Cultural Resource Fund

Strengthening Tribal Cultures and Historic Sites

CRF Stories

The Cultural Resource Fund (CRF) supports Tribal and State cultural and historic preservation projects for eligible grantees. The CRF was created by seven freight railroads involved in the construction of Positive Train Control (PTC) poles. The MICA Group was selected to manage and administer the CRF. Since the CRF was initially funded in 2015, MICA has awarded and distributed 475 grants totaling $9.4 million to 203 Tribes and 41 SHPOs.

For additional background information on the CRF, click here.


Phase 1 close-out forms were sent to our email contact list in May, 2017. If your Tribe or SHPO has experienced personnel changes since the Phase 1 grants were awarded in 2015, please let Erin know at Judging from the final reports we received, the impact of your projects is remarkable! The high quality and success of your projects proves that Tribes know best what their communities need and how to go about it.

Check out the CRF Stories to share the joy, impact, surprises, and leveraging that you have achieved with your CRF Phase 1 grants. As one THPO stated, “It’s amazing what small grants can do.”

CRF News


View the CRF report PROTECTING LANGUAGES, CULTURES, AND PLACES 2015-2018 document here!

Wells Fargo Awards MICA/CRF $200,000 Grant to Support Language Revitalization

We are pleased to announce that, on October 29, 2019, Wells Fargo awarded MICA/CRF a $200,000 grant to support our Pathways on a Language Landscape: Next Steps in Language Revitalization program. Next Steps offers tribes personalized on-site consultations with language visionaries, a written language action plan, and $10,000 grants to begin implementing their action plans.

Wells Fargo has released a policy on responsible finance and respecting the rights of Indigenous Peoples. For more information, see



View VIDEOS below!

Protecting Our Places logo

December 12-15, 2017
Hyatt Regency Tamaya Resort
Santa Ana Pueblo, New Mexico

Providing opportunities for communities to establish support systems that will protect their precious sacred and cultural places long into the future

The gathering proved to be extremely valuable and inspirational in supporting a wide range of efforts among tribal communities all over the country.

“The conference set up relationships with technical experts and other tribes that will continue to benefit our cultural preservation long after the conference.” -Conference Participant

Couldn’t make it to the gathering? View the gathering agenda and watch the presentation videos here:


Phase 3 Protecting Our Places site protection grant applications were emailed to our contact list and are posted on the CRF website. Please make sure Erin ( has your updated email address. Protecting Our Places site protection applications are due March 31, 2018, and grants will be awarded in May 2018. Please email Peggy ( with questions.

For the Phase 3 site grant application, click here.

Phase 3 Language Revitalization grant applications were emailed to our contact list and are posted on the CRF website. Language Revitalization applications are due June 15, 2018 and grants will be awarded in August 2018. Please email Peggy ( with questions.

For the Phase 3 language grant application, click here. 

Tribes can apply for both language revitalization and site protection grants.

What Tribes and SHPOs are saying about the CRF

“The CRF nurtured our language project at a critical time in its formation. The increased visual and audible presence of our traditional language has made a positive impact on our community. The status of our Tribe’s language has been moved from a “dormant” to a “reawakening” language!”

“There is no doubt that the Cultural Resource Fund grant, which we gratefully received early in our fundraising efforts, supported the acquisition of an additional 200+ funders during the entire museum expansion process. The Cultural Resource Fund grant was also used for matching gift fulfillment with two very large foundations.”

“Through providing handicapped accessibility for our kiva, the project has allowed our seniors and disabled to participate in their traditional activities; they were not able to access the Kiva prior to this project.”

“Phase 1 inspired a continuation into Phase 2, and we hope to complete our project with a Phase 3 grant. Our original Phase 1 objectives have turned into a passionate vision of developing a traditional cultural area that preserves and reflects our Tribe’s past, supports future development, nurtures our commitment to protecting land, water, air, and most importantly, our identity and sovereignty.”

“The Phase 1 grant created the beginning steps to establish a sense of revitalization for our Tribe. We know we live in a day and age when if you don’t fight for your significance, you will become lost. We have let so much time pass by without truly teaching and speaking the culture. I had many tribal members stop by to visit [our] museum [project], some who were curious and others who wanted to volunteer. The grant helped prove to tribal council that the community wants, and needs, a cultural museum. I even had someone point at me and say, “hey, there is the museum girl.” I also got voted onto the tribal council!”

Cultural Resource Fund Stories

Phase 2 Grants

The CRF Advisory Board is very happy to announce that 87 Tribes and SHPOs received a total of $3.48 million in Phase 2 funding. Following is an alphabetical listing with brief summaries of the funded projects.

Ak Chin Indian Community
Ak-Chin Language Survey

This project will develop a language survey, the results of which will be entered into a language database. Community members will conduct the survey. The results of the survey will identify levels of language fluency. The survey results will be presented to the community. The data collected will be used to inform the development of language classes that will be held in the Tribe’s new Cultural Center.

Blackfeet Tribe  
Emergence of the Blackfeet Cultural Landscape: A Survey of Early Sites

The Blackfeet Tribe will study ancient Blackfeet sites. The Tribe believes history has mischaracterized the length of time their ancestors have been in Montana. Co-­‐investigation will be with University of Arizona archaeologists with whom Tribe has worked for many years. The findings are expected to make a significant contribution to archaeological research and will be published with full support of the Tribe.

Burns Paiute Tribe
Preserving Our Wadatika Yaduan (Wadatika Language) for the People

This language preservation project will capture the verbal pronunciations of thousands of Northern Paiute words and phrases as spoken by the Wadatika Band of Northern Paiutes. Fluent Paiute Speakers within the community will be paired with Language Research Technicians trained in digital recording technology. The digital language recordings will be used in a wide variety of software applications including a Wadatika Yaduan “app” that will be available for language learning activities.

Caddo Nation   
Caddo Nation Heritage Archives, Library, and Museum Management Plan: Cataloguing, Inventorying and Documentation

The Caddo Nation’s archives are deteriorating and have been neglected for years. This proposal will recreate some cultural materials, safeguard others and allow for future expansion of the archives, library, and museum collections. New computers, hard drives, software, and a security system will be purchased. Electronic copies of documents will be created to preserve the collection and make it accessible for future generations.

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