[Federal Register Volume 75, Number 46 (Wednesday, March 10, 2010)]
[Pages 11181-11183]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2010-4843]



Issuance of Final Policy Directive

AGENCY: Administration for Children and Families.

ACTION: Notice.


SUMMARY: The Administration for Native Americans (ANA) is issuing final 
interpretive rules, general statements of policy and rules of agency 
organization, procedure, or practice relating to the following Funding 
Opportunity Announcements (FOAs): Social and Economic Development 
Strategies (hereinafter referred to as SEDS), Social and Economic 
Development Strategies--Special Initiative (hereinafter referred to as 
SEDS--SI), Native Language Preservation and Maintenance (hereinafter 
referred to as Language Preservation), Native Language Preservation and 
Maintenance--Esther Martinez Initiative (hereinafter referred to as 
Language--EMI), and Environmental Regulatory Enhancement (hereinafter 
referred to as ERE). This notice also provides information about how 
ANA will administer these programs.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Caroline Gary, Deputy Commissioner, 
(877) 922-9262, 370 L'Enfant Promenade, SW., 2nd Floor West, 
Washington, DC 20447.


I. Background

    Section 814 of the Native American Programs Act of 1974, as 
amended, requires ANA to provide members of the public an opportunity 
to comment on proposed changes in interpretive rules, general 
statements of policy and rules of agency organization, procedure, or 
practice and to give notice of the final adoption of such changes at 
least 30 days before the changes become effective.
    ANA published a Notice of Public Comment (NOPC) in the Federal 
Register (74 FR 68849) on December 29, 2009, with proposed policy and 
program clarifications, modifications, and activities for the fiscal 
year (FY) 2010 FOAs. The public comment period was open for 30 days.
    ANA received 12 comments from eight different entities: (1) Three 
from a Federally recognized Tribe; (2) one from an Alaska Native 
Village Corporation; (3) one from a Tribally controlled college; (4) 
one from a Hawaiian non-profit organization; (5) two from a Hawaiian 
University; (6) one from an individual language educator; (7) one from 
an Alaskan non-profit organization; and (8) two from a national non-
profit for Native languages. ANA considered all of the comments 
received and provided responses, clarifications, and modifications in 
this final directive. The following paragraphs summarize the comments 
and our responses. The comments are grouped by the portion of the NOPC 
to which they apply.

II. Comments and Responses

A. Comments on SEDS and SEDS--SI FOAs

    Comments: ANA received three comments in reference to the SEDS--SI 
FOA and the former SEDS--Alaska program announcement. One commenter 
said that the description of the SEDS--SI funding opportunity was 
insufficient to determine whether the commenter's Tribe would be 
eligible to apply under this new FOA. A second commenter stated that 
the discontinuation of SEDS--Alaska will have a detrimental impact on 
Alaska Native communities, and a third stated the same concerns and 
encouraged ANA to consider keeping that program area with an increased 
ceiling amount.
    Responses: In response to the first comment about SEDS--SI, ANA 
provided this clarification: The forthcoming SEDS--SI FOA will address 
the same program areas of interest as SEDS and have the same 
eligibility criteria; the only difference between SEDS and SEDS--SI 
will be the funding floor and ceiling amounts.
    In response to the second and third comments, ANA offered no 
changes. ANA acknowledges that there are many Tribes and organizations 
with limited capacity throughout all of the United States and its 
Territories. The SEDS--Alaska initiative was established in 1984 and 
for more than 20 years assisted Alaska Native Villages and Alaskan 
organizations with capacity-building projects and activities. ANA has 
limited funding available with which to impact its target communities, 
and ANA is continuously seeking ways to best

[[Page 11182]]

address the needs of all communities. To ensure that competition for 
funds is equitable, ANA must ensure an even regional distribution of 

B. Comments on Language Preservation and Language--EMI FOAs

    Comments: ANA received three comments on the Native Language 
programs. One commenter expressed concern about the lack of emphasis on 
teacher training for the language nests in the Language--EMI FOA. One 
commenter said that the separation of Esther Martinez Native American 
Languages Preservation Act of 2006 (Esther Martinez Act) programs from 
other language programs will ensure that the Congressional 
appropriations allocated to programs identified in the Esther Martinez 
Act will be honored. Specifically, the commenter stated that $12 
million was appropriated for the Esther Martinez Act programs with $4 
million of that set aside for immersion programs. One commenter 
suggested that an absolute priority should be identified for language 
immersion schools to align with the Congressional appropriation.
    Responses: In response to the first comment, ANA agrees in part. 
Teacher training is undoubtedly a critical component to language 
programs, and to address this both Native Language FOAs provide 
opportunities for teacher training for all types of schools and 
programs dedicated to preserving and maintaining Native languages. The 
purpose of Language--EMI is to award funds to language survival 
schools, language nests, and language restoration programs; however, 
the type of project, which could include teacher training, is open to 
what the applicant determines is most beneficial to the program, as 
long as it fulfills the three-year time requirement. For shorter term 
teacher training projects, applicants can apply for projects to include 
teacher training under the Language Preservation FOA.
    The second and third comments directly relate to the Esther 
Martinez Act and ANA's FY 2010 appropriation. With respect to these 
comments, ANA agrees in part and offers clarification but no change. 
The appropriation language for the FY 2010 ANA budget does not specify 
that the entire $12 million for language programs should be allocated 
to Esther Martinez Act programs. Instead, the House and Senate 
Conference Report 111-366 to accompany P.L. 111-117 (page 1040) 
included the following statements:

    Within the amount provided for Native American programs, the 
conference agreement includes $12,000,000 for Native American 
language preservation activities including no less than $4,000,000 
for language immersion programs as proposed in Senate Report 111-66. 
The House included similar language.

