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USDA Invests in Advancing Tribal Sovereignty through Eight New Self-Determination Projects for Tribal Food Program

Press Release
Release No.
FNS 015.23
Contact: FNS Press Team

WASHINGTON, Aug. 14, 2023 – U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food and Nutrition Service recently signed contracts with eight tribes for new Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations Self-Determination Demonstration Projects. Empowering tribal nations to select and purchase foods themselves helps better align FDPIR food packages with tribal dietary preferences, supports indigenous agricultural producers and honors tribal sovereignty.

“USDA is committed to supporting indigenous foodways, empowering indigenous agricultural economies and improving indigenous health through traditional foods. FDPIR demonstration projects – that give power back to the tribes to do what’s best for their people – are an important part of that effort,” said Stacy Dean, deputy under secretary for Food, Nutrition and Consumer Services.

FDPIR is one tool to strengthen nutrition security in tribal communities by providing USDA Foods to income-eligible households on tribal reservations and Native American households in approved areas near reservations or in Oklahoma. USDA distributes both food and administrative funding to participating tribes operating FDPIR. Under normal program operations, USDA purchases and provides all foods. Through these projects, tribes have more control over the contents of their FDPIR food packages, selecting and purchasing some of the foods themselves.

The tribes awarded today include:

  • Cherokee Nation
  • Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation
  • Gila River Indian Community
  • Quinault Indian Nation
  • Sokaogon Chippewa Community
  • Spirit Lake Tribe
  • Tohono O’odham Nation
  • White Mountain Apache Tribe

This round of funding totals nearly $4.4 million; USDA previously funded 8 other tribal nations, bringing the total to $10 million across the 16 tribal nations participating in this demonstration project. One example of the self-determination demonstration project in action is the Menominee Indian Tribe of Wisconsin’s and Oneida Nation’s joint project that provides locally procured ground beef, bison, beef roast, apples, white fish/lake trout, wild rice and walleye for Menominee and Oneida FDPIR participants. The White Mountain Apache Tribe’s proposal will procure locally produced patty pan squash, green chiles, blue corn meal, beef intestines, pine nuts/pinons and more. Learn more about each tribe’s project and find a map of participating tribes on the FNS website.

In the Biden-Harris Administration, USDA is transforming America’s food system with a greater focus on more resilient local and regional food production, fairer markets for all producers, ensuring access to safe, healthy, and nutritious food in all communities, building new markets and streams of income for farmers and producers using climate smart food and forestry practices, making historic investments in infrastructure and clean energy capabilities in rural America, and committing to equity across the Department by removing systemic barriers and building a workforce more representative of America.

USDA’s Food and Nutrition Service works to end hunger and improve food and nutrition security through a suite of more than 16 nutrition assistance programs, such as the school breakfast and lunch programs, WIC and SNAP. Together, these programs serve 1 in 4 Americans over the course of a year, promoting consistent and equitable access to healthy, safe, and affordable food essential to optimal health and well-being. FNS also provides science-based nutrition recommendations through the co-development of the Dietary Guidelines for Americans. FNS’s report, “Leveraging the White House Conference to Promote and Elevate Nutrition Security: The Role of the USDA Food and Nutrition Service,” highlights ways the agency will support the Biden-Harris Administration’s National Strategy, released in conjunction with the historic White House Conference on Hunger, Nutrition, and Health in September 2022. To learn more about FNS, visit and follow @USDANutrition.


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Page updated: November 22, 2023