Indian Employment Assistance

To provide vocational training and employment opportunities to eligible American Indians and reduce Federal dependence.

Related Programs

Examples of Funded Projects

The Southwestern Indian Polytechnic Institute in Albuquerque, New Mexico trains students in ophthalmology and provides job placement upon completion of the program.

Adult vocational training subsistence funds are provided to individuals with families who live off campus.

One individual received 3 years of nursing training in Phoenix, Arizona and was subsequently employed by a medical center.

Agency - Department of the Interior

The Department of the Interior protects and provides access to the Nation's natural and cultural heritage, including responsibilities to Indian tribes and island communities. Departmental goals include resource protection and usage, overseeing recreational opportunities, serving communities and excellence in management.

Office - Applications may be filed with the local Bureau of Indian Affairs agency office as listed in Appendix IV of the Catalog or with the Tribal Government administering the program.

Program Accomplishments

Approximately 175 awards are made annually to Indian Tribal Governments; approximately 1500 individuals receive assistance annually either through Tribal programs or as direct grants from the BIA.

Uses and Use Restrictions

Financial aid is used to assist individual Indians to obtain a marketable skill through vocational training and to assist those who have a job skill to find permanent employment.

Vocational and employment counseling are provided by the program.

Eligible American Indians may receive vocational training or job placement on or near the reservation or in an urban Regional.

Eligibility Requirements

Applicant Eligibility

Federally Recognized Indian Tribal Governments and Native American Organizations authorized by Indian Tribal Governments may apply to administer the program.

Individual American Indian applicants must be a member of a Federally Recognized Indian Tribe, be in need of financial assistance, and reside on or near an Indian reservation under the jurisdiction of the Bureau of Indian Affairs.

Beneficiary Eligibility

Members of Federally Recognized Indian Tribes who are unemployed, underemployed, or in need of training to obtain reasonable and satisfactory employment. Complete information on beneficiary eligibility is found in 25 CFR, Parts 26 and 27.


Applicants must submit a certificate signed by a Bureau Agency Superintendent or an authorized Tribal representative that indicates the applicant is an enrolled member or registered with a Federally Recognized Indian Tribe.

Aplication and Award Process

Preapplication Coordination

None.This program is excluded from coverage under E.O.


Application Procedures

Initial applications by Indian Tribal Governments to administer the program must contain the information specified in 25 CFR, Part 900, Subpart C, "Contract Proposal Contents." Completed applications should be submitted to the local Bureau of Indian Affairs agency office listed in Appendix IV. Individual American Indian applicants should apply for program services on Bureau of Indian Affairs Form BIA-8205 at the nearest Bureau Employment Assistance office or tribal government offices.

Award Procedures

The dollar value of the awards to Indian Tribal Governments depends upon the amount that has been prioritized by the individual Tribe through tribal participation in the Bureau of Indian Affairs' Tribal Priority Allocation budget formulation process. Applications for individual benefits are approved by the Bureau Agency Superintendent or authorized tribal representative.




Snyder Act of 1921, Public Law 67-85, 42 Stat. 208, 25 U.S.C. 13; Indian Adult Vocational Training Act of 1956, Public Law 84-959, 70 Stat. 986, as amended; Public Law 88-230, 77 Stat. 471, 25 U.S.C. 309; Indian Self-Determination and Education Assistance Act, Public Law 93-638, as amended, 25 U.S.C. 450.

Range of Approval/Disapproval Time

Applications by Tribal Governments to administer the program will be processed within 90 days. Applications by individuals for benefits will be processed within 30 days.


A Tribal Government whose request to administer the program is denied may request an informal conference with the deciding official, or may appeal the denial of the application to the Interior Board of Indian Appeals, or may bring suit in U.S. District Court. Full appeal procedures are found in 25 CFR, Part 900. An individual may appeal the BIA agency Superintendent's decision to the Regional Director. The complete appeal process for an individual is found in 25 CFR Part 2, "Appeals from Administrative Action." An appeal of a Tribal contractor's decision must be made under the Tribe's appeal procedures.


Awards to Tribal Governments to administer the program may be renewed indefinitely upon satisfactory performance by the contractor/grantee. A notice of intent to renew should be submitted at least 90 days prior to the expiration of the current award. The amount of the award may be adjusted as a result of individual tribal priorities established in the budget formulation process. Renewals of grants to individual beneficiaries are based on evidence of satisfactory performance and the availability of funds.

Assistance Considerations

Formula and Matching Requirements


Length and Time Phasing of Assistance

Awards to Indian Tribal Governments and Native American Organizations to administer the program are made on an annual basis and the funds remain available until expended by the contractor/grantee. Payments may be made in advance or by way of reimbursement. The timing of payments will be negotiated with the Tribal Government. Grants to individual beneficiaries for subsistence, tuition and related training costs, supportive services, etc., are released as required by beneficiary, up to the amount of the award. Assistance for job placement is provided until the beneficiary receives the first full paycheck from employment. Individual beneficiaries may not receive more than 24 months of full-time training, except for Registered Nursing students who may receive 36 months of training.

Post Assistance Requirements


Indian Tribal Governments administering the program must submit financial status reports, SF 269A.

The timing and nature of program accomplishment data will be negotiated with the contractor/grantee.

Individuals must provide evidence of satisfactory progress.


For awards administered by Indian Tribal Governments, the Tribe is responsible for obtaining audits in accordance with the Single Audit Act Amendments of 1996 (31 U.S.C. 7501 et seq.).


Indian Tribal Governments administering the program must retain financial records for 3 years from the date of submission of the single audit report. Procurement records must be retained for 3 years from the date of final payment. Property records must be retained for 3 years from the date of disposition, replacement, or transfer. Records pertaining to any litigation, audit exceptions or claims must be retained until the dispute has been resolved.

Financial Information

Account Identification



(Total Amount of Awards)FY 07 $7,261,840; FY 08 est $6,923,860; and FY 09 est not available.

Range and Average of Financial Assistance

For awards to Indian Tribal Governments: $7,000 to $350,000; $46,000. For awards to individual beneficiaries: $200 to $10,000; $5,100.

Regulations, Guidelines, and Literature

25 CFR 26 and 25 CFR 27. For awards to Indian Tribal Governments see also 25 CFR Part 900.

Information Contacts

Regional or Local Office

Applications may be filed with the local Bureau of Indian Affairs agency office as listed in Appendix IV of the Catalog or with the Tribal Government administering the program.

Headquarters Office

Office of Indian Energy and Economic Development, Division of Workforce Development, 1951 Constitution Avenue, NW, Mail Stop 20-SIB, Washington DC 20245.

Criteria for Selecting Proposals

All Tribes meeting the requirements of 25 CFR Part 900 will be selected if the program has been prioritized by the individual Indian tribe through tribal participation in the Bureau of Indian Affairs' Tribal Priority Allocation budget formulation process. Applications from individuals are received for both vocational training and direct employment participants. Final determination to fund an application is based on the individual's eligibility and financial need and total dollars available to the Tribe or Agency.

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