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Stewarding Native Lands - Tribal Stewardship in the Northern Great Plains Grant

Grants to Montana, North Dakota, and South Dakota Native American
Nonprofits and Tribes for Environmental Preservation Activities

Agency Type:

Foundation / Corporation

Funding Source:

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First Nations Development Institute

Conf. Date:


Deadline Date:

09/14/21 5:00 PM MDT


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Grants of up to $30,000 to Montana, North Dakota, and South Dakota Native American nonprofit organizations, tribal governments, and community organizations for environmental preservation and restoration activities. Funding is intended for wildlife management, conservation activities, and economic development programs.

The grasslands of the Northern Great Plains are one of the most crucial and often overlooked ecosystems in the world. Grasslands not only provide ecosystem services such as clean air and water, but they are also home to some of the most iconic species of North America including plains bison, pronghorn antelope, black-footed ferret, swift fox and other wildlife that are of great cultural significance to the Tribes in the region. Since 2012, First Nations has worked with Tribes and Native organizations in Montana and South Dakota to conserve this vital ecosystem while supporting sustainable economic development opportunities that align with their cultural values.

First Nations is now accepting applications under the Stewarding Native Lands (SNL) program. First Nations expects to award grants to organizations in Native communities that are growing and/or expanding programs that support sustainable economic opportunities and preserve native grasslands in North Dakota, South Dakota, and Montana. Organizations that have not been formalized as a nonprofit are encouraged to apply through a fiscal sponsor.

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

  • Natural resource/conservation management activities
  • Conservation planning
  • Grassland restoration
  • Wildlife management and habitat restoration
  • Bison revitalization
  • Sustainable economic development initiatives (i.e. sustainable tourism, youth conservation programs, etc.) 

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 197954

Number of Grants:


Estimated Size of Grant:

- Grants will average between $25,000 to $30,000 each
- Total requests for project budgets within this funding opportunity should not exceed $30,000.

Term of Contract:

The grant period for this funding opportunity is October 1, 2021, to September 30, 2022.

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

Organizations eligible to apply include U.S.-based, Native American-controlled, nonprofit 501(c)(3), Native §7871 organizations, or Native American community-based groups that are involved in conservation and ecological stewardship activities directly related to the protection of grasslands in the Northern Great Plains (NGP) (North Dakota, South Dakota and Montana). Types of eligible applicants include, but are not limited to:
- Federal and State Recognized Tribal Governments and Departments
- Native-controlled 501(c)(3) nonprofits
- Native-controlled community organizations with fiscal sponsorship
- Native §7871 Organizations

First Nations funds faith-based organizations that meet the eligibility and grant program requirements.

First Nations can fund schools that are Native-controlled 501(c)(3) nonprofit organizations and schools that are tribally-operated such as tribal colleges and universities (TCUs). First Nations cannot fund any public or BIE (Bureau of Indian Education) schools.

First Nations does not currently provide funding for individuals, public schools or organizations serving American Indians that are not Native-controlled or tribally-operated. Furthermore, urban groups that serve only off-reservation tribal members are unlikely to be funded outside of specifically-targeted opportunities.

Organizations located and/or serving communities outside of the United States or U.S. Territories are not eligible to apply.

Organizations that are not Native-controlled are not eligible to apply (with or without a fiscal sponsor).

Examples of unallowable activities under this funding opportunity include:
- Purchase of Real Estate
- Scholarships or tuition assistance
- Films, television and/or radio programs
- Endowments
- Development campaigns
- Funding for individuals
- Support of lobbying activities or drafting legislation
- Support of litigation

Pre-proposal Conference:

First Nations Development Institute will hold one informational webinar to discuss the call for
proposals and address any questions on the following date:

Thursday, August 19, 2021, 11 am -12 pm Mountain Daylight Time

Register at:

This Q&A session will provide an opportunity for applicants to ask questions about the application, selection criteria, guidelines, or other related topics. Participation is not mandatory; however, applicants are strongly encouraged to participate in the webinar.

Pre-Application Information:

Full proposals will be due Tuesday, September 14, 2021, no later than 5 pm MDT.

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.

First Nations recognizes that some of the most rural and remote applicants may have limited access to high-speed internet. Any exceptions to use of the online system must be requested at least two weeks in advance of the application deadline by submitting an email request or phoning the contacts, below.

Eligible organizations are allowed to apply to multiple opportunities, provided you meet all requirements. There is no limit to the number of grants an organization can receive at one time.


Grant seeking resources:

Contact Information:

Before starting your grant application, please review the funding source's website listed below for updates/changes/addendums/conferences/LOIs.


To request alternate methods of applying: or (303) 774-7836 and ask to speak with a member of the Grantmaking Department.

Should you have any additional questions about the call for applications or this specific funding opportunity, please contact Emilie Ellis by email at or by phone at 303-774-7836.

National Headquarters
First Nations Development Institute
2432 Main Street, 2nd Floor
Longmont, CO 80501
Fax: 303.774.7841

New Mexico Field Office
First Nations Development Institute
4263 Montgomery Boulevard NE, Suite I-230
Albuquerque, NM 87109
Tel: 505.312.8641
Fax: 303.774.7841

URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

USA: Montana;   North Dakota;   South Dakota

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