Washoe Tribe awarded federal economic development grant
CARSON CITY, Nev. — The USDA Office of Rural Development in late June announced that the Washoe Tribe of Nevada and California has been awarded a technical assistance grant for an unknown dollar amount to support the Tribe’s economic development planning efforts.
USDA Rural Development Nevada State Director Phil Cowee said he is pleased to have the Washoe Tribe as one of 47 communities included in the national program.
“Economic development expands beyond state borders,” Cowee said in a statement. “This project is a bi-state effort that we hope will benefit individual tribal members, the Washoe Tribe and the region.”
According to a USDA news release, the Washoe Tribe manages (self-governs) all its interests; current Tribal lands run along the eastern Sierra Mountain Range from Carson City to Woodfords, California. Four separate communities (Carson, Stewart, Dresslerville and Woodfords) are the primary residences for the Wašiw.
The assistance is being provided through the USDA’s Rural Economic Development Innovation program, which provides free technical assistance for up to two years to help rural communities create and implement economic development plans.
In September 2018, USDA awarded $1.2 million in cooperative agreements to four technical assistance providers for the REDI program. In Nevada, the technical assistance will be provided by the Rural Community Assistance Corporation, (RCAC) out of West Sacramento, California.
RCAC Chief Executive Officer Stanley Keasling said the organization is excited to be working with the Washoe Tribe in beginning an economic development planning process.
“Our work will focus on identifying the Tribe’s assets and how those assets can be used to spur local economic development,” Keasling said.
Kelly Clark, Native American Outreach Coordinator for USDA Rural Development Nevada, said the exact dollar amount the Washoe Tribe will receive is not known.
“The total technical assistance budget is $1.2 million for 47 separate projects, but they will not all be divided up equally,” she said in an email to First Nation’s Focus.