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Native American Programs Act (NAPA), USA | History, Goals & Partnerships

History and What They Do

Established in 1974 under the Native American Programs Act (NAPA), the Administration for Native Americans (ANA) fulfills its mission by serving the entire spectrum of Native American communities. This includes federally recognized tribes, American Indian and Alaska Native organizations, Native Hawaiian organizations, as well as Native populations dispersed across the Pacific Basin, encompassing regions like American Samoa, Guam, and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands.

At its core, ANA is dedicated to fostering self-sufficiency among Native Americans through a twofold approach. Firstly, it provides discretionary grant funding to support community-based projects. Secondly, it offers essential training and technical assistance to eligible tribes and native organizations, equipping them with the tools and knowledge necessary for self-empowerment.

ANA’s philosophy

Central to ANA’s philosophy is the belief that sustainable, positive change emanates from within the community. ANA’s ideology of native self-sufficiency is rooted in a set of core convictions:

1. A native community attains self-sufficiency when it can independently generate and manage the resources required to meet its social, economic objectives, and the well-being of its members.
2. The responsibility for achieving self-sufficiency is vested in native governing bodies and local leadership.
3. Progress toward self-sufficiency hinges on meticulous resource planning and direction in alignment with long-term goals.

ANA’s overarching goals encompass:

1. Nurturing the development of stable, diversified local economies and economic activities to create jobs, bolster community and economic prosperity, cultivate collaborative community partnerships, and diminish reliance on public funding and social services.
2. Facilitating local access, control, and coordination of services and programs designed to safeguard the health and welfare of native children and families.
3. Expanding the number of initiatives focused on youth and intergenerational activities within Native American communities.

ANA’s strategic priorities for 2023-2024 are as follows:

1. Administrative Excellence: ANA aims to become a high-performing agency with a unified operational framework that efficiently manages its resources and consistently delivers high-quality outcomes aligned with ANA’s mission, priorities, and legislative mandates.

2. Strategic Leadership: ANA aspires to be a prominent and effective strategic thinker and advisor on Native American policy issues, extending its influence throughout the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the Administration for Children and Families (ACF).

3. Effective Communication: ANA endeavors to be a positive and influential communicator regarding Native American policy matters, the impacts of ANA’s investments in Native communities, and the amplification of community voices.

4. Data-Driven Approach: ANA commits to becoming a data-driven agency by applying a data-oriented perspective across its programs, operations, and management responsibilities.

Collaborative Initiatives (Partnerships)

To optimize resources in support of Native communities, ANA forges partnerships with related programs within the Administration for Children and Families and the Department of Health and Human Services. These alliances extend to various federal agencies and nonprofit organizations.

Intra-Departmental Council for Native American Affairs: ANA’s Commissioner assumes the role of Chair within the Intra-Departmental Council on Native American Affairs (ICNAA), offering guidance on Native American matters to the Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary. The ICNAA, composed of the leaders of 25 key HHS agencies, serves as the central point of contact within the department for all initiatives impacting Native populations. It harmonizes resources across federal agencies and shapes a comprehensive Native American policy framework for the entire department. The ICNAA upholds policy coherence department-wide and, when feasible, across the entire federal government. Additionally, as Chair of the ICNAA, the ANA Commissioner holds a seat on the Secretary’s Tribal Advisory Committee (STAC), which includes tribal representatives from 12 area offices and DHHS OPDIV (Operating Division) heads.

ACF Native Affairs Work Group: ANA assumes the chairmanship of this group, facilitating the coordination of collaborative projects, reports, and meetings involving ACF tribal programs.

Interagency Working Group on Indian Affairs: ANA is an active member of the Interagency Working Group on Indian Affairs (IWGIA), a collective of federal agency representatives working closely with tribal governments. The IWGIA’s mission is to cultivate interagency cooperation and coordination, thereby enhancing federal-tribal consultation and the delivery of services to Indian tribes. Notable IWGIA achievements encompass the sponsorship and support of activities and events, the development and deployment of an online learning module for interaction with tribal governments, and the forthcoming release of a learning module on Tribal Consultation.

Tribal Law and Order Act Interagency Working Group: ANA has been an integral part of the Tribal Law and Order Act (TLOA) interagency working group, contributing to the implementation of the recently amended Tribal Law and Order Act. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Agency within HHS will host an Indian Alcohol and Substance Abuse website, with ANA serving as the primary ACF contact point for tribes seeking information on ACF programs and services that can reinforce and enhance their efforts under TLOA. This central point of contact streamlines access to various federal programs for tribes, allowing them to navigate these resources more efficiently. ANA’s broad funding authority enables tribal governments to seek assistance from ANA in fulfilling certain TLOA requirements.

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