The Administration for Community Living has awarded three new grants totaling more than $700,000 to advance elder justice and independent living in Indian Country.
Elder Justice Innovation Grant
The Orutsararmiut Native Council in Bethel, Alaska, was awarded a $387,292 Elder Justice Innovation Grant for a two-year project that aims to reduce harm and maltreatment Yup'ik Eskimo elders. The project will use a multifaceted approach to build resiliency among survivors, support caregivers, and meet the needs of elders with disabilities. It will be holistic on an individual level, comprehensive, culturally-appropriate, and trauma-informed.
The project will employ a model developed by the Maori people of New Zealand that includes an elder-focused, family-centered, community-based intervention for the prevention and mitigation of elder abuse. This model provides the opportunity for the community and family members to come together to discuss (and develop a plan for) the well-being of their elders.
It will create a multi-disciplinary team of several agencies and organizations representing a variety of expertise and disciplines (an evidence-based practice proven to prevent and address elder abuse). Finally, it will provide support services for elders including congregate meals, transportation, and social and cultural activities.
Native American Independent Living Demonstration Grants
ACL also awarded two new Native American Independent Living Demonstration (NAILD) grants to Centers for Independent Living (CILs) to improve the capabilities of CILs to meet the needs of people with disabilities in tribal areas. The three-year grants were awarded to:
- The Disability & Legal Services Center, which serves Native American communities in Sonoma, Medicino, and Lake Counties in California with funding at $154,693, and
- The Superior Alliance for Independent Living, which serves Michigan’s Upper Peninsula with funding at $211,088.
Through these grants, culturally-competent specialists who are familiar with both the needs of the local tribal communities and the services provided through the Independent Living programs will work with tribes to provide independent living services that include: information and referral to services and resources, skills training, peer counseling, individual and systems advocacy, and transition services (including services that facilitate transitions from nursing homes and other institutions to community living; assistance to individuals who are at risk of entering institutions, and transition of youth to life after secondary education). The goal is to identify best practices that can be replicated by other CILs who serve tribal communities.
ACL launched this grant program in 2016 to begin providing the independent living network with:
- An increased understanding of the independent living aspirations and needs of Native Americans with disabilities living in Indian Country;
- Insights and strategies for improving cultural competence in regards to the needs of specific tribal organizations; and
- Promising practices for outreach, consumer-controlled and culturally competent independent living services to Native Americans with disabilities.