    The FY 2010 appropriation and the instructions for Native language 
programs do not specify what funds should be allocated to the specific 
programs under the Esther Martinez Act. Rather, the recommendation is 
that $12 million be spent on all language programs with $4 million of 
that used to fund immersion programs. Immersion activities can be 
funded under the Language Preservation FOA or the Language--EMI FOA. 
The FY 2010 appropriation is not only for new awards, but also for 
projects that are continuing into a second or a third year. ANA has 
determined that suitable tracking will be completed to ensure funds are 
spent as appropriated by Congress.
    In FY 2010, ANA identified the Language--EMI FOA as separate from 
the Language Preservation FOA to address the specific differences in 
time frames and eligibility requirements, as outlined in the Esther 
Martinez Act. The Esther Martinez Act program areas fund three-year 
projects in one of the following three categories:

    Language Nest Projects: providing instruction and child care 
through the use of a Native American language and ensuring a Native 
American language is the dominant medium of instruction.
    Language Survival School Projects: working toward a goal of all 
students achieving fluency in a Native American language and 
academic proficiency.
    Language Restoration Programs: providing instruction in at least 
one Native American language and working towards the goal of 
increasing proficiency and fluency in that language.

C. Comment on Award Information

    Comment: ANA received one comment suggesting that ANA elevate the 
funding range for language nest and survival schools from $100,000-
$300,000 to $150,000-$500,000, which have limited funds for teacher 
training, curriculum development, repository building, and other 
    Response: In response to this comment, ANA offers no change to the 
funding floor and ceiling for language nests and survival schools. In 
FY 2010, ANA increased the funding ceilings from $200,000 per budget 
period for implementation grants and $250,000 per budget period for 
immersion grants in FY 2009 to $300,000 per budget period for all 
language projects in FY 2010. Further increases in the funding ceiling 
will restrict ANA's ability to support many deserving programs. If ANA 
increases the funding floor and ceiling, fewer projects will be funded. 
For example, if ANA has $2 million for new projects in FY 2010, only 
four projects at $500,000 each could be funded versus more than six 
projects with a $300,000 ceiling.

D. Comment on Disqualification Factors

    Comment: ANA received one comment requesting that ANA identify 
Tribally controlled colleges as separate entities from the associated 
    Response: In response to this comment, ANA offers no change. In 
accordance with 45 CFR 1336.33, ``applications from tribal components 
which are tribally-authorized divisions of a larger tribe must be 
approved by the governing body of the Tribe,'' thereby recognizing them 
as one entity.

E. Comment on Definitions

    Comment: One commenter stated that the Language--EMI FOA should 
include definitions for ``language survival schools'' and ``language 
nests'' in addition to ``language restoration programs.''
    Response: ANA offers no change in response to this comment. The 
NOPC identified only changes from 2009 to 2010. Definitions for both 
``language survival schools'' and ``language nests'' were included in 
the FY 2009 program announcements; therefore, the definitions were not 
included as new definitions in the NOPC. All three definitions will be 
included in the FY 2010 Language--EMI FOA.

F. Comment on Application Evaluation Criteria

    Comment: One commenter stated that tracking an impact indicator for 
three years after the end of the project period is difficult because 
there would be no grant funding to support these data collection 
    Response: ANA agrees in part and offers clarification but no 
change. The best use of ANA resources is to fund projects that are 
sustainable and have the potential to impact and provide benefits to 
the community beyond the project period. In addition, applicants should 
propose projects that have a clearly identified goal of what the 
project will achieve and how the proposed project will impact the 
community well into the future. Therefore, ANA is requesting that a 
target be set for three years after the project period; however, ANA is 
not requiring that data be collected or reported for the period after 
the project ends. It will be the grantee's decision whether to track 
the third indicator after the end of the project period.

[[Page 11183]]

G. Other Comments

    Comments: One commenter suggested that a Tribe should be able to 
have a Family Preservation grant concurrent with a SEDS grant and 
another commenter stated that the proposed changes will improve the ANA 
program and its effectiveness in the target communities.
    Responses: The first comment was not addressed by any changes 
identified in the NOPC; therefore, ANA declines to respond to the 
comment. ANA agrees with the second comment. ANA's program mission is 
to promote self-sufficiency and cultural preservation for Native 
Americans by providing social and economic development opportunities 
through financial assistance, training, and technical assistance to 
eligible Tribes and Native American communities, including American 
Indian, Alaska Native, Native Hawaiian, and other Native Pacific 
Islander organizations. ANA recognizes that to better address its 
mission, a simplified funding structure that reaches more of ANA's 
target communities is needed. The changes to the FY 2010 FOAs were 
developed to that end.
    The 2010 FOAs will be published on the ANA Web site at http://www.acf.hhs.gov/programs/ana//programs/program_announcements.html and 
at http://www.grants.gov.

    Dated: March 2, 2010.
Caroline Gary,
Deputy Commissioner, Administration for Native Americans.
[FR Doc. 2010-4843 Filed 3-9-10; 8:45 am]