The Bureau of Indian Affairs announced more than $6.5 million in Energy and Mineral Development Program grants awarded to 34 federally recognized tribes and Alaska Native corporations on July 1.
The Osage Nation received two EMDP grants in total of $396,065 to aid projects using energy, mineral and natural resources.
According to the press release sent by the Office of the Assistant Secretary-Indian affairs, one grant awarded $96,420 to the Osage Nation. “To enhance and expand the design and flexibility of the existing OsageMinerals.org so that all records, maps, production, leasehold and other pertinent information can be easily accessed by quarter section in a user-friendly format,” the press release said.
This comes after the Osage Minerals Council asked the Osage Nation Congress for a $1.5 million appropriation to build a state-of-the-art data system in March of 2021. Congress postponed bill ONCA 21-32 (Goodfox) during the Hun-Kah session.
The Osage Nation received a second grant in the amount of $299,645. “To define and evaluate the sand and gravel assets on the Osage Reservation and conduct an economic evaluation of the promising sites based on geology, grades, production and potential markets where aggregate supplies from the Nation can be marketed and sold,” said the press release.
The EMDP grants allow tribes to conduct pre-development studies necessary to process, use and develop energy and mineral resources. The funding helps tribal nations achieve economic self-sufficiency by developing and controlling their own energy production capabilities.
“Having direct access to a reliable energy source is often taken for granted in the United States, but due to their remote locations, it can be a real challenge for American Indian and Alaska Native communities to achieve that standard,” said Bryan T. Newland, Principal Deputy Assistance Secretary-Indian Affairs. “The BIA’s Energy and Mineral Development Program grants seek to close this gap by supporting efforts to develop tribally and Alaska Native corporation-owned energy resources to benefit tribal members and ANC shareholders while contributing to Indian Country’s economic progress.”
The BIA Office of Trust Services’ Division of Energy and Mineral Development selects the awardees through a competitive review process. The DEMD selected the 34 tribes and Alaska Corporations among 53 proposals submitted during the 2020 fiscal year funding cycle.