NEH Announces Special Funding Opportunity for Tribal Communities for Projects Related to the Federal Indian Boarding School Initiative

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Washington, DC (August 1, 2023)

The National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) is pleased to announce a special funding opportunity for federally recognized Native American tribal governments and for nonprofits and state and local government organizations that work with tribal communities for projects that expand the reach and impact of the Federal Indian Boarding School Initiative (FIBSI).

As part of the National Endowment for the Humanities’ ongoing inter-agency partnership with the Department of the Interior (DOI) to fund the collection of oral histories and digitization of records documenting the experiences of survivors and descendants of federal Indian boarding schools for the FIBSI and related “The Road to Healing” tour, NEH is offering special Chair’s Grants of up to $30,000 for research, community engagement, tribal history collection, public programs, and educational projects that work toward the FIBSI’s goals of elucidating the impact of federal Indian boarding school policies on tribal communities.

“The policies of the federal Indian boarding school system have left deep and lasting scars in every Native community,” said NEH Chair Shelly C. Lowe (Navajo). “Through this special grant opportunity NEH hopes to enlist the help of Tribal nations and organizations in researching and recovering the history of these schools and the students who passed through them and in creating opportunities for Native communities to heal from their far-reaching consequences.”

These discretionary NEH Chair’s Grants will fund activities such as culture and language revitalization programming, community conversations on the impact of federal Indian boarding schools, research related to unmarked graves and burial sites associated with federal Indian boarding schools, repatriation efforts, oral history projects, and the creation of educational materials, websites, books, and exhibitions on tribal history and the federal Indian boarding school system.

NEH particularly encourages project proposals that engage federal Indian boarding school survivors and/or tribal youth. Proposed projects should serve a community that has been impacted by federal Indian boarding schools or occur in a state or region that has hosted a DOI “The Road to Healing” event.

Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis through December 1, 2023. Consult the NEH website for additional information on the funding opportunity and how to apply. Potential applicants are encouraged to submit a letter of intent to apply to NEH’s Strategic Advisor for Native and Indigenous Affairs, Jason Packineau (, by November 1, 2023.  


National Endowment for the Humanities: Created in 1965 as an independent federal agency, the National Endowment for the Humanities supports research and learning in history, literature, philosophy, and other areas of the humanities by funding selected, peer-reviewed proposals from around the nation. Additional information about the National Endowment for the Humanities and its grant programs is available at

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