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Tribal Portal turtle logo EPA and Corporation for National Community Service Encourage Tribes to Apply for New Grant Opportunity

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the Corporation for National and Community Service are encouraging Tribal governments to use Indian General Assistance Program (GAP) grants as match funding for tribally-sponsored AmeriCorps programs. More than $3 million worth of AmeriCorps funding is dedicated to support tribal communities every year, but often, tribal governments face financial challenges that prevent them from providing the required matched funding. AmeriCorps members help address key challenges facing Native American communities, including education, disaster response and environmental preservation. EPA manages GAP to assist eligible tribal governments in building environmental programs needed to regulate and manage their environments.

The combination of AmeriCorps grants and EPA program funding such as GAP enable tribal governments to bring in energetic, committed people to help build an environmental program. "In this time of limited resources, it is critical that our tribal partners are aware of and able to use all available EPA financial support to ensure tribal environmental needs are being addressed," said Michelle DePass, assistant administrator of EPA's Office of International and Tribal Affairs. "This initiative is another example of how EPA is working to ensure that all communities have equal opportunity to develop solutions to their most pressing environmental problems."

Two types of AmeriCorps grants are available specifically for Indian Tribes: a planning grant (up to $50,000) to help support a tribe's development of a future AmeriCorps program, or an operational grant to recruit AmeriCorps members to serve the community.

AmeriCorps members can help tribes expand services, build capacity, develop partnerships, create sustainable programs, and recruit and manage other volunteers, and AmeriCorps members receive a living allowance, education award, and other benefits. “The agency has a longstanding commitment to working with tribal nations on a government-to-government basis,” said Ron Lessard, Strategic Advisor for Native American Affairs. “We want to ensure that the tribal nations are heard, their concerns are amplified and that our programs are responsive to their needs.”

The AmeriCorps Indian Tribes operational grant application deadline is February 6, 2013. Successful applicants will be notified no later than June 14, 2013. The NOFO for the Indian Tribes planning grants will be announced in 2013. To use EPA grant funds as match for AmeriCorps grants, the proposed activities must be within the scope of EPA's work. Examples of eligible activities include conducting environmental education, performing assessments of indoor air quality or household pesticide usage, and assessing baseline environmental conditions.

Potential applicants are encouraged to utilize the tribal-specific technical assistance made available by CNCS, including FAQ, webinars and a schedule of the agency's upcoming assistance calls. More information on technical assistance, as well as contact information for questions specific to the Native American community, can be found at http://go.usa.gov/YPR4.

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