Connecting with Native Americans

Providing information to American Indians, Alaska Natives, and Native Hawaiians about the National Park Service Cultural Resources programs.

Grants and Financial Assistance

Canoe making
The Passamaquoddy Tribe of Indian Township revive the traditional skill of canoe making through a Tribal Preservation grant, courtesy of Donald Scotomah, THPO, Passamaquoddy Tribe of Indian Township

The National Park Service (NPS) Cultural Resources, Partnerships and Science directorate administers a variety of federal grant programs that help protect our nation's significant historic and cultural sites and preserve our diverse cultural heritage. Over $1 billion has been awarded through a variety of preservation and cultural heritage grants to Federal, state, and local governments, Indian tribes, Alaska Natives, Native Hawaiians, nonprofit organizations and educational institutions to support preservation-related projects in all 50 states and the US territories.

The State, Tribal and Local Plans & Grants division (formerly the Historic Preservation Grants division) works in partnership with other Cultural Resource programs to administer grant programs. Together they develop applications and guidelines, process applications, recruit and support review panels, provide applicants with feedback from the review panels and administer and manage grant awards. The State, Tribal and Local Plans & Grants division is responsible for disbursing funds and ensuring grantee compliance with financial requirements. In addition, the State, Tribal and Local Plans & Grants division conducts site visits, produces publications, and provides technical assistance via webinars, onsite training, and participation at various conferences.

Below is a list of cultural and historic preservation grant programs of interest to Native Americans. The specific requirements, guidelines and procedures for applying can be found on the NPS website. In addition, a chart of the Cultural Resource grant programs of interest to Native Americans is available.

Historic Preservation Fund Grants to Indian Tribes, Alaska Natives, and Native Hawaiian Organizations
Also referred to as “Tribal Project Grants,” these grants are awarded to Indian tribes, Alaska Natives, and Native Hawaiian organizations for the preservation and protection of their cultural heritage. Projects are awarded in five categories:
    • Comprehensive preservation planning
    • Education and training for building a historic preservation program
    • Locating and identifying cultural resources
    • Oral history projects and documenting cultural traditions
    • Preserving historic structures listed on the National Register of Historic Places
Tribal Project grants are competitive and awarded once a year. Grant applications and guidelines as well as a list of current grant projects can be found on the program website.

Tribal Historic Preservation Office (THPO) Program Grants
Section 101(d) of the National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA) gives Indian tribes the right to assume duties associated with State Historic Preservation offices (i.e., conducting surveys of historic places, maintaining historic site inventories, developing National Register of Historic Places nominations, and reviewing Federal agency undertakings under Section 106 of the NHPA) as well as an annual monetary allotment from the Historic Preservation Fund (HPF), to support such responsibilities. In order to receive certification as a Tribal Historic Preservation Office, tribes must submit an application to the National Park Service for review and approval. Once designated, tribes are eligible to receive an annual HPF award contingent upon their ability to successfully meet annual goals, and program and grant requirements. Grant award amounts are based on a formula that is applied to the annual appropriation for the program. The formula was established in consultation with the THPOs. Over 140 Tribal Historic Preservation Offices are eligible for funding through this program as of fiscal year 2013.

Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act (NAGPRA)

Grants The National NAGPRA Program offers two types of grants to assist in consultation, documentation, and the repatriation of Native American human remains and cultural items.
    • Consultation/Documentation Grants support the efforts of Indian tribes, Alaska Native villages, Native Hawaiian organizations, and museums to consult on and document NAGPRA-related human remains and cultural items. These are competitive grants awarded once a year.
    • Repatriation Grants help defray the costs associated with the transfer of NAGPRA-related human remains and cultural items from a museum to an Indian tribe, Alaska Native village or Native Hawaiian organization. Funds can be used to cover the costs of preparing the human remains or cultural items for transport, contamination testing and removal, as well as the physical transfer, and reburial or storage. Repatriation grants are not competitive; they are awarded on a rolling basis based on funds availability.
NAGPRA grants are available to Federally recognized Indian tribes, Alaska Native villages, Native Hawaiian organizations, as well as museums that must comply with NAGPRA. Approximately two-thirds of all grants have been awarded to Native Americans.

