We build our strategy and programming through enduring partnerships with tribes, urban Indian health centers, and Native-led organizations. 

Montana is home to federally-recognized tribes on seven reservations, one state-recognized tribe, and a large urban Indian population. In a 2014 report on the health of Montanans, the Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services documented severe health disparities among American Indians living in Montana. The report found that American Indians in Montana die at a median age of 50 years (more than 20 years earlier than non-Indian Montanans). Death rates for specific illnesses, including heart disease, cancer, respiratory illnesses, injuries, and suicide are substantially higher as well. Statistics such as these are only a starting point for understanding the health challenges facing American Indians in Montana. These health disparities are rooted in longstanding challenges, including poverty and unemployment, racial discrimination and historical trauma, inadequate housing, and food insecurity, among others.

Funding Opportunities

We are currently accepting two types of grant proposals: competitive grants submitted under our 2019 Call for Proposals and invited grants submitted under our specific American Indian Health Initiatives, which include:

NOTE: Only tribes, tribal health departments, and urban Indian health centers (members of the American Indian Health Leaders group) are eligible for invited initiative grants.

Reducing American Indian Health Disparities Initiative

Our Work in American Indian Health

American Indian Health Grantees

Families First Children's Museum

Confederated Salish Kootenai Tribe Family Education Services

Project Term: 12 months; 2019-2020
Grant Amount: $26,118

The Families First Children’s Museum (FFCM) will provide family education classes and resources for the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribal (CSKT) community intended to foster healing and help develop resilient communities. The project will introduce new, relevant, and evidence-based curricula within three separate tracks: parents/caregivers, foster parents, and childcare providers. Funding will be used to hire native instructors and support curriculum development. Through current partnerships with CSKT, the Department of Human Resource Development, and Salish Kootenai College, as well as growth in collaboration with the Tribal Health Department, Tribal Education Department, local childcare providers, and organizations like the Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services, FFCM’s work will extend to reach more families and create connections between parent education skill development and a stronger family resource network.

Center Pole

Using All Parts of the Buffalo: Better Reservation Health through Food Rescue and Recovery

Project Term: 24 months; 2019-2021
Grant Amount: $100,000

Center Pole will collect fresh foods from Billings that are near expiration and distribute them to the Crow and Northern Cheyenne reservations. This collection and distribution will be done through a system created and implemented by the Center Pole’s community food interns. Funding will be used to pay the food interns and for transportation costs and storage as well as for Center Pole’s traditional food production. Partners for this project include Crow Abundance is Here, a local community collaboration whose member organizations include the National Center for Appropriate Technology, Plenty Doors, Messengers for Health, Crow Tribal Health, Little Big Horn College, the USDA, AmeriCorps, and Food Corps Montana. Other partners include the Crow and Northern Cheyenne elders and Billings Family Service. The goal of this project is to assist the Crow and Northern Cheyenne in healing themselves through food and creating a healthy sustainable food economy that is culturally relevant, reflects traditional values of reciprocity, self-sufficiency, team work, sharing, and zero waste and leads to better health and longer lives.

Salish Kootenai College

Four-Year Bachelor of Science in Nursing Degree to Increase Native American Nurses in Montana

Project Term: 24 months; 2019-2021
Grant Amount: $100,000

This project will develop a four-year Bachelor of Science Degree in Nursing (BSN) at Salish Kootenai College (SKC). SKC’s mission is to provide quality education for Native American students so they can improve the lives of their families and the communities in which they live. The Indian Health Service (which only hires only BSN graduates), has hospitals and clinics on every reservation in Montana which means that BSN graduates will have a much better chance of finding employment opportunities in their own communities. Funding will be used to fund the staff time needed for development and implementation of the BSN program. The goal of this project is to graduate BSN students, particularly Native Americans, who can return to their home communities and reservations to decrease health disparities through the provision of culturally congruent care.

Mountain-Pacific Quality Health Foundation

Implementing Trauma-Informed Care

Project Term: 24 months; 2018-2020
Grant Amount: $98,284

For this project, Mountain-Pacific Quality Health will collaborate with the Billings Area Indian Health Service and service unit facilities in Montana to support the implementation of comprehensive approaches to trauma-informed care that effectively address trauma and its impact on American Indian and Alaska Native populations in Montana. Mountain-Pacific will also offer these services to tribal health departments and urban Indian centers at their specific request and as resources allow. Mountain-Pacific will provide project management services to facilitate the transformation to trauma-informed care, train staff on trauma-informed principles and approaches, design and track workflows for trauma screening, develop an emotionally safe environment, determine and ensure safeguards like compassion fatigue training to prevent secondary traumatic stress in staff, and foster partnerships for referral sources that can monitor and maintain the ongoing mental and emotional well-being of patients and staff.

Little Shell Tribe of Chippewa Indians of Montana

Montana Native American Girl Empowerment Project

Project Term: 12 months; 2018-2019
Grant Amount: $15,000

This project will plan for and develop a resiliency and reproductive health training program for young Native American women in Montana. The project focuses on building ‘protective assets’ which are strengths and skills that can help young women stay safer, conquer crisis, and better plan for the future. Strengthening these assets can include building a strong female support network, developing a safety plan, and learning about Native American culture and history. Through implementation in Native American and urban communities across the state, this project seeks to lower rates of sexual assault, improve school performance, and increase access to community support for these young women. The project will be carried out in partnership with the Tribal Tobacco Prevention Program, tribal health programs, and urban Indian health centers.

2019 Call for Proposals

Find out about this year’s available grants.