Facebook has awarded Forum Communications Co. a $95,000 grant for a companywide reporting project on how the pandemic is affecting Native American communities in Minnesota and the Dakotas.

The grant was announced Thursday, May 7, as part of more than $10 million awarded to 144 U.S. local news organizations to continue serving communities during the coronavirus outbreak. Nearly 80 percent of recipients are family- or independently owned. More than 2,000 news organizations applied.

Forum Communications, based in Fargo, N.D., has more than 30 media and broadcast brands in Minnesota, the Dakotas and western Wisconsin.

It plans to harness that newsgathering network to help delve into how the pandemic is affecting more than 25 Native American communities in that geographical footprint.

"We're proud to support this diverse group of publishers — many of which are family- or independently owned,” said Campbell Brown, vice president of global news partnerships at Facebook. “Not only are these journalists working tirelessly to serve people right now — they're focused on transformation, building innovative local news businesses that can continue to serve communities beyond the current pandemic.”