Request for Proposal

Project Name and Description
Tribal Projects and Initiatives on or Adjacent to U.S. Forest Service Managed Lands

​Company Name
American Indian Alaska Native Tourism Association, Inc. (AIANTA)

6000 Uptown Blvd. NE Ste. 150
Albuquerque, NM 87110

Contact Person
Ariel Richardson, Office Manager

Project Goals and Scope of Services
The American Indian Alaska Native Tourism Association (AIANTA), the only national organization dedicated to advancing cultural tourism in Native Nations and communities across the United States, as a collaborative partner with the U.S. Forest Service, is issuing the FY 2023 NATIVE Act Request for Proposals.

The U.S. Forest Service and AIANTA are working jointly to implement the NATIVE act through technical assistance, grant opportunities and tribal tourism collaboration at the destination/community level.

In 2018, AIANTA entered into a Memorandum of Understanding with the U.S. Forest Service to collaborate on NATIVE Act activities, and, subsequently, in 2022 entered into a partnership agreement to distribute NATIVE Act Grant funding.

To support this work, the U.S. Forest Service and AIANTA are issuing the FY 2023 NATIVE Act Request for Proposals.

Grant Range
$25,000 – $250,000

Project Timeline: Up to two years

Completed by: All projects must be completed by December 31, 2025

Reporting Requirements/Progress Reports: Semi-Annual Reporting/Final Report


US Forest Service/AIANTA NATIVE Act grants eligibility:

  • Tribal Nations, Tribal Enterprises and native nonprofits that border and/or have historic ties to US Forest Service managed lands
  • Grants must be used for cultural tourism, interpretation and/or recreation initiatives


Selection Criteria
The US Forest Service/AIANTA NATIVE Act grant program is a new initiative designed to advance the intent and purpose of the NATIVE Act through supporting and investing in efforts to enhance and integrate cultural tourism/cultural recreation to empower Native American communities and to advance the National Travel and Tourism Strategy.

NATIVE Act grant proposals will be reviewed based on the following criteria:

  1. Does the project/program spur important infrastructure development and/or increase technical capacity? We are looking for tribally led initiatives with the potential to grow and expand impact over time, or initiatives that are more mature and are ready to advance to the next stages of implementation. (Up to 10 points)
  2. Is the project/program proposal developing a clear case for implementation? We are looking for a clear understanding of the project/program timeline, what the project/program intends to achieve, how it will be achieved and the specific tribe(s) and a reasonable estimate of the number of people that will be positively impacted. (Up to 10 points)
  3. Is the project/program broadly supported? We are looking for projects/programs that are tribally driven with broad support for implementation. Successful proposals will include the following:
    • Evidence of tribal support (mandatory, up to 3 points)
    • A letter of cooperation from the local U.S. Forest Service unit(s) (mandatory, up to 2 points)
    • Letters of support or cooperation from other organizations that will collaborate on or be impacted by the project (Up to 2 points)
  4. Does the organization(s) have the capacity to implement the proposal? We are looking for proposals that demonstrate the ability and capacity to implement through staff expertise and overall capacity. (5 points)
  5. Project location will also be considered to ensure there is a distribution of potential projects across U.S. Forest Service Regions.

Proposal Content
Organization Information
Name of Applicant:
Application Submitted by:
Tribe/Tribal Enterprise/Tribally led 501(c)(3) or PL 658 Nonprofit Status:
Website (if applicable):
Email Address:
Physical Address:
Mailing Address:
Phone Number:

Proposal Information
Project/Program Title:
Please provide a summary of your request (2-3 sentence):
Number of Tribes impacted:
Number of people benefitting from the project:
Project/Program Location:
Project/Program Narrative (Up to two pages, 12-point font, single space):
Project/Program Goal(s) and Objectives (include Activities, Timeline, Milestones and Outcomes – max three pages)
Key Staff Bios (1-2 paragraphs per bio):
Letter(s) of Cooperation from Local Forest Service Unit(s)
Letters of support/collaboration from other partners:
Project/Program Budget:
Audit/Financial Statements or 990:

 Anticipated Selection Schedule

6/29/2023 Information webinar regarding the Request for Proposals and application process
7/3/2023 Request for Proposal posted on AIANTA’s website at 
8/1/2023 Written questions regarding the proposal due to AIANTA
8/15/2023 AIANTA responds to all written questions as submitted
8/31/ 2023 Proposals are due to AIANTA and the U.S. Forest Service via email submission to
Oct/Nov 2023 Successful Applicants Notified
Dec/Jan 2023 Grant Agreements Signed
TBD Grantees posted on AIANTA’s website and Press Release Issued

Time and Place of Submission of Proposals
The RFP will be posted on our website, on July 3, 2023. Respondents to this RFP are asked to submit their proposal via email to Responses must be received no later than August 31, 2023, 5 pm (MDT). Responses should be clearly marked with the submitting party’s name in the re: line and emailed to the contact person as listed above.

Examples of Projects Selected for NATIVE Act Support from FY 2022: In FY 2022, of the twenty-one (21) applicants, six (6) project proposals were awarded NATIVE Act funding support from the U.S. Forest Service, to aid their efforts to enhance cultural tourism and recreation for the advancement of Native American communities.

Example 1
Grantee: Jamestown S’Klallam Tribe in Sequim, Washington
Project Name: Enhance Tourism by Designing, Fabricating, and Installing Outdoor Exhibits Interpreting Interconnections between S’Klallam Cultural Traditions and Olympic National Forest’s Dungeness Watershed Resources.
Project Summary:
The project supported includes the design, fabrication, and installation of outdoor exhibits that interpret the interconnections between the cultural traditions and lifeways of the S’Klallam people and the natural resources of the Dungeness River Watershed, on the Olympic Peninsula of Washington State. The project includes a trail of ten wayside exhibits located throughout the Tribe’s park, and one large exhibit panel located outside in the Dungeness River Nature Center (Center) Plaza. This panel welcomes visitors and invites them to explore the park and learn about the watershed and the Tribe.
NATIVE Act Funding Support: $147,000

Example 2
Metlakatla Indian Community Tourism Department in Metlakatla, Alaska
Project Name: Gyiik Galdzox (Camp Hemlock) and Nature Trails Renovation
Project Summary: This project supported will include renovations to Gyiik Galdzox (Camp Hemlock) on Annette Island Reserve, Metlakatla, Alaska. The renovations will include the cultural tour site along with nature trails that showcase flora which the Tsimshian people harvested for food, medicine and everyday uses.
NATIVE Act Funding Support: $50,000

Example 3
Grantee: La Jolla Band of Luiseno Indians in Pauma Valley, California
Project Name: La Jolla Band of Luiseno Indians KCicha Heritage Immersion Tours/Camping Experience
Project Summary: This project is intended to integrate interpretive language and ecotourism, in line with the objective of La Jolla’s 2022 Tribal Historic Preservation Plan (THPP) to integrate daily activities with Tribal practices, and to emphasize the important oral traditions of the Payómkawichum (Luiseño People).
NATIVE Act Funding Support: $250,000