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Photo of the Week: THROWBACK. Representative Haaland with the NAFOA Board, after participating in NAFOA’s Running While Native and Female – Exploring the Wave Election of 2018, moderated by NAFOA President of the Board, Cristina Danforth. Photo courtesy NAFOA
NAFOA: 5 Things You Need to Know this Week
Wrapping the year with a positive outlook for Indian Country.
Monday, December 21, 2020
Source: NAFOA

1. A MESSAGE FROM NAFOA:
NAFOA CONGRATULATES REP. DEB HAALAND FOR HISTORIC NOMINATION
“It is with great honor, pride and enthusiasm that NAFOA welcomes and embraces the Department of Interior (DOI) Secretary nominee Deb Haaland. For several years Congresswoman Haaland has supported and engaged in NAFOA activities and initiatives. As a Trailblazer, she will continue to serve Indian Country in advancing policy decisions that are proactive and advantageous to issues directly impacting the sovereignty of our Nations. NAFOA encourages the confirmation of Congresswoman Haaland as the next DOI Secretary.“ — Cristina Danforth, NAFOA Board President

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Rep. Deb Haaland (D-New Mexico). Photo courtesy NAFOA

NAFOA applauds the decision to nominate Deb Haaland (D-NM) to lead the Department of the Interior. If confirmed, she will be the first Native American to hold a position in a Presidential Cabinet. This nomination is uniquely historic as the Interior Department was often responsible for the war efforts, land and resource grabs, along with assimilation policies enacted against this country’s Native American people. While her nomination does not correct past wrongs, it is a recognition that the future of this country needs the perspectives and cultural knowledge of tribal communities to build a brighter future for all Americans.

NAFOA has also been privileged to work with Rep. Haaland in recent years. NAFOA welcomed then Congresswoman-candidate Haaland to our 2018 Fall Finance and Tribal Economies Conference, hosted in her home state of New Mexico. Rep. Haaland joined us last year to kick-off a community bus tour through Indian Country with