staff in tribal court operations and for a study of renowned model courts across the nation.
• $124,918 over 17 months to the Organized Village of Kwetluk in Kwetluk to improve all areas of the tribe's management, administration and finance.
• $120,659 over one year to the Native Village of Napaimuit in Bethel to implement Napaimute Community Master Plan including goals that support economic development.
• $105,718 over 17 months to the Organized Village of Saxman in Ketchikan to strengthen tribal staff capacity, hire new staff and develop a comprehensive long-term strategic plan.
• $67,858 over 17 months to the Qutekcak Native Tribe in Seward to enhance and strengthen the management capacity of the tribe to support the needs of the Native population within the tribe's jurisdiction.