More than 200-thousand dollars in grant funding was awarded to ten Native American tribes and non-profits in Minnesota this week. The funds, organized by several partners including the Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux and the Better Way Foundation, will be aimed at strengthening early childhood education and nutrition programs. Patrice Kunesh, a researcher with the Federal Reserve Bank in Minneapolis, says this type of investment pays off for communities in a big way.

“For every dollar spent on early childhood development, focused on the child or on the support system, we have almost a 16 dollars return on that one dollar investment.”

Kunesh says one exciting use for the money includes developing programs aimed at revitalizing the Dakota and Ojibwe languages for kids.