Endangered Language Fund

Request for Proposals 2014

Native Voices Endowment

You can download a PDF of this Request for Proposals here.

The Native Voices Endowment: A Lewis & Clark Bicentennial Legacy Project has been created within the Endangered Language Fund for the purpose of revitalizing and perpetuating the aboriginal languages of the American Indian Nations whose ancestors encountered the 1803-1806 Lewis & Clark Expedition.

Eligibility Criteria

Proposals will be accepted only from individuals who are enrolled tribal members, tribal government language programs, tribal community language programs and tribal schools and colleges of the federally recognized tribal nations along the Lewis & Clark National Historic Trail, whose ancestors experienced contact with the 1803-1806 Lewis & Clark Expedition or whose ancestral homelands were traversed by the Lewis & Clark Expedition or whose tribal customs or languages were recorded by the Lewis & Clark Expedition. An eligibility list of tribes along the Lewis & Clark National Historic Trail is available here.

Proposals will be accepted only for:

  • Native language education programs, curricula or projects.
  • Individual study by Native language students who are pursuing study with:
    • Universities or colleges offering coursework or research in the student's Native language
    • A fluent tribal language speaker of the student's Native language in a mentor-apprentice circumstance, private immersion or tutelage arrangement.
  • Research efforts to document and record a Native language for future preservation and education. Examples may include video or tape recording elder speakers, private tutelage or immersion classes; books or films.

Eligible Expenses

Salaries, equipment, supplies, consultant fees, travel, and publication subventions are eligible. Eligible salaries may include those for tribally enrolled teachers, mentors, researchers, traditional teachers, elders, and storytellers. If, at any time during or at the conclusion of a funded project, the primary project manager leaves the project or language program, ownership of all equipment, such as video or tape recorders or computers, funded by a Native Voices grant, shall revert to the tribe whose language was subject of the funded project. Indirect and general operating expenses are not eligible for funding.

Grant Amounts

$2,500-$10,000 per year

Grant Period

Grants are awarded for one to three years. Multiple year projects will be required to submit complete and timely annual reports before subsequent years' funds can be released.

Matching Funds

Native Voices grants must be matched by the recipient on a 1:1 basis. The match can be in cash or in-kind goods or services.


October 15, 2014. Decisions will be delivered by the beginning of January.

How to Apply

There is no application form. Applications must be submitted electronically as a single PDF file. The information requested below should be emailed to: elf@yale.edu

If you have any questions, please write to the same email address.

Required Information

  1. Cover Page Should Contain:
    • Title of the project, or if it is a scholarship application, it should say "Scholarship"
    • Name of Native language, tribal community and state in which it is spoken
    • Amount requested (list amount per year if multiple years)
    • Name of primary project manager. If the primary project manager is not tribally enrolled, he/she must be employed by the applicant tribal institution and designated by that institution as the primary project manager.
    • Address, phone number and email address of primary project manager
    • Place and date of birth of primary project manage
    • Primary project manager's present position, education and Native language(s) spoken
    • Primary project manager's previous experience and/or relevant publications
    • Include the same information for project collaborators
    • Please also include a document proving the tribal enrollment of the primary project manager.
  2. Description of the Project
    • Beginning on a separate page, provide a description of the project. This should normally take two pages, single spaced, but the maximum is five pages. Be detailed about the type of material that is to be collected and/or produced, and the value it will have to the Native community (including relatives and descendants who do not yet speak the language) and to linguistic science. Be specific about the methods and procedures you plan to use and about how long the project will last.
  3. Budget
    • On a separate page, prepare an itemized budget that lists expected costs for the project. Show how you have estimated costs (e.g. 50 boxes of DVDs @ $10 each). Explain the rate at which consultants or teachers are to be paid. List other sources of support you are currently receiving or expect to receive and other grant proposals you may be submitting in support of the project. Identify grant sources and amounts requested.
  4. Supporting Letters and Resolutions
    • An official resolution of the governing body (tribal council, executive committee, etc.) for the tribe whose language is the subject of the project. Tribal councils are busy. Be sure to plan ahead for this part of your submission.
    • Two letters of support from individuals or organizations who are familiar with your work (optional).
    • If your request is for a mentor-apprentice program, a letter from your Native language mentor, stating that his/her services are integral to your project and that he/she has committed to participate in the project.
    • If your proposal is for college or university Native language study, proof of your registration in that college or university and a letter of intent that you are planning such Native language study.
    • If your proposal is for recording Native speakers, a list of the speakers you propose to record must accompany your request.
  5. Statement of Ethical Approval
    • Every application for research should be accompanied by a statement from the appropriate tribal group stating that the research and use of the materials after the research is concluded meets the ethical standards of the tribe.
  6. Limit to One Proposal
    • A researcher can be primary researcher on only one proposal.
  7. Acknowledgement of Receipt
    • Receipt of proposal will be acknowledged by email.
  8. Annual and Final Reports
    • Recipients of multiple-year grant awards are required to provide the Native Voices Endowment/Endangered Language Fund with a formal report, including budget summary, at the end of each year of the project before funding for the subsequent year can be released. All recipients are required to provide the Fund with a formal final narrative and budget report upon completion of the funded project.
  9. Deposit of Safe Copies
    • All grant recipients are required to provide the tribe, whose language was subject of the project, and the Fund with copies of field materials, audio and video recordings collected or made with Native Voices funds, accompanying transcriptions, and any publications or films resulting from materials obtained with the assistance of the grant. The purposes of this requirement are to make available to tribes and tribal members a means of preserving their own data and to build an archive of language education and preservation materials that can be available to future teachers and researchers. The extent to which archived materials are made available to future researchers and teachers may be specified or restricted by the recipient and the tribe whose language was the focus of the recipient's project. Any disagreements among teachers, researchers, tribes and other parties concerning the level of access to copies of language materials will be resolved by the Native Voices Endowment's advisory committee.
  10. Contact Information
    • Please note: applications must be submitted electronically.
    • Native Voices Endowment
      The Endangered Language Fund
      300 George Street, Suite 900
      New Haven, CT 06511 USA
      Tel: 203-865-6163, x265
      Fax: 203-865-8963