The USDA will take a series of actions to strengthen Tribal sovereignty and fulfill long-standing Tribal requests for the USDA to better partner with Tribal nations and make the food system more resilient. This includes over $42 million for awardees under the Indigenous Animals Harvesting and Meat Processing Grant Program, $18 million for projects under the Tribal Forest Protection Act and $2.3 million to support the service of Indigenous foods in school meal programs.

Indigenous Animals and Meat Processing Grants will help expand processing opportunities using modern and traditional harvesting methods for animals native to North America. This includes bison, reindeer and salmon. These grants will benefit Tribes in Alaska, Maine, Montana, Nebraska, North Carolina, Oregon and Washington.

The Tribal Forest Protection Act focuses on reducing hazardous fuels. This includes prescribed fire use to help make reservations and communities safer. It also covers watershed restoration to provide clean drinking water.

USDA will award a total of $2.3 million in grants to five organizations to support child nutrition programs serving more Indigenous foods to Tribal communities. As part of USDA’s commitment to expanding the use of traditional Indigenous foods in school meals and other child nutrition programs, these grants were awarded across the country to maximize the number of Tribal communities being served.

Read more about the USDA’s efforts to strengthen Tribal sovereignty here.