The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law includes more than $15 billion in specific funding for Tribal Governments and Entities. Programs funded by the law span several sectors, including transportation, water, resilience, energy, environment, and broadband. 

The result of a collaboration among First Light, Maine Coast Heritage Trust, and Highstead Foundation, the project was designed to aggregate the funding opportunities and programs from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law that are most relevant to the needs of  Tribal Governments and Entities. The collaboration arose out of conversations between the Highstead team and Ciona Ulbrich regarding the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and funding for Justice 40. “While this particular initiative focused on opportunities for Tribal communities working with First Light, we thought that this set of information might be of interest to Tribal governments or entities around the country,” says Ciona Ulbrich, Senior Project Manager at Maine Coast Heritage Trust and Catalyst with First Light.

The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law provides funding for approximately 380 new and existing programs, making it difficult and time-consuming to navigate. Highstead’s Tara Whalen, Manager of Conservation Finance Programs, and Jackie Rigley, Conservation Finance Associate, pared down the list and provided contacts, important dates, and website links to program information with the aim of making this new federal funding more accessible.   

Among the programs highlighted were the Bureau of Indian Affairs’ Tribal Climate Resilience Program and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Fish Passage Program. The Highstead team also announced the release of the Biden Administration’s “America the Beautiful Challenge,” which will fund $1 billion in ecosystem restoration projects over the next 10 years. 

The resources above include programs from a range of categories and federal agencies. Information such as funding amount, deadlines, contact information, and relevant links are compiled in the PDF. The presentation highlights 10 programs that were most relevant to the audience.  

Programs were organized by category (eg. water, resilience) and funding type. Funding type refers to eligibility. “For Tribes Only” means that only Tribal governments and entities are eligible to apply for and receive this funding. “Set aside” means that a certain portion of funding for this program must be allocated to Tribal governments and entities, and a competitive program means that Tribal entities are eligible to apply for and receive this funding alongside other entities such as states. 
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