Endangered Language Fund

Native Voices Endowment: A Lewis & Clark Bicentennial Legacy Endangered Language Fund

Request for Proposals 2015

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.

Individuals or groups who apply must further belong to one of the following groups:

  • federally recognized tribal nations along the Lewis & Clark National Historic Trail, or
  • those whose ancestors experienced contact with the 1803-1806 Lewis & Clark Expedition, or
  • those whose ancestral homelands were traversed by the Lewis & Clark Expedition, or
  • those 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 language study by Native students who are pursuing study with:
    • universities or colleges offering coursework or research in the student's Native language, or
    • a fluent tribal language speaker of the student's Native language in a mentor-apprentice program, private immersion, or tutelage arrangement.
  • research efforts to document and record a Native language for future preservation and education (examples include video or audio recording of 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 audio recorders or computers, funded by a Native Voices Endowment 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 (contributed, donated, or from a fund-raiser) or in-kind goods or services.

In-kind match contributions are non-cash contributions, usually in the form of the value of personnel, equipment, supplies, and services not covered by the grant.

  • Matching contributions must be necessary to achieve the objectives of the grant.
  • Potential partners that can provide in-kind match are businesses, other non-profits, tribal or governmental entities, universities or colleges.
  • Types of expenses that can count as in-kind match include:
    • labor / time
    • travel expenses
    • expenses for project-related training events
    • the market value of donated office or classroom space for the project
    • volunteer service that contribute directly to the project (e.g. training, accounting, legal services)
    • food
    • unrecovered indirect costs (staff support, utilities [electricity, internet], other facilities costs)


October 30, 2015. Decisions will be delivered in January, 2016.

How to Apply:

There is no application form, but the downloadable cover page form must be included as the first page of the application. 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 email us at the same email address.

Required Information:

  • COVER PAGE (download and fill out the form on our website here.)


      Beginning on a separate page, provide a description of the project. This should normally be 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/or to linguistic science. Be specific about the methods and procedures you plan to use and about how long the project will last.

    • 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.


      The following supporting materials must accompany your proposal and be received by the deadline:

      • 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 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.
      • If your proposal is for recording Native speakers, a list of the speakers you propose to record must accompany your request.

        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.

    • Limit to One Proposal:

        A researcher can be primary researcher on only one proposal.

    • Acknowledgement of Receipt:

        Receipt of proposal will be acknowledged by email.

    • 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.

    • Deposit of Safe Copies:

        All grant recipients are required to provide the tribe whose language was subject of the project, and the Endangered Language 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 a repository 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.

    • For Further Information, Contact:
      • 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