Keepseagle attorneys open application process for $38M in grants

Young members of the Meskwaki Tribe at work at the Red Earth Gardens in Iowa. Photo from Facebook

Applications are now being accepted for the Native American Agricultural Fast Track Fund.

The fund is seeded with $38 million from the historic Keepseagle settlement. Grants will be awarded to non-profit organizations, tribal programs and educational institutions that provide agricultural, business, technical or advocacy services to existing and aspiring Native farmers and ranchers.

Interested groups must submit a letter of inquiry and supporting documentation by June 24, according to a press release. A technical assistance webinar will be held June 1 to assist with the process.

Applicants that meet eligibility requirements and align with the purposes of the Fast Track Fund will then be notified by July 28. They will be invited to submit full proposals that are due by September 2.

The finalists will then be submitted to a federal judge for final approval. Awards are expected to go out before the end of the year.

The Obama administration settled the Keepseagle case in October 2010 to address discrimination experienced by Native farmers and ranchers at the Department of Agriculture. It included $680 million in payments to Indian farmers and ranchers and an $80 million loan forgiveness fund.

Some $380 million was left over after payments were made to successful claimants. The $38 million for the Fast Track Fund comes out of that amount and it is controlled by the attorneys who handled the case.

Another $265 million is going into a separate trust that will distribute the funds on business assistance, education and technical support for farmers and ranchers over 20 years. That effort is still in development.

The remaining $77 million is being distributed in the form of cash and tax payments to the successful claimants in the case.

Join the Conversation

Related Stories
Keepseagle attorneys announce $38 million in one-time grants (5/17)
Judge approves agreement for $380M in leftover Keepseagle funds (04/21)
Judge weighs compromise for $380M in leftover Keepseagle funds (02/05)
Judge can't reopen Keepseagle case after $380M goes unspent (07/27)
Marshall Matz: Fight for $380M in Keepseagle funds continues (07/01)
Indian farmers rally over $380M in unspent Keepseagle funds (06/29)
Indian farmers protest foundation with $380M Keepseagle funds (12/04)
Keepseagle plaintiffs oppose use of $380M to create foundation (09/30)
Native Sun News: Indian farmers question Keepseagle attorneys (08/22)
Details announced for meetings about $380M Keepseagle fund (07/17)
Keepseagle attorneys schedule meetings to discuss $380M fund (7/8)
USDA questions plan to create $380M Keepseagle foundation (09/18)
Opinion: Keepseagle foundation boosts farmers and ranchers (9/13)
Choctaw Nation seeks $58.5M from Keepseagle for foundation (9/6)
Keepseagle foundation would share $380M with Indian Country (9/3)
Magazine: Farmers hope for new era with USDA settlement (8/27)
Most of Indian farmer discrimination settlement goes unspent (04/26)