On August 16, 2022, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) released the 2022 edition of the USDA Resource Guide for American Indians and Alaska Natives (Resource Guide). The Resource Guide provides information regarding USDA resources and services available to tribal governments, citizens, and organizations. The Resource Guide covers four categories of USDA programs: 1) agriculture, food sovereignty, and traditional foods; 2) Indian Country economic development; 3) conservation and forestry; and 4) research, extension, and outreach. Additionally, the USDA released the Native Youth Resource Guide (Youth Guide). The Youth Guide summarizes USDA scholarship opportunities, internship programs, cultural summer camps for Native youth, afterschool activities, and resources for employment in the federal government.
The USDA is a federal executive department responsible for food, agriculture, natural resources, rural development, nutrition, and related issues within the United States. The USDA plays an important role in the development of tribal nations and self-governance. Funding from the USDA helps grow new tribal agricultural ventures, promote traditional food ways, and benefit Indigenous health through foods tailored to American Indian/Alaska Native dietary needs. As a federal agency, the USDA helps advance the federal trust responsibility to Native American communities.
The newly published Resource Guides seek to provide transparency to tribal nations. “These guides can introduce our tribal nation partners to the many USDA funding opportunities and resources that can benefit them and their communities,” remarked Secretary of Agriculture, Tom Vilsack. NCUIH recommends tribal nations use the Resource Guides to help facilitate growth within Indian Country.