Native Communities are Thriving! This is the newly revamped vision of the Administration for Native Americans. We bring the funding, technical assistance, and support, and you bring the projects to make this vision a reality in your community. Whether your project will tackle environmental regulatory enhancement, native language revitalization, address social issues, or create economic opportunities, ANA knows each of these project areas are important to creating self-determining, healthy, culturally and linguistically vibrant, and economic self-sufficient communities.
It is fitting this issue of the ANA Messenger focuses on economic development, because we will be launching a new initiative, the Sustainable Employment and Economic Development Strategies (SEEDS) Initiative later this spring. This funding competition will have the same CFDA number as our SEDS, and is similar to SEDS, but the outcomes and the activities will be focused on economic development. The separate competition allows us to review those applications together and guarantee a minimum number of economic development projects for the 2013 fiscal year. We hope you have been able to attend some of the pre-application and project development training ANA offers through our Technical Assistance Centers, no matter what type of project your community is applying for in 2013.
We hope this edition of the Messenger provides inspiration and resources to help your community thrive.
Next year, ANA will celebrate 40 years of the enactment of the Native American Programs Act, and as we look back at what we have accomplished together over the past four decades, we also remember the past leaders instrumental in the locally-based, community-driven approach that ANA takes to supporting Native communities. At the end of 2012, David Lester, ANA’s second Commissioner walked on. First appointed by President Carter, and reappointed by President Reagan, David Lester led the agency as it transitioned from primarily a social services funding agency to one that was a development funding agency. Staff members who worked with him at the time remember his humor and positive spirit. David left ANA in 1982 to be the Director of the Council of Energy Resource Tribes, a member organization of 53 Tribes, founded by Tribes to be a distinct resource providing advice and support for Tribes in developing and sustaining long-term energy goals. David led this organization until his passing in December.
As a new Commissioner to ANA, I reached out to David in my first months as Commissioner and his advice was to remember the original intent of the Native American Programs Act – to provide funding for economic development opportunities for Native communities that will lead to positive long term impacts. David never wavered in his commitment that Tribes must be the ones in control of their destiny by determining their own vision and priorities, a commitment we share at ANA. Mr. Lester, you will be missed by all who knew you.
Lillian A. Sparks