Strengthening Tribal Co-Management and Co-Stewardship

Application Deadline:

April 18, 2024

General Information

Grant Overview

The federal government has embarked upon an era of co-stewardship of public lands as directed by Joint Secretarial Order 3403 and other authorities. States have also launched new policies consistent with this approach. These efforts to restore tribal stewardship can help to advance ecosystem restoration, biodiversity conservation, and adaptation to climate change.

This grant will provide Tribes with resources to build necessary capacity to negotiate, implement, and monitor co-management and co-stewardship agreements with a federal agency. This includes legal expertise to support development of relevant agreements. The ultimate goal is to restore tribal stewardship, allowing Tribes to serve as anchors promoting greater ecological connectivity across the landscapes.

First Nations is now accepting applications under our Stewarding Native Lands program to support Tribal co-management and co-stewardship planning and related capacity building. First Nations expects to award 5 grants up to $75,000 each to eligible Tribes.

Grant support is made possible through funding from the Doris Duke Foundation.

Grant Period

The grant period for this funding opportunity is May 1, 2024, to November 30, 2024.

Grant Award Ceiling

Total requested funds in project budgets under this funding opportunity should not exceed $75,000.

Grant Submission Deadline

Applications are due THURSDAY, APRIL 18, 2024 no later than 5 pm Mountain Time. 

First Nations recognizes that some of our most rural and remote applicants may have limited access to high-speed internet. Any exceptions to use of the online system must be made at least two weeks in advance of the application deadline by submitting a request to grantmaking@firstnations.org. Please include your name, organization, contact information and the name of the RFP for which you are applying. If you do not have access to email you can call our office at (303) 774-7836 and ask to speak with a member of the Grantmaking Department.

Unfortunately, First Nations cannot make any emergency exceptions to application deadlines. Partial applications, incomplete applications due to user error, or faxed/emailed/mailed applications will not be considered unless they have received prior approval.

Download instructions for First Nations’ Online Application System here. Access First Nations’ Online Application system here.


Download a PDF of the RFP here

Type of Eligible Entities

Tribes planning to enter into a co-management or co-stewardship agreement.

Types of eligible applicants include:

  • Federal- and State-Recognized Tribal Governments and Departments

Please refer to the FAQ section for further insight regarding applicant eligibility.

Allowable Grant Activities

Selected grantees under this opportunity must use funding to support work that is developing capacity and program planning related to developing co-management or co-stewardship agreements and enhancing the health and biodiversity of ecosystems and climate efforts driven through landscape-scale approaches.

Examples of allowable activities under this funding opportunity include, but are not limited to:

  • Tribal capacity building
  • Departmental and programmatic development and advancement
  • Co-management and co-stewardship planning and development

Examples of unallowable activities under this funding opportunity include:

  • Purchase of Real Estate
  • Lobbying
  • Litigation
  • Entertainment
  • Capital construction projects (including the construction, purchase, renovation, and/or furnishing of facilities)
  • Funding of individuals
  • Development campaigns head
  • Endowments
  • Scholarships or tuition assistance

All applicants must complete the First Nations’ ONLINE grant application, including submission of necessary attachments by THURSDAY, APRIL 18, 2024, no later than 5 pm Mountain Time. 

Application Requirements:

  • A concise description of the proposed project including details about planning. Include information about what your co-management or co-stewardship objectives and goals are; the federal agency, state or local government, that will co-steward/co-manage; and the geographic region of the project.
  • An overview of the activities that will be executed during the project, how they will be implemented, and how they will advance Tribal priorities.
  • A plan of how to plan to track and measure the project impact.
  • At least two specific objectives to be accomplished with the funding.

The following attachments must be uploaded during the online submission process:

  • Tax-Status Documentation. Tribal programs and governments may submit proof that they are a federal- or state-recognized Tribe. This document should be uploaded as a PDF file.
  • Description of Board of Directors. Tribal programs and governments should submit a list of their Tribal Council in lieu of a Board of Directors. This document should be uploaded as a PDF file.
  • (Sample Budget Form) A budget for the proposed project with a detailed cost breakdown that is reasonable and directly related to proposed grant activities. This document must be uploaded as a PDF or Excel file.

If you require a PDF writer, there are many free options available including Cute PDF Writer and BullZip.  Or you may do a web search to find a writer that fits your needs.

Important Note:

Please allow yourself enough time to submit a complete application before the deadline, as the system will shut down automatically at 5 pm Mountain Time on April 18, 2024, and no data may be entered thereafter. Partial, faxed, emailed or mailed applications that are not received on time due to user error will not be considered.

Selection Criteria

Selection Criteria

First Nations seeks projects that:

  • Advance co-management or co-stewardship agreements in a way that aligns with Tribal values and interests.
  • Build capacity for co-management or co-stewardship efforts.
  • Enhance the health and biodiversity of ecosystems and advance climate adaptation efforts.
  • Incorporate methods to track, measure, and share impact.
  • Can help launch new models across different land management agencies.
Grant Requirements

Evaluation and Reporting

Grantees will be required to complete two reports (progress and final) that include two main items: (1) a narrative section updating on project objectives, successes and challenges and (2) a financial expenditure report. These reports will enable First Nations to: (1) gain a greater understanding of Tribal co-management and co-stewardship; (2) tell grantee stories, including accomplishments, challenges, impact, and programming practices; and (3) measure the impact of funding support on grantee programs.

Technical Assistance

Grantees will receive technical assistance as requested. First Nations staff and legal experts will work with each grantee to create a technical assistance plan that develops, implements, and/or strengthens their unique co-management or co-stewardship agreement.


Application Q&A Webinar

First Nations will host one informational Question & Answer (Q&A) webinar for applicants prior to the application deadline. The Q&A webinar will provide an opportunity for applicants to ask questions about the application, selection criteria, guidelines, or other related questions. Participation in this webinar is NOT mandatory; however, applicants are strongly encouraged to register and attend.

 Application Q&A Session will be held on:

Wednesday, April 3, 2024, at 1 pm Mountain Time. Register here.

The informational webinar will be recorded and posted to First Nations website for those unable to attend. The recording can be accessed at: www.firstnations.org/knowledge-center/webinars/.

Grantseeker Resources

First Nations has compiled a number of free resources related to the grant writing process. Whether you are a small organization new to grants or an organization with extensive experience, these resources will help with development of your application to First Nations.

Please click here to access First Nations’ free grantseeker resources.

For additional information or questions, please contact:

Brett Treadway, Program Associate Stewarding Native Lands, at (828) 788-3031 or btreadway@firstnations.org