Current Projects

Community Navigator Project

Tribes and Native communities have been managing their natural resources and stewarding their lands in accordance with their cultural values and traditional practices for millennia. Although these are their inherent rights, many Native peoples are still fighting for access and authority. Historically unjust policies and systems have been used in an attempt to sever the close connection between Native peoples, communities, and their lands.

To this day, Tribes and Native communities must navigate a multitude of complex political and administrative challenges to manage their natural resources and access their lands. Underinvestment and lack of proactive relationship-building by the federal government further exacerbates Tribally- and community-led efforts to manage, protect, and steward ancestral lands.

To address these barriers, First Nations Development Institute is partnering with the U.S. Forest Service (USFS) to serve as a Community Navigator. In this role, First Nations is conducting outreach and supporting engagement of Tribes and Native-led organizations in USFS Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) and related Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL) programs and opportunities. As IRA and BIL federal opportunities become available, it is necessary to ensure that Tribes and Native communities are informed of and have the support to access and fully participate in them to advance their land stewardship goals and priorities.

As a Community Navigator, First Nations is providing

  • Technical Assistance – consultants with relevant expertise and cultural competency can assist with strategic planning, feasibility assessments, grant writing, project and grant management training, project planning, and more.
  • Capacity Support Grants (up to $25,000) – funds will support capacity building to engage in USFS IRA and BIL funding opportunities and programs.
    • Eligible Tribes and Native-led organizations can apply for up to $25,000 in capacity support funding. These grants can be used to cover costs associated with building capacity such as strategic planning, feasibility assessments, grant writing, project and grant management training, development of conservation strategies, and more.
  • Webinars and Presentations – these offerings will spread awareness of resources and information related to engaging with the USFS and will prioritize topics most relevant to Tribes and Native-led organizations.
  • Publications and Resource Guides – curated materials will increase awareness of the USFS IRA and BIL opportunities and how to access them.

Access the Navigator Application


For more information:

This institution is an equal opportunity provider.