The University of Guam first attended an Administration for Native Americans Project Planning and Development training in 2011, with plans to apply for an ANA grant in 2012. They completed the two and a half day training and submitted their grant, but were not successful in their application that year.
But rather than give up, they used this as an opportunity to improve their application for the following year’s competition. They took the comments they received from the application review panel and brought it to the Project Planning and Development training held in Guam later that year.
They asked the trainers and other participants if their application could be the case study used for the training. They agreed, and in this way, the University could get various perspectives and feedback on areas like contingency planning, outcome measures and budget.
They also took advantage of ANA’s electronic technical assistance to applicants and followed the guidance in ANA’s pre-application manual. This further helped them refine their application to meet the technical specifications of applying for an ANA grant.
This year, we are happy to report that the University of Guam is the recipient of a native language preservation and maintenance grant for their project "Ma'adahen i Fino Chamorro gi Koleho" Preservation of Chamorro in Post Secondary Education. In this three year project they will be developing standardized post secondary language curriculum and evaluation methods to advance Chamorro fluency levels in college students.
Each fall ANA hosts a new round of PPD training in locations around the country. For potential applicants that cannot attend in person training, ANA has the PPD manual online which has many hands on activities that build skills and can be used a guide for planning any type of project. We have hosted webinars that highlight the key lessons from the face to face workshop.
ANA invests in this outreach because some Native American organizations and tribal governments do not have the professional infrastructure in place to compete on a level playing field for federal funding, yet we cannot reach our vision of “Native American communities are thriving” if we are not reaching out to all native communities and providing tools and resources so they build their capacity to plan successful community development projects.
Lillian Sparks, a Lakota woman of the Rosebud and Oglala Sioux Tribes, is the commissioner of the Administration of Native Americans. Sparks was confirmed by the U.S. Senate as the commissioner on March 3, 2010, and was sworn in on March 5, 2010. She has devoted her career to supporting the educational pursuits of Native American students, protecting the rights of indigenous people, and empowering tribal communities.