The U.S. Forest Service and American Indian Alaska Native Tourism Association Select Recipients for FY 22 NATIVE Act Grants


The U.S. Forest Service and American Indian Alaska Native Tourism Association Select Recipients for FY 22 NATIVE Act Grants

Six recipients across the U.S. will receive funding for tourism infrastructure and capacity building in Native American communities


ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (April 10, 2023) – 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, has made its selection for the awardees of the U.S. Forest Service/AIANTA NATIVE Act Grants for FY22. Of 21 applicants, six project proposals will receive 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.

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. The Request for Grant Proposals solicited applications from Tribal Nations, Tribal Enterprises and native nonprofits that border and/or have historic ties to U.S. Forest Service managed lands and regions.

The selected project proposals are geographically and topically diverse and were chosen to develop infrastructure and/or technical assistance in Native American communities within a two-year time span. the U.S. Forest Service/AIANTA NATIVE Act Grantees are as follows:

  • Jamestown S’Klallam Tribe in Sequim, Washington
    Grant Award: $147,000
    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
  • Metlakatla Indian Community Tourism Department in Metlakatla, Alaska
    Grant Award:  $50,000
    Project Name: Gyiik Galdzox (Camp Hemlock) and Nature Trails Renovation
  • Pueblo of Picuris in Penasco, New Mexico
    Grant Amount:  $250,000
    Project Name:  Celebrating, Protecting and Sharing the History of Picuris Pueblo through Our Voices
  • United Keetoowah Band of Cherokee Indians in Oklahoma (UKB) in Tahlequah, Oklahoma
    Grant Award:  $83,000
    Project Name:  Mulberry River Cane Restoration Project
  • La Jolla Band of Luiseño Indians in Pauma Valley, California
    Grant Award:  $250,000
    Project Name: La Jolla Band of Luiseno Indians Kíicha Heritage Immersion Tours/Camping Experience
  • Jemez Community Development Corporation (DBA Jemez Enterprises) in Jemez Pueblo, New Mexico
    Grant Award:  $129,000
    Project Name: Red Rocks Interpretive Trails


“Our ultimate goal is to work with tribes to enhance representation and help strengthen the tourism and recreation efforts of Tribal Nations both on and off U.S. Forest Service lands,” said Toby Bloom, National Program Manager for Travel, Tourism and Interpretation, U.S. Forest Service. “The U.S. Forest Service is thrilled to partner with AIANTA, the cultural tourism leader in the United States, as we work together to expand more diverse and inclusive tourism opportunities with these organizations.”

For nearly 25 years, AIANTA has served as the national voice for American Indian nations engaged in cultural tourism, while providing technical assistance, training and capacity building to Tribal nations and Native-owned enterprises engaged in tourism, hospitality and recreation.

“AIANTA is proud to have the capacity to create opportunity for the inclusion of Native Nations and communities in the tourism industry as we continue our mission to define, introduce, grow and sustain American Indian, Alaska Native and Native Hawaiian tourism that honors traditions and values while remaining the leader in indigenous tourism across the U.S.,” said Sherry L. Rupert, AIANTA, Chief Executive Officer. “We are excited to see these six recipients transform and strengthen their cultural tourism programs over the next few years.”

Founded in 1998, AIANTA was established by tribes for tribes to address inequities in the tourism system. Governed by an all-Native board of directors, AIANTA serves as a united voice for the $14 billion Native hospitality sector. AIANTA’s priorities are; 1) to provide technical assistance and training, research, and publications to American Indian, Alaska Native and Native Hawaiian communities engaged in tourism and hospitality; 2) to facilitate conversations with the Native communities, federal agencies, non-profit associations, and elected officials on the economic and cultural importance of a healthy hospitality industry; 3) to highlight the importance of visiting authentic Native destinations, including cultural, heritage, historic, and artistic sites; and 4) to generate awareness, interest and demand for these destinations with domestic and international travelers, the travel trade and the media.

U.S. Forest Service
The mission of the Forest Service is to sustain the health, diversity, and productivity of the nation’s forests and grasslands to meet the needs of present and future generations.

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