Three women in native american traditional dress holding the US and two native american flags on stage

Native Arts and Culture

Plan of Action for Tribal Consultation

In response to President Biden’s January 26, 2021 Memorandum on Tribal Consultation and Strengthening Nation-to-Nation Relationships, the National Endowment for the Arts is pleased to share its Tribal Consultation Policy. The policy is in keeping with the NEA draft Plan of Action for Tribal Consultation, which was informed by a tribal consultation call on April 7, 2021, and was informed by ongoing agency engagement with Native artists, organizations, and cultural leaders. A draft consultation policy was formally reviewed in consultation with tribal leaders on August 10, 2021 (summary). Questions regarding the NEA Tribal Consultation Policy should be directed to

October 25, 2023 Consultation

On October 25, 2023, the NEA held a tribal consultation to gather input from tribal leaders on the needs and concerns of tribal communities as related to NEA resources and grants, to provide an update on NEA’s engagement with Native cultural leaders and tribal-serving organizations, and to inform our work related to the Executive Order on Advancing Racial Equity and Support for Underserved Communities Through the Federal Government. A summary of the consultation is now available.

Grant and Resource Opportunities for Native Arts and Culture

The National Endowment for the Arts provides grants to Native American, Alaska Native, and Native Hawaiian communities and organizations for a wide range of arts activities, from traditional to contemporary arts.

Watch a video presentation on our general grantmaking and the tutorial about using our online "Grant Application Form".

Our flagship program is GRANTS FOR ARTS PROJECTS. These grants support artistically excellent projects that celebrate our creativity and cultural heritage, invite mutual respect for differing beliefs and values, and enrich humanity. Cost share/matching grants generally range from $10,000 to $100,000. A minimum cost share/match equal to the grant amount is required.  

Watch the January 2024 Grants for Arts Projects webinar for Tribes and Native Serving Organizations or register for the Q&A office hours on April 4th and June 13th. Additionally, a two-page FAQs document is available for Tribes and Native Serving Organizations.

You can find all Arts Endowment grant opportunities on our site including individual grants for creative writing and translation. Native artists also can be nominated by the public for our honorific awards—National Heritage Fellowships, NEA Jazz Masters Fellowships, and National Medal of Arts.

In addition, the National Endowment for the Arts has collaborated with other federal agencies to produce a resource guide that consolidates federal opportunities for organizations looking for funding and other resources to support Native arts and culture activities. The Federal Resources for Native Arts & Cultural Activities publication is regularly updated and free for download. The Bureau of Indian Affairs maintains a database of opportunities available for federally recognized tribes here:

Outreach to Native Communities and Artists

Working with Native-led national service organizations and an interagency federal working group, the Arts Endowment has carried out strategic outreach to Native communities and artists since 2016. Outreach includes nation-to-nation work with tribal governments in Washington, DC, reservation communities, tribal colleges and universities (TCUs), and at conferences and convenings of Indigenous leaders and organizations. Outreach also includes steady recruitment of Native artists and community leaders to participate as panelists to review grant applications.

One outcome of this ongoing outreach was Native Arts & Culture: Resilience, Reclamation, and Relevance, a first-of-its-kind national convening that was hosted by the National Endowment for the Arts, National Endowment for the Humanities, and Native Arts & Cultures Foundation in February 2020. U.S. Poet Laureate (and NEA Literature Fellow) Joy Harjo (Mvskoke) was the keynote speaker for the convening, which included break-out panels to discuss some of the issues affecting Native arts and culture today, such as the need to use language, arts, and historic preservation to revitalize Native communities; the role of Indigenous arts in social change; advancing the truth about Native culture through research and cultural resources; and reimagining Native visibility and identity in urban areas. Members from more than 40 tribal nations participated in the convening, as well as the heads of several federal agencies, and important nation-to-nation work in the arts was accomplished. A program of the convening is found here.

The Native Arts & Cultures Foundation produced a report on the convening in March 2021. The full report and executive summary can be found below, which includes a summary of the proceedings and recommendations to strengthen the Native arts, cultures, and humanities fields.

Full Report

Executive Summary

As building relationships with TCUs is a high priority for the Arts Endowment, the agency also works in coordination with the White House Initiative on American Indian and Alaska Native Education. The initiative, located within the Department of Education, seeks to support activities that expand education opportunities and improve education outcomes for all American Indian and Alaska Native students.

Related Stories on Native Arts and Culture

"Contemporary Culture: Equity and Access in the Arts for Native American Communities" (American Artscape issue No 1 2022)
Podcast interview with Joy Harjo
Wendy Red Star: Owning Your Power
Indian Artists and Artisans and the Impact of COVID-19
Five Questions with Keli Mashburn & Marcella Ernest
Weaving the Sweetgrass Braid: Rolling Rez Arts at Pine Ridge
Outside the Box: Finding a Place for Contemporary Native American Art