Greetings! Welcome to the Summer/Fall Edition of the Messenger, with an emphasis on Social Development. In this issue we highlight some of our ANA grantees’ projects related to social concerns and provide resources and updates from some of our fellow Administration for Children and Families (ACF) offices and other federal partners on their initiatives and activities.
It has been an eventful summer for ANA as we held Tribal Consultation for ANA and participated in ACF Consultation and kicked off the ACF Tribal Advisory Council. We pushed back our discretionary grant competition from the usual spring review to a summer review. The Division of Program Operations has been busy with both processing continuations of current grants and new awards. Our Division of Policy and Program Evaluation has been busy visiting grantees as part of our impact visits for ending grant awards and leading the charge to update and revise our funding opportunity announcement so we can both publish the announcement and panel the applications sooner for fiscal year 2014. One of ANA’s goals for FY2013-FY2014 is making sure the ANA financial assistance process is transparent and trusted. We continue to strive for improvements in all levels of the process and for the first time this year we conducted all the panel sessions offsite through a virtual format. We made this decision as a way to offset some of the impact of the budget cuts on our grantees, and we will be reviewing the surveys from our reviewers to make the process even more efficient and effective in future grant competitions.
As we look forward to fall, we will be announcing the results of our FY2013 grant competition in the next couple of weeks, so please be sure to check back on our ANA website for more details.
September is Emergency Preparedness Month and in August I, as well as colleagues from ACF’s Office Human Service Preparedness and Response, attended the 2013 10th Annual NW Tribal Emergency Management Council Conference, where we were able to share with attendees some of the ways ACF and ANA in particular support Tribes to prepare for or respond to emergencies. Through the Social and Economic Development Strategies grants we have funded a variety of projects that help Tribes prepare for natural or other disasters, such as developing emergency response plans and training staff. In addition, ANA and other ACF offices have been able to offer emergency awards, such as those ANA made in 2008 in response to the Southern California Wildfires, or supplements to existing grantees that align with current objectives. On January 29th, 2013, President Obama signed The Hurricane Sandy Relief Bill. For the first time in United States history, Tribal Nations were granted the ability to declare disaster declarations in Indian Country and request financial assistance for recovery directly to the President. This is an important avenue for Tribes to access funding and lead recovery efforts in their communities. We encourage you to visit ready.gov for more resources.
Thank you for all you do for our Native communities.
Lillian A. Sparks, Commissioner