Research and Education

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Research is a cornerstone of academic institutions, enabling innovation and advancement in various fields. The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) recognizes the importance of research within Tribal communities and supports programs specifically for Tribal Colleges and Universities. This financial support enables TCUs to conduct research projects focused on improving agricultural practices, land stewardship, and the overall well-being of Native communities. 

The Farm Bill also supports research and education outside of TCUs that serves Indian Country.

What does research and education look like in Indian Country, and why is it important?

TCUs play a vital role in providing higher education opportunities and fostering cultural preservation within Native communities across the United States. 

According to NFBC’s Gaining Ground, since 1862, legislation has expanded the definition of a land grant institution. The definition first expanded in 1890 to include Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs). More recently, Congress granted land-grant status and funded authority to the first group of TCUs through the Equity in Educational Land-Grant Status Act of 1994.

This is a living resource, and IFAI will update as new information arises.

Marker Bills Regarding Research and Education


There are no bills at this time.


H.R.5097 – Producing Real Opportunities for Technology and Entrepreneurs Investing in Nutrition Act

Authorizes USDA to establish a grant program to support alternative protein workforce development. Tribes are eligible recipients.