Request for Proposal

Project Name and Description
FY 2024 USFS/AIANTA NATIVE Act Request for Proposals (RFP)
Tribal Projects and Initiatives on or Adjacent to U.S. Forest Service Managed Lands

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 2024 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 native 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 2024 NATIVE Act Request for Proposals.

Grant Range
$25,000 – $250,000

Total Grant Funding
Up to $1,235,515 which includes special allocation dedicated in the amount of $335,515 for USFS Regions 2, 3, & 4

Completed by: All projects must be completed by or before 11.30.2026
Reporting Requirements: Semi-Annual Reporting/Final Report
All Project Reports due to AIANTA thirty (30) days following project completion

US Forest Service/AIANTA NATIVE Act grants eligibility:

  • Indian Tribe (has the meaning given in the terms of Section 4 of the Indian Self Determination and Education Assistance Act (25 U.S.C. 450b)), Tribal Organizations (has the meaning given in the terms of Section 4 of the Indian Self Determination and Education Assistance Act (25 U.S.C. 450b) 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 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:
Note:  If proposals are incomplete or do not have the required letters of support, their proposal will not be considered.

  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 reflected in both the narrative and the project budget and the specific tribe(s) engaged in/benefitting from the project along with a reasonable estimate of the number of people that will be positively impacted. Strong proposals will provide and demonstrate research and estimates to support the project narrative and the project budget. (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. To be considered, the proposal must include the following:
    • Evidence of tribal support, including a document that reflects approval for the project by tribal council or tribal government. (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 (Optional, up to 2 points)
  4. Does the organization(s) have the capacity to implement the proposal? We are looking for proposals and project budgets that clearly demonstrate the ability and capacity to implement through staff expertise and overall capacity. The maximum allowable for indirect expenses for proposal budgets is 15% of the total budget request. (5 points)
  5. Project location will also be considered to ensure there is a distribution of potential projects across U.S. Forest Service Regions. Tribes in the following Forest Service Regions are highly encouraged to apply: Rocky Mountain (R2), Southwestern (R3) and Intermountain (R4) regions, as no proposals were received from these regions in FY23.

Proposal Content
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 Native Nations or communities impacted:
Number of people benefitting from the project:
Project/Program Location:
Project/Program Narrative (3-5 paragraphs, 3,000 characters max)
Project/Program Goal(s) and Objectives (include Activities, Timeline, Milestones and Outcomes – max three pages)
Key Staff Bios (1-2 paragraphs per bio)
Evidence of tribal support, including a document that reflects approval for the project by tribal council or tribal government. (Mandatory):
Letter(s) of Cooperation from Local Forest Service Unit(s) (Mandatory):
Letter(s) of support/collaboration from other partners:
Project plans and photographs of project site:
Project/Program Budget (no page limit):
Audit/Financial Statements or 990:


6/3/2024 Request for Proposal posted on AIANTA’s website at
6/10/2024 Webinar to go over the funding opportunity including panelists from previous AIANTA/USFS NATIVE Act Awardees
6/25/2024 Written Questions regarding the RFP due to AIANTA
7/10/2024 AIANTA responds to all written questions submitted by deadline with all submitted questions and answers posted on AIANTA’s website
7/26/2024 Deadline to submit proposals to AIANTA to
Aug/Sept 2024 Successful Applicants Notified/Grant Agreements send out
Sept/Oct 2024 Grant Agreements Signed
TBD Grantees posted on AIANTA’s website and Press Release Issued
11/30/2026 All Projects must be completed by 11.30.2026
12/31/2026 All Project Reports due to AIANTA to

Examples of Projects Selected for NATIVE Act Support from FY 2023: In FY 2022 and in FY 2023 combined, a total of thirteen (13) project proposals totaling over $2.1 million in grant funding were awarded NATIVE Act funding support from the U.S. Forest Service, to aid efforts to enhance cultural tourism and recreation for the advancement of Native American communities.

Example 1
Grantee:  Alutiiq Museum & Archaeological Repository
Project Name: Keneq—Fire Gallery: Sharing Our Living Traditions
Project Summary:  The Alutiiq Museum will design, fabricate, and install a set of interpretive displays in its new Keneq—Fire gallery. These displays will celebrate the contemporary traditions of the Kodiak Alutiiq people to create lasting resources for visitor engagement. The gallery will be widely promoted to the local visitor industry with a public outreach campaign and an outdoor building mural designed by a tribal artist.
NATIVE Act Funding Support:  $143,460

Example 2
Grantee:  Bay Mills Indian Community
Project Name: Shingabawassin “Spirit Stone Trail” Initiative
Project Summary:  Bay Mills Indian Community is requesting funding to complete construction of the last section of the Shingabawassin “Spirit Stone Trail,” a 9-mile pedestrian and bicycling trail connecting
Brimley State Park, the town of Brimley, Bay Mills Indian Community Reservation, Monocle
Lake Campground, and the Point Iroquois Lighthouse and Museum. Installation of interpretative signage with historical, cultural, and nature-based information will be displayed throughout the trail to educate users. A portable teaching lodge will be constructed adjacent to the Point Iroquois Lighthouse, a USFS property, managed and operated by the Bay Mills Indian Community, and will be used to inform visitors, recreationists, and youth about the Bay Mills Indian Community, through an indigenous lens.
NATIVE Act Funding Support: $129,000

Example 3
Grantee:  Snoqualmie Indian Tribe
Project Name: Snoqualmie Tribe Ancestral Lands Movement Capacity Investment Proposal
Project Summary:  Through the Snoqualmie Tribe Ancestral Lands Movement (STALM), the Snoqualmie Tribe (a federally-recognized tribe) shares information with the public about the need to recreate respectfully while enjoying the Tribe’s ancestral lands which include many of Washington State’s most heavily recreated areas. The STALM Capacity Investment will build sustainable and long-term capacity for STALM including the hiring of a full time Content Manager, the development of a website dedicated to STALM, a brief introductory video, and materials necessary for participating at in-person events.
NATIVE Act Funding Support:  $250,000