Tribal Government & News

Tribal Council approves $20 million EPA grant application

04.03.2024 Danielle Harrison & Michelle Alaimo Tribal Council, Grants


By Danielle Harrison and Michelle Alaimo

Smoke Signals staff

Tribal Council approved a $20 million grant application for an EPA Environmental and Climate Justice Community Change Grant at its Wednesday, April 3, meeting.

If approved for the grant, the Tribal Engineering, Public Works and Community Development Department will use the funds to provide additional facilities to support population growth in the community and provide services to increase the Tribe’s self-sufficiency while supporting the Tribe’s cultural values for environmental stewardship.

According to the EPA website, these grants will be awarded for environmental and climate justice activities to “benefit disadvantaged communities through projects that reduce pollution, increase community climate resilience and build community capacity to address environmental and climate justice challenges. These place-based investments will be focused on community-driven initiatives to be responsive to community and stakeholder input.”

“I have a very exciting grant to bring before you today,” Tribal Grants Program Manager Wendy Sparks said during a Tuesday, April 2, Legislative Action Committee meeting. “Because of the scope of our identified projects, today I am requesting a resolution for the first of two grant applications. I will be coming back to you in a month to request a resolution for the second application.”

The Tribe is allowed to pursue two grants for this project, with each grant totaling up to $20 million.

The first grant services the Tribe by providing funding for the construction costs and materials for the resident recreation center. The second grant will focus on energy efficiency and weatherization.

The new facility will provide a safe place for the community to gather during climate events, such as smoky days caused by wildfires, or other weather-related events.

“For the purposes of this grant, our emphasis is on obtaining funding for the facility that can increase the Tribe’s overall climate resilience,” Sparks said.

The project also includes entering into an agreement with the Energy Trust of Oregon, who will serve as the Tribe’s partner. The Energy Trust will provide guidance on appropriate use of energy efficient and climate resilient materials that will be used for this project.

In other action, Tribal Council:

  • Approved a first reading of the Governmental Corporation Ordinance amendment changing the budget reporting date for corporate boards from Oct. 31 to Oct. 1;
  • Approved a first reading of the General Council Ordinance amendment changing the date on which Spirit Mountain Gaming Inc. Board of Directors presents an overview of its operations from the September to the March General Council meeting. This will allow a prior full-year review of Spirit Mountain Casino and look at what’s to come in the current year;
  • Approved an application to the Oregon Department of Education Grow Your Own grant program for $375,000 to provide additional continuing education funding and support services for staff;
  • And approved enrolling three minors into the Tribe because they meet the requirements outlined in the Tribal Constitution and Enrollment Ordinance.

To watch the entire meeting, visit the Tribal government’s website at and click on the Videos tab.