Native American individuals have long been marginalized and excluded from the opportunities that other Americans enjoy. This includes financial assistance and opportunities. This article aims to address this issue by highlighting the different ways Native Americans can receive money and access investment and entrepreneurship opportunities. In this article, we will explore various grants and scholarships available, job opportunities exclusive to Native Americans, tax benefits, tribal programs, and services, and how to invest in entrepreneurship.
Highlighting Grants and Scholarships for Native Americans
Various organizations provide grants and scholarships that exclusively benefit Native American individuals. These opportunities include general grants and scholarships, as well as specialized programs for specific groups. The catch is that the eligibility criteria for these opportunities are often strict, and the application process is rigorous. The following are some of the available grants and scholarships for Native Americans:
- Association on American Indian Affairs Scholarships
- American Indian College Fund
- Native American Journalists Association Scholarships
To apply for any of these scholarships/grants, interested applicants must meet the eligibility criteria and provide the necessary supporting documents. For example, to be eligible for the American Indian College Fund Scholarship, applicants must be enrolled in a tribal college or university full-time. Each scholarship or grant has a unique application process; therefore, it is essential to follow the instructions provided.
Advantages to applying for these opportunities include financial assistance to complete a degree program, obtaining academic or professional certification, and much more. Some limitations with these opportunities include strict eligibility criteria and a rigorous application process.
Job Opportunities for Native Americans
Native American individuals can access jobs exclusive to their communities. The following are some of the companies and organizations offering job opportunities to Native American individuals:
- Navajo Nation Gaming Enterprise
- Nike’s N7 Fund
- Indian Health Service
Each company or organization has unique requirements and application processes for these job opportunities; therefore, interested individuals must do their research to find out details and how to apply. The advantage of these job opportunities is being able to have equal employment opportunities despite experiencing discrimination. A limitation could be that most of these opportunities are for individuals with relevant experience and education, which may not apply to everyone.
Tribal Programs and Services for Native Americans
The federal government provides many tribal programs/services that benefit Native Americans. The following are some of the available programs:
- Cash Assistance
- Housing Assistance
The eligibility criteria vary for each of these programs/services and may require proof of membership in a federally recognized tribe. The application process may be online or in person. Getting financial or material assistance from these programs/services is a significant benefit for Native Americans facing hard times. Additionally, these resources aim to improve the quality of life for Native Americans. However, there could be limitations with accessing these resources if they are outside of one’s tribe’s area.
Tax Benefits and Deductions for Native Americans
Native Americans can receive tax benefits and deductions as an incentive or reward for actively participating in their local economies. Some of the tax benefits include tax exemptions on tribal income and economic development, among others. The following are some examples:
- Indian Employment Credit (IEC)
- Active Financing Income (AFI)
- Indian Gaming Revenue Act
To take advantage of these tax benefits, Native Americans should seek professional tax assistance, ensure they qualify for the tax exemption, and provide required documentation. Tax benefits and deductions are one of the essential areas that encourage Native Americans to participate in the local economy activities. However, limitations to taking full advantage of these tax benefits may include strict eligibility criteria, unavailability of filing services, among others.
Investing and Entrepreneurship Opportunities for Native Americans
The Native American economy has various funding programs and resources available for entrepreneurs. These funding programs can help businesses access capital, technical assistance, and other resources. Some of the available opportunities include:
- Native American Business Development Institute (NABDI)
- Indian Business Alliance (IBA)
- Tribal Energy Development Capacity Grant Program
To access these resources, entrepreneurs with a solid business proposal and a thorough business plan should apply for the funding program that best fits their business idea. Assistance to become an entrepreneur can benefit the Native American economy. However, limitations for accessing these resources can result from strict eligibility criteria, a complicated application process, and competition with other entrepreneurs for funds.
Native American individuals have always experienced hardships when accessing financial opportunities that other Americans take for granted. This article aimed to highlight available grants/scholarships, job opportunities, tax benefits, and investment resources and programs exclusively for Native Americans. To receive money and participate in the economy, interested individuals should conduct thorough research on these available opportunities, meet the eligibility criteria, and be ready to put in the work needed.