As part of the National Endowment for the Humanities ongoing inter-agency partnership with the Department of the Interior (DOI), I am inviting discretionary Chair’s Grant requests for up to $30,000 to support projects related to the Federal Indian Boarding School Initiative (FIBSI) and “The Road to Healing” tour. 

To be eligible for this opportunity, you must meet the following criteria: 

  • You are a federally recognized Native American tribal government, a nonprofit organization recognized as a tax exempt under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code working with tribal communities, or a state or local government entity working with tribal communities.
  • Your state, or a neighboring state, has hosted an event as part of the “The Road to Healing” tour OR your project serves a community that has been impacted by federal Indian boarding schools. 
  • You are in good standing with Federal grantmaking agencies. 

Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis through December 1, 2023. Requests for NEH Chair’s Grants related to FIBSI can be received any time before this deadline. We anticipate that we will be able to award at least fifteen awards of up to $30,000 each, totaling up to $450,000. Eligible applicants may only submit one proposal for a Chair’s Grant before December 1, 2023.  Proposals must indicate a project start date between January 1, 2024 – March 1, 2024, and the period of performance for this award cannot exceed 15 months. Your period of performance must start on the 1st of the month.  

We will entertain proposals on a variety of projects, including but not limited to: 

  • Addressing access to and/or conducting research of boarding school records   
  • Research regarding unmarked burials and grave sites associated with boarding schools 
  • Community conversations and public programming that engages the public with humanities-based activities related to the impacts of boarding schools 
  • Culture and language revitalization programming 
  • Research and assessment activities leading to future tribal repatriation efforts 
  • Tribal history projects, including oral histories and traditional knowledge sharing 
  • Digital projects resulting in virtual exhibitions, web content, and digital storytelling 
  • Educational materials and curriculum development for K-12 and higher education purposes; and  
  • Research leading to documentary films, exhibits, books, or other products that reach the general public 

Projects that engage boarding school survivors and projects that engage tribal youth are particularly encouraged. 

We have designed a simplified review process for this limited competition for NEH Chair’s Grants. You will email your request components to

You must submit the following: 

  • Narrative (5 page limit): explain
    • 1) the goals and outcomes of the project;
    • 2) a description of the proposed activities to accomplish the goals of the project;
    • 3) activities completed to date, if applicable;
    • 4) how the project relates to Federal boarding schools; and
    • 5) all proposals must include a project title. Include short bios of the key members of the project team (narrative should be three to five single-spaced pages or the equivalent). 
  • Work Plan (1 page): explain the timeline of activities over the grant period of performance (one to two single-spaced pages).  
  • Budget: complete a single detailed budget using the Research and Related Budget form (download and complete in Adobe). All costs must be reasonable, necessary to accomplish project objectives, allowable in terms of 2 CFR 200 Subpart E – Cost Principles, auditable, and incurred during the period of performance. All costs are subject to audit, record retention, and other requirements set forth in 2 CFR 200 Subpart F – Audit Requirements. 
  • Budget Justification (2-page limit): provide a justification to support the costs requested (one or two single-spaced pages recommended) 
  • Indirect Costs: if requesting indirect costs in excess of the 10 percent de minimis rate, a copy of your federally negotiated indirect cost rate agreement. If you do not request indirect costs, no additional information is needed.
  • Letter of support from participating tribal communities, if the applying organization is not a federally recognized tribe. 

Optional attachments (20 page limit) include resumes of key personnel, images or figures that help to illustrate or explain your narrative statement, and examples of intended outputs of the project. 

Allowable costs include, but are not limited to, salary for project team members; compensation of collaborators, consultants, and participant support costs; materials and supplies; publication costs; and travel, lodging, and per diem costs for team members and participants. Projects may include costs for equipment and subawards – equipment no greater than 1/3 of the total cost of the project, same for subawards. Cost sharing is not required.

Unallowable activities include:  

  • the promotion of a particular political, religious, or ideological point of view;  
  • advocacy of a particular program of social or political action;  
  • support of specific public policies or legislation;  
  • lobbying;  
  • activities that overlap directly with the primary work of other Federal agencies;  
  • construction, alteration, and renovation; or  
  • projects that fall outside of the humanities; the creation or performance of art; creative writing, autobiographies, memoirs, and creative nonfiction; policy studies; and social science research that does not address humanistic questions and/or utilize humanistic methods. 

NEH will review these applications based on eligibility, completeness, and responsiveness. The activities and budget will undergo a technical review. Staff will then make funding recommendations to the Chair for a final determination. 

If selected, NEH will award you a Chair’s Grant. Costs associated with allowable activities must be incurred during the period of performance, as outlined in the work plan. All awards are subject to NEH’s General Terms and Conditions for Awards to Organizations.  For the purposes of this call for proposals, NEH waives the annual Federal Financial Report (FFR) and annual Performance Report. You must submit a Final Federal Financial Report (SF-425) and a Performance Report within 120 days after the period of performance ends. 
My staff will be happy to answer any questions you may have and will be available for a phone or video chat to further discuss this opportunity.  We encourage you to submit a letter of intent to apply for this opportunity to the Strategic Advisor for Native and Indigenous Affairs, Jason Packineau (, by September 1, 2023.  
NEH will accept requests for a Chair’s Grant related to the FIBSI on a rolling basis until December 1, 2023. NEH staff are allowed to comment upon one draft version of your request if received before October 1, 2023. Drafts can be submitted to