WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Brian Schatz (D-Hawai‘i), Chairman of the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs, announced that 18 American Indian and Alaska Native Tribes and tribal organizations and two Native Hawaiian organizations will receive a combined $2,112,553 in tourism grants from the Office of Economic Development (OIED) at the Department of the Interior (DOI). The grants are funded through the Schatz-authored Native American Tourism and Improving Visitor Experience (NATIVE) Act of 2016.
“As the Committee heard this past May, Native communities across the country have diversified their economies with domestic and international tourism to create jobs, boost tribal government revenue, and improve living conditions,” said Chairman Schatz. “This new funding will further empower Native communities and expand unique cultural tourism opportunities in the United States.”
The funding can be used to support Native communities’ tourism feasibility studies and/or tourism business plan development. OIED awarded funding to tribes and tribal organizations on the basis of a proposal’s potential to create jobs and stimulate economies in Native communities. Additionally, OIED partnered with DOI’s National Park Service and Office of Native Hawaiian Relations to support cooperative agreements that enhance visitor experiences and understanding of places of Native Hawaiian significance and history.