Funding supports education & literacy programs
Congressman Brian Higgins announced a $482,172 American Rescue Plan grant for the Seneca Nation of Indians. Awarded through the Department of Education and funded by the American Indian Resilience in Education program, the grant supports education and cultural literacy programs.
“This grant provides the leaders of the Seneca Nation of Indians and their partners with new resources to help Seneca students achieve greater success in school,” Higgins said. “This funding will also assist efforts underway by the Seneca Nation of Indians to preserve the Seneca language and keep it alive and vibrant in their communities; it is an integral part of their heritage and the cultural heritage of Western New York and North America.”
This grant, which is expected to be funded for three years, will support the Seneca Nation’s literacy-language-culture project, which will assist and encourage Seneca children ages 3 through 18 (preschool to high school) with entering, remaining in, and reentering school. The program will implement literacy, Seneca language, and Seneca cultural activities at all schools attended by Seneca Nation students and at the Seneca Nation’s Education Department offices.
The program will serve 959 students in the Seneca Nation. Overall, it seeks to increase testing scores among students entering school, ensure that they successfully progress to the next grade level, and ultimately complete their high school diploma.
“We are committed to ensuring that all of our Seneca students, regardless of age, have the resources and opportunities they need to succeed, no matter where their educational path takes them,” Seneca Nation President Matthew Pagels said. “Along with creating greater educational opportunities for our students, this grant funding will support one of our most important cultural initiatives, the preservation of our traditional Seneca language. Our language was nearly lost to us, but, through the work of our Education Department, more people throughout our community are learning and speaking our traditional language today. We want to see that continue for generations to come.”
American Rescue Plan – American Indian Resilience in Education (ARP-AIRE) program grants are one-time awards that support Tribal Education Agencies (TEAs). The funding is provided in order to meet the urgent needs of tribal youth amid the COVID-19 pandemic. The Seneca Nation received one of 15 grants awarded to tribal nations across the country.