The Health and Human Services Dept. will distribute $5.8 million to help tribal communities boost early learning and development services, enhance native language revitalization and improve the handling of child welfare cases including abuse and neglect.
HHS will award $4.2 million for language revitalization, $600,000 for the Tribal Early Learning Initiative (TELI), and $1 million for the Tribal Court Improvement Program (TCIP).
HHS is funding 17 new grants totaling $4.2 million to help Native American language revitalization efforts. One special category of Native language revitalization grants, the Esther Martinez Immersion grants, will be awarded to the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes of the Flathead Reservation of Montana to launch a language immersion nest, serving children through age 3.
Tribal Early Learning Initiative
HHS’ Admin. for Children and Families gives out $600,000 in awards to six tribal entities. To ensure that more children enter school healthy and ready to learn, the TELI initiative supports tribal early learning and development programs that boost the quality of services offered to children and families during the time from pregnancy-to-kindergarten. The initiative is also part of the White House Rural Council to reduce child poverty in rural communities, including tribal communities.
The TELI grants will be awarded to the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes in Montana, Cherokee Nation in Oklahoma, Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma, the Confederated Tribes of Siletz Indians in Oregon, the Inter-Tribal Council of Michigan, and the Red Cliff Band of Lake Superior Chippewa in Wisconsin.
ACF is also releasing a new report that highlights the innovative work of the first group of TELI grantees: the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma, the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes, the Pueblo of San Felipe, and the White Earth Band of Chippewa Nation. Over the past three years, these grantees have made major strides in improving their early childhood services and ensuring more children and their families are receiving the high-quality early learning experiences they need to thrive.
Tribal Court Improvement Program
ACF awards nine TCIP grants totaling $1 million to the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes, Muckleshoot Indian Tribe of Washington, Ponca Indian Tribe of Nebraska, Citizen Potawatomi Nation, the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe, Taos Pueblo, the Sitka Tribe of Alaska, the Saint Regis Mohawk Tribe and Smith River Rancheria. The program supports assessments of how tribal courts handle child welfare proceedings and helps make improvements to court processes to provide for the safety, permanency, and well-being of children.
The grants “reinforce our commitment to ensure that tribal communities have access to high quality services to help children thrive early in life,” said HHS Secy. Sylvia Burwell.