- A new White House program will issue $3 million in grants to Native American communities that are pursuing college-and-career readiness goals.
- The U.S. Department of Education plans to give out five to seven grants in total, ranging in sum from $400,000 to $600,000.
- The Native Youth Community Projects fall under the umbrella of the Generation Indigenous project, which was announced in December of 2014 and aims to increase opportunities for Native American youth.
Right before announcing Generation Indigenous, the White House released the 2014 Native Youth Report, which declared Native American education to be in a "state of emergency." At the time, many spectators were surprised by both the project and the grant promise — Ahniwake Rose, executive director of the National Indian Education Association, told The Huffington Post that no sitting U.S. president had discussed Indian education since John F. Kennedy, so the fact that President Barack Obama was allocating resources to the native population was a bit unprecedented.
Obama also visited the Standing Rock Sioux Tribal Nation in Cannon Ball, ND, in June, his first visit to a reservation since entering the Oval Office. It was explained by the White House as a necessary trip to show his commitment to "upholding our strong and crucial nation-to-nation relationship."
Ultimately, drugs, alcoholism, poverty, and high infant mortality rates are par for the course on reservations, which highlights the harm done to the native population over the years, as well as the necessity for initiatives like this $3 million grant program.