The Indian Country Programs at the Montana Department of Commerce offers a variety of technical assistance and grant programs targeted towards economic development for projects that strengthen the economy and languages of tribal nations in Montana through the development and enhancement of business opportunities and tribal languages on reservations, in tribal communities, and for Native American businesses.

Scroll down to find the application link for each grant category and click 'Submit' to start the application process.  To begin an application, first time users of the Submittable™ platform will be prompted to create a required profile for application submission.  For additional information on each announcement, click on the 'More' down arrow button next to each announcement.

Current Funding Opportunities:

  • Montana Indian Language Program application period August 3-14, 2017
  • Indian Equity Fund application period July 1 to September 29, 2017
  • Tribal Business Planning Grant application period July 1 to September 29, 2017

To begin an application, scroll to the bottom and click on the 'Submit' button.  1st time users of the Submittable™ platform will be prompted to create a required profile for application submission.

PURPOSE: To support efforts of the tribes in Montana to preserve Indian languages.

ELIGLBLE APPLICANTS: The federally recognized tribes in Montana and the state-recognized Little Shell Tribe of Chippewa Indians in Montana.



  • Tribal Resolution (applications are considered incomplete without this information)
  • Key Personnel Resume(s) (high level, one page at most)

Note: Any files for upload must be closed prior to uploading.

FORMS TO COMPLETE AND UPLOAD FOR APPLICATION: Download complete, save to a local drive, and upload with application.

    • Appendix B. Designation of Depository Form PDF Word
    • Appendix C. Signature Certification Form PDF Word
    • Appendix D. Request for Funds Form PDF Word
    • Appendix E. Sub Recipient Agreement Word
    • Appendix F. Project Timeline Excel
    • Appendix G. Budget Narrative PDF Word

These forms are in addition to documents of the previous section will need to be uploaded with the application.  Note: Any files for upload must be closed prior to uploading.

APPLICATION ASSISTANCE:  Contact staff at 406.841.2775 or by email at


Eligible uses of funds include:

  1. Development of audio and visual recordings,

  2. Creation of reference materials which may be in audio, visual, electronic and written format,

  3. Creation and publication of curricula, which may include electronic curricula,

  4. Language classes,

  5. Language immersion camps,

  6. Storytelling, songs,

  7. Publication of literature, and

  8. Language programs, workshops, seminars, camps and other presentations in formal or informal settings.


  1. Specific Indian language preservation activities must include:

    • Development of audio and visual recordings, and/or

    • Creation of reference materials which may be in audio, visual, electronic, or written format, and/or

    • Creation and publication of curricula, which may include electronic curricula.

  2. Furthermore, specific activities may include:

    • Language classes,

    • Language immersion camps,

    • Storytelling, songs,

    • Publication of literature,

    • Language programs, workshops, seminars, camps and other presentations in formal or informal settings


  1. APPLICATION QUALITY- Is the application complete, clear and logical, proofread for spelling, and/or mathematical errors?
  2. APPLICANT EXPERIENCE- Does the applicant have experience in the program that is proposed in the application?  Has the applicant received a previous Montana Indian Language program grant?
  3. USE OF FUNDS- for what will the funds be utilized?


RECEIPT OF APPLICATION- Once submitted each application is assessed by the Program.  Applications that are incomplete or lack clarity can be opened for editing to the applicant if submitted with enough lead time prior to the deadline.  For feedback, submission prior to the deadline is encouraged.

Program information can be obtained at:

1st time users of the Submittable™ platform will be prompted to create a required profile for application submission.

PURPOSE:  The Tribal Business Planning Grants (TBPG) of the Indian Country Economic Development Program funding is intended to assist tribal governments in deploying comprehensive business planning strategies and activities.

ELIGIBLE APPLICANTS:   The governing bodies of each of Montana’s eight tribal governments are the only eligible applicants for this portion of the Program.

GRANT AMOUNT: A maximum of $28,000 per governing body per fiscal year will be available in fiscal years 2018 and 2019.  The Department retains sole and broad discretion over the use of any funds not applied for by an eligible governing body by September 29, 2017 for fiscal year 2018.

FORMS TO COMPLETE AND UPLOAD FOR APPLICATION: Download, complete, save to a local drive, and then upload with the application.

Information to gather before starting the application:

  • Tribal resolution authorizing application and specifying activity
  • Download the forms above and complete for upload

ELIGIBLE USES OF GRANT FUNDS:  Eligible activities include the following activities evidenced by tangible deliverables (i.e. ordinances, codes, business planning, study, and analysis documents, etc.):

  • Business plan development
  • Market analysis
  • Feasibility study
  • Physical business infrastructure planning, such as zoning
  • Legal and financial codification or ordinances benefitting business(es)

TBPG funds can be used to match other funding sources in the above areas as long as the funding is not duplicative. The following activities will not be funded:

  • Operation and maintenance costs or expenses;

  • Financial expenses, included but not limited to interest expense, bond issuance costs, or any other debt-related costs or expenses;

  • Reimbursement for activities completed prior to application;

  • Reimbursement for activities not related to business planning;

  • Duplicative reimbursement for activities receiving funding for the same services, equipment, or improvements through any other local, state, or federal grant or funding program, except as necessary to fully fund the project; or

  • Projects whose primary development will be a casino or other gambling establishment, aquarium, zoo, golf course, or swimming pool.

REVIEW CRITERIA FOR APPLICATIONS: The Program will first review the application for completeness and sufficiency.  During the review, the Program may contact the applicant to discuss any concerns or questions or to request additional information or documentation.  The Program may require additional information from the applicant to clarify information presented in the application.  Site visits by the Program may be made to the proposed project area for the purpose of verifying or further evaluating information contained in the application.

After the application is deemed complete and sufficient information is available to evaluate the proposed project(s), the application will be evaluated on the extent to which the project proposal meets the goals and objectives of the Program, using the following criteria:

  • Potential for the project to help applicants make more strategic decisions about the start-up, expansion, or diversification of a tribal enterprise or venture.
  • Likelihood that a specified feasibility study is of sufficient magnitude to have a significant economic impact on the future economic development of the reservation;
  • Likelihood that the specified planning activity will provide important or relevant guidance for decision making in the development of land, resources, business, financial or legal infrastructure.
  • Overall quality of the application, including measureable project goals, tasks, and activities, a well-developed work plan and budget, and easily identifiable deliverables.
  • Capability of the applicant to undertake and satisfactorily complete the project and ensure proper management and reporting of Program funds (i.e. use of Generally Accepted Accounting Principles- GAAP).

The Program will present the evaluation of each application to an internal Grant Review Committee.   The applicant can notify the Program if he/she would like to make a 10-minute presentation to the Grant Review Committee.  The Committee will review the application and make a preliminary funding recommendation to the Director of the Department, who makes the final funding decision.

RECEIPT OF APPLICATION AND GRANT NOTIFICATION: Once a project has been approved by the Director, The Tribe will be notified by award letter of the grant.  A contract will be executed between the Department and the tribal government by a digital routing and signature process requiring a valid email for the digital execution of the contract by the tribal signatory.  If an application has not been approved, program staff will notify the authorized application preparer and will work with staff to modify or improve the application.

Download a full copy of the 2018-2019 ICED Program Guidelines.