Answer: 3-5 groups of students from any federally recognized tribe of the United States******, including those from U.S. Territories, that are rising high-school seniors are eligible to apply for the Congress. This means the students should be in their junior year (11th grade) of high school at the time they submit their application. Sophomores and Juniors will be considered on a case-by-case basis. The strength of each individual’s application answers to part 1 and part 2 (must not be the same answers as anyone else in your group) and that will determine each individuals acceptance. Applying as a group does not automatically determine an individual’s acceptance into the program. Meaning each application will be reviewed individually and must show the student demonstrates leadership activities they have participated in relation to benefitting themselves and/or the tribe/community.
*****The Native Youth Community Adaptation and Leadership Congress (Congress) generates more and more interest each year. In this year, the vast majority of funding for student travel is from our partner, the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA). The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) and (BIA), as bureaus of the Department of the Interior (DOI), have a legally mandated obligation to ensure that the federal Indian trust responsibility is fulfilled. The federal government agencies have a unique and distinctive political relationship with federally recognized Indian Tribes. This has given rise to a unique federal trust responsibility, involving the legal responsibilities and obligations of the United States toward federally recognized Indian Tribes and the application of fiduciary standards of due care with respect to Indian lands, Tribal trust resources, and the exercise of Tribal rights.
In previous Congresses, we have included a smaller number of tribal students from non-federally recognized tribes because of funding contributions from partners outside DOI. For example, the U.S. Forest Service (USFS), a bureau of the Department of Agriculture, was able to work with their partner, KUPU, to send Native Hawaiian students to the Congress. Another partner, a non-governmental organization (NGO), Conservation Legacy Ancestral Lands, provided funds to assist student travel from non-federally recognized tribes. However, funding available in previous years for students from non-federally recognized tribes is not guaranteed for the 2022 year. All tribal students can apply but funding is expected to be very limited for students from non-federally recognized tribes for the aforementioned reasons.