BIA Funding Increase to over $840,000 Per Year

Sitting in the office of the Tribal Administrator, Leslie Jonas, a few days before she transitions out of the TA role for the Tribe, and it’s easy to see where her passion lies. She loves working in Development and securing funding for her Tribe.

Leslie reviews spreadsheets that provide a high-level overview of recent grants that have been awarded to the Tribe and quickly rattles off details of each award, the programs that survive because of it and how she’s been able to work with Development Associate, Kimberly Maida, and the Finance team to increase funding year over year.

BIA funding was increased from just over $500,000, in 2017/18 to about $1MM in 2019 including a couple of 1x funding awards made possible for NRD, WIOA and the Tribal Court in 2019. The increased funding now covers a wider range of operations staff and 2 mortgages – including the Community and Government Center.

Leslie saw it as her job to stabilize tribal operations with secure grant funding “We’ve come a long way over the past few years in regard to funding sources,” said Leslie. “It’s critical to work together with the Directors, and be thoughtful and strategic about what grants we expend our time on. The Directors and I have remained focused in our approach and you can see the results in programs like LIHEAP, Housing, our Food Pantry, Child Care, Indian Education, Transportation, the Shellfish Farm, WIOA, Natural Resources and our Emergency Preparedness Department, just to name a few. They’re all doing great because they have secured funding.”

In the past 12 months, the Tribe has not been rejected on one grant application. With a small staff you need success like this to keep the programs moving forward.