The Nez Perce Tribe will award the annual Local Education Program Fund grants on August 22, 2019. The event will take place at the Clearwater River Casino & Lodge at noon. This year, over $367,000 will be awarded, with approximately 48 awards being distributed. These funds will be used to assist local schools, youth programs, and other community opportunities.

“Our teachers, mentors, and coordinators are known for using their personal funds to purchase supplies or equipment. We applaud them for doing what they believe is necessary, however, we hope these funds help lessen the need for such actions. We are thrilled to support their passion for teaching and encourage their creativity,” stated Casey Mitchell, Nez Perce Tribe Executive Committee Treasurer.

Each year a large number of applications are submitted seeking funds to supplement education programs and curricula. Often teachers are looking for additional funds to meet needs in the classroom. On other occasions there are unique needs. For example:

The Lapwai Boys & Girls Club submitted an application, seeking to expand services into Orofino and Kamiah.

A 4th grade class at Palouse Prairie Charter School plans to build a cedar plank canoe, and paddle the Snake River.

Funds will also be awarded to Special Olympics Washington to assist them with transportation costs, practice expenses, and purchasing equipment.

Since 2004 the Local Education Fund has awarded over $5.3 million to various programs. The grants are funded through the revenue earned by the Nez Perce Tribe gaming enterprises. Funds are distributed in accordance with the Indian Gaming and Self-Reliance Act of 2002. The Act was approved by Idaho voters through the Proposition One initiative. The mission of the grant program is to provide financial assistance to local education programs and schools located on or near the Nez Perce Reservation. The ultimate goal is to improve the mind, speech, manner, capability, and character of the human populace.

“With the continued growth of our enterprises, we are excited to be able to meet so many great needs. Having these funds available to the community is making a difference and expanding opportunities for the youth. Every year we look forward to awarding these funds and seeing the remarkable results from these programs,” concluded Treasurer Mitchell.

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