American Battlefield Protection Program (ABPP) Grants
The American Battlefield Protection Program offers two grant programs, Battlefield Planning Grants and Civil War Battlefield Land Acquisition Grants. The Battlefield Planning Grants Program works to identify, document, and plan for the protection of historic battlefields on American soil. In the past, ABPP grants have funded activities such as research, surveys, resource plans, National Register of Historic Places nominations, and interpretation. These competitively selected grants are available to tribal governments and organizations (both Federally and non-Federally recognized), state and local governments, academic institutions, museums, nonprofits, and other Federal agencies.

The Civil War Battlefield Land Acquisition Grant (CWBLAG) funding is made available from the Land and Water Conservation Fund to state and local governments seeking to acquire battlefield land for perpetual preservation. Land on Civil War battlefields listed in the Civil War Sites Advisory Commission’s (CWSAC) 1993 Report on the Nation’s Civil War Battlefields is eligible for this grant program. During the Civil War many Native Americans fought for both the Confederate and Union armies. The battlefields where Native Americans fought are eligible under this program, and some already have tracts permanently protected through this funding source. In any case where a non-profit or tribal organization seeks to acquire battlefield land with assistance from this program, that organization must apply in partnership with a state or local government agency sponsor. The CWBLAG is a competitive grant program and requires a dollar-for-dollar non-Federal match.

Route 66 Corridor Preservation Program Grants
Route 66 passed through the lands of more than 25 federally-recognized tribes, yet the tribal perspective is seldom told. Most of the promotion of Route 66 came historically from non-Indians such as tourism promoters, Trading Post operators, and travelers. Today, the popular history of the road still focuses on the romance and adventure of those traveling the route and the tourist-oriented sites along the way. To understand our nation, and therefore ourselves, it is important that the whole story be told.

The Route 66 Corridor Preservation Program provides technical and funding assistance to support preservation of the significant places and stories of Route 66. Cost-share grants are available for preservation of the most significant and representative historic Route 66 buildings, structures, road segments, and cultural landscapes in the eight states through which the route passes. Assistance is also available for research, planning, oral history, and education outreach projects related to Route 66.

Japanese-American Confinement Sites Preservation Program
Japanese American Confinement Sites grants are awarded to preserve and interpret U.S. Confinement Sites where Japanese Americans were detained during World War II. Grants are awarded to organizations and entities working to preserve historic Japanese American confinement sites and their history, including: private nonprofit organizations, educational institutions, and state, local, and tribal governments, and other public entities. Grants are awarded through a competitive process and require a 2:1 Federal to non-Federal match ($2 Federal to $1 non-Federal match).

Preservation Technology & Training Grant Program

The PTT Grants program funds projects that develop new technologies or adapt existing technologies to preserve cultural resources. Proposals may include: laboratory or field research that explores or assesses novel or adaptive methods; training activities, including workshops, and course or curriculum development that promote the use of new or adaptive technologies; documentation using new methods; manuscript or website development that disseminates innovative preservation technologies; projects that seek to develop new technologies or adapt existing technologies to preserve cultural resources; or meetings that convene experts to discuss the use of technologies to address preservation problems. Eligible entities include state, tribal, and local government, nonprofit organizations, and educational institutions.

Additional Grant Information
A list of grant programs is available with State, Tribal and Local Plans & Grants division.

The National Park Service provides a brief list of funding sources related to the preservation of natural and cultural resources. is the Federal government’s official storehouse for information on over 1,000 Federal grant programs that provide access to approximately $500 billion in annual awards. Indian tribes and Native Hawaiian Organizations may use to search on specific topics and/or sign-up to receive notifications of new grant opportunity postings.

Contact Us
State, Tribal, and Local Plans & Grants, (202)354-2020,
Megan Brown, Chief at 202) 354 2062,