WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Heidi Heitkamp today announced $51,000 in federal funding for the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe that will establish tribal economic development planning and a strategy to support long-term investment and job creation on the reservation.
“On North Dakota’s tribal lands, access to economic opportunity remains a critical challenge, especially for young people looking to start their careers and for those having difficulty finding steady work,” said Heitkamp. “We know that strong economic conditions grow existing tribal businesses, provide greater security to lower income families, and help build a roadmap to a better future. But too often tribes lack the support they need to plan for sustainable growth. That’s why this award is so important in helping to lay the groundwork for increased private investment and job creation on Standing Rock.”
These federal funds are made available through the Economic Development Administration (EDA) a bureau of the U.S. Department of Commerce. This EDA funding helps communities establish economic development strategies that aid North Dakota economic development councils across the state in bringing together both public and private resources that will help small businesses, create jobs, and stimulate long-term growth.
Heitkamp has long advocated for entrepreneurship and economic development on Standing Rock. In 2015, Heitkamp brought then-U.S. Small Business Administration Administrator Maria Contreras-Sweet to the reservation, where they spoke with tribal leaders and business students at Sitting Bull College about opportunities for training, technical assistance, and programs to spur job growth on the reservation.
Heitkamp received the Spirit of Enterprise Award from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce for her work in the U.S. Senate to support startups in rural areas and small cities to help them get off the ground, and her support of small businesses through commonsense regulatory reform, making sure small businesses have a seat at the table when rules are made. The Chamber also gave Heitkamp a 100 percent rating for her voting record in the U.S. Senate in 2016 supporting North Dakota small businesses.