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At White House Conference, USDA Commits New Funds for Tribal Community Development

ONABEN receives $71,713 Rural Business Development Grant to increase economic activity in Native communities in multi-state area by providing training, assistance, and access to capital for small business owners.


At the 8th Tribal Nations Conference hosted on September 26, 2016 by President Barack Obama in Washington, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack underscored the Administration's support for tribal communities with $9 million in new funds to support community development and education. Since 2009, under Vilsack, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has invested more than $3 billion in economic development efforts for Native Americans.

"Since day one of this Administration, USDA has been committed to a Department that works side by side with tribal governments and individual American Indians and Alaska Natives," said Vilsack. "We have expanded investment in Native and Tribal community businesses, education, food security, housing, health care and infrastructure. Today's announcement continues our efforts to promote economic development and job creation in Tribal communities for years to come."

Earlier in the day, President Obama kicked off the 2016 White House Tribal Nations Conference at the Andrew W. Mellon Auditorium in Washington. This event provides tribal leaders from the 567 federally recognized tribes with the opportunity to interact directly with high-level federal government officials and members of the White House Council on Native American Affairs. Each federally recognized tribe is invited to send one representative to the conference. This year's conference builds upon the President's commitment to strengthen the government-to-government relationship with Indian Country and to improve the lives of American Indians and Alaska Natives.

At the event, Vilsack made significant funding announcements, which included $3.8 million in grants for 28 projects that will help tribal communities and businesses in 15 states. An award of $71,713 to ONABEN was part of the group. USDA is providing the funding through the Rural Business Development Grant (RBDG) program. The grants can be used for technical assistance, training and other activities to help develop or expand small and emerging businesses in rural areas. Read the complete funding announcement here

ONABEN will use this award to implement our Growing Entrepreneurs in Indian Country project. 


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