The Nez Perce Tribe will award more than $330,000 to approximately 46 programs as part of its annual Local Education Program Fund grants for the 2018-19 year.

Award presentations will be at the Clearwater River Casino and Lodge, 17500 Nez Perce Road, just east of Lewiston, at 1:30 p.m. Wednesday.

Funded programs include teacher computer coding, kindergarten, after school, music creation, sports, and college and career readiness, according to a news release.

The money will also be used to assist with technology purchases and updates.

“These grants are an integral part of our communities. The applications submitted go through a strenuous evaluation as we look for quality proposals that will aid the local youths’ success. With each application, we get the opportunity to learn about and support the great educational work going on in our region,” Nez Perce Tribe Executive Committee Chairman Shannon Wheeler said.

The Local Education Fund has awarded more than $4.9 million since 2004. It’s funded by revenue through the tribe’s gaming enterprises and is distributed in accordance to the voter-approved Indian Gaming and Self-Reliance Act of 2012.

The program’s mission is to provide financial help to local educational programs and schools located on or near the Nez Perce Indian Reservation.

According to the news release, “the ultimate goal is to improve the mind, speech, manner, capability, and character of the human populace.”

“Everyone has talent, even if it’s not typical like sports or art. We should be striving to help every youth find their talent,” Wheeler said. “By providing these grants, we hope to assist in that process. We want to offer the youth as many opportunities as possible, because someday they will be our leaders. The more possibilities available to them, the brighter all of our futures will be.”

Tomtas may be contacted at or at (208) 848-2294.

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