Oglala Sioux, Lower Brule tribes awarded for Crazy Horse, aquaponics project studies

The South Dakota tribes were two of 10 selected to receive a portion of $ 500,000 in grants from the Office of Indian Economic Development’s Native American Business Development Institute (NABDI) program.

The NABDI Awards fund feasibility studies that assess the viability and risks of an economic development project, an opportunity, a business or enterprise, or the practicality of a technology that a tribe may choose to pursue. The studies can be used to determine the likelihood of business success in specific American Indian and Alaska Native communities.

“Grants from the Native American Business Development Institute allow tribes to make informed decisions about their economic future,” said Bryan Newland, Assistant Secretary of Indian Affairs. “Tribes will use these grants to explore possibilities to strengthen economic self-reliance and tribal self-determination. Indian Affairs and the Department use these grants to help them achieve these goals.

The Oglala Sioux tribe received $ 65,000 to be delegated to a feasibility study for a future Crazy Horse Scenic Byway project, and the Lower Brule Sioux tribe received $ 48,000 for a feasibility study for an aquaponics project.

In 2019, the Oglala Sioux tribe applied for designation of over 300 miles of South Dakota road to be designated as Crazy Horse Scenic Byway.

South Dakota currently has four state-sanctioned Scenic Drives, all located in the Black Hills and Badlands, and two federally designated Scenic Drives – one stretching from North Dakota to Nebraska, crossing five reserves and a loop in the south-east of the Black Hills.

The Crazy Horse Scenic Byway would start from the Crazy Horse Memorial in the west, cross Kyle and connect to Interstate 90 near Kadoka. A loop of the bypass would descend to the town of Pine Ridge, and arms would extend from the bypass to connect the Ben Reifel Visitor Center and the Yellow Bear Canyon Spur.

Tribal representatives did not return calls asking for more details on their plans.

The grants were awarded based on a proposal’s potential to create jobs for tribal members and boost economies in Native American communities.

Other award-winning tribes are spending the grants on projects such as building gas stations, buffalo production factories, and food sovereignty initiatives.

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