Red Lake Nation News - Babaamaajimowinan (Telling of news in different places)

USDA Announces Funding To Provide Jobs, Business Growth and Improve Transportation Services for Tribes and Rural Communities

Announcement part of White House Rural Council effort to expand rural jobs and training services


WASHINGTON, August 18, 2011 – Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today announced the selection of projects in 15 states to support small business and job creation opportunities, and train workers in Native American communities. In addition, Vilsack also announced grants to help bring transportation improvements to Native American communities. Janie Hipp Senior Advisor for Tribal Affairs made the announcement on behalf of Secretary Vilsack while attending an award ceremony with Tribal leaders in Miami, Okla.

"USDA is working to ensure that members of Tribes have the tools they need to expand economic opportunities and improve their quality of life," Vilsack said. "These grants represent USDA's ongoing commitment to strengthen Tribes and support sustainable rural business opportunities that will create jobs."

The announcement was made as part of the Obama Administration's week-long focus on the rural economy and the White House Rural Council, which is addressing key areas of need in rural America including helping rural small businesses access capital, expanding rural job search and training services, and increasing rural access to health care workers and technology.

For example, the Montana Indian Business Alliance in Great Falls, Mont., was selected to receive a grant to provide businesses training technical assistance to members of Indian Tribes of Montana. The funding will create an estimated 14 jobs. In Ukiah, Calif., Resource for Native Development was selected to receive a technical assistance grant to provide Tribal members with business and entrepreneurial training — including training that focuses on developing biomass-centered businesses and local food hubs. This project is expected to create 30 jobs.

The more than $3 million in grants announced today is administered through USDA Rural Development's Rural Business Enterprise Grant (RBEG) program. This program provides grants for rural projects that finance the development of small and emerging rural businesses, help fund distance learning networks, and help fund employment-related adult education programs. More information about this program can be found at

USDA has a long, positive record of supporting projects in Indian Country. One recent successful undertaking involved providing a grant to the Great Lakes Inter-Tribal Council, Inc. for its Awaken the Spirit III project. The goal of the project is to provide job skills, financial literacy and business training to tribal members. The Tribal Council is a coalition of 12 Indian tribes in Wisconsin and Upper Michigan. It used the grant to provide business assistance to the Native community. In 2010, the organization assisted 33 Tribal members and helped create 22 jobs.

Funding is contingent upon the recipient meeting the conditions of the grant agreement. The following is a complete list of organizations that have been selected to receive RBEG grants.


Alaska Manufacturing Extension Partnership, Inc. (AMEP), $200,000

City of Tanana, $63,000

University of Alaska Anchorage (UAA) Small Business Development Center (SBDC), $200,000


Bishop Paiute Tribe, $98,600

Resource for Native Development (RFND), $99,000

Yurok Economic Development Corporation, $98,000


Montana Indian Business Alliance, $54,585

Native American Community Development Corporation, $25,000


Northern Shores Loan Fund, Inc. , $99,000


Ponca Economic Development Corporation (PEDCO), $195,169

Center for Rural Affairs (CFRA), $99,000

New Mexico

Farm to Table, Inc. , $48,500

Pueblo of Jemez, $50,000

Pueblo of Zia, $50,000

New York

St. Regis Mohawk Tribe, $75,000


Moapa Band of Paiutes, $260,000


City of Miami, $151,300

Eastern Shawnee Tribe of Oklahoma, $200,000

Ottawa Tribe of Oklahoma, $144,836


Chemeketa Community College, $50,120

Cow Creek Band of Umpqua Tribe of Indians, $96,500

The Klamath Tribes, $99,441

South Carolina

Catawba Cultural Preservation Project (CCPP), $50,000

South Dakota

Four Bands Community Fund Inc., $99,000

Red Cloud Indian School, Inc. $98,327

Wounded Knee Community Development Corporation, $99,000


Makah Tribal Council, $48,000

Squaxin Island Tribe, $50,000


Great Lakes Inter-Tribal Council, Inc., $99,999

LaPointe Financial, Inc., $40,000

Northwoods Niijii Enterprise Community, $182,722


Wind River Development Fund, $34,384

To improve transportation service in rural Native American communities, the Community Transportation Association of America (CTAA) was selected to receive $748,767 in grants to provide technical assistance to help organizations enhance passenger transportation service. The grants will help rural communities in five states.

A portion of the funding will be used to provide technical assistance, training and support services to transit systems in the rural communities of Roseburg City, Ore .; Cortland City, N.Y .; Stevens Point, Wis .; and Bluffton Town, S.C.

The remaining funds will be used to assist several Native American communities and tribal organizations with transportation improvements and planning in New York (Seneca Nation of New York), Oklahoma (Seminole Nation of Oklahoma) and South Carolina (Catawba Indian Nation, aka Catawba Tribe of South Carolina).

In June, President Obama signed an Executive Order establishing the first White House Rural Council, chaired by Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack. The White House Rural Council will work throughout government to create policies to promote economic prosperity and a high quality of life in our rural communities.

Since taking office, President Obama's Administration has taken significant steps to improve the lives of rural Americans and has provided broad support for rural communities. The Obama Administration has set goals of modernizing infrastructure by providing broadband access to 10 million Americans, expanding educational opportunities for students in rural areas, and providing affordable health care. In the long term, these unparalleled rural investments will help ensure that America's rural communities are repopulating, self-sustaining, and thriving economically.

USDA, through its Rural Development mission area, administers and manages housing, business and community infrastructure and facility programs through a national network of state and local offices. Rural Development has an existing portfolio of more than $155 billion in loans and loan guarantees. These programs are designed to improve the economic stability of rural communities, businesses, residents, farmers and ranchers and improve the quality of life in rural America.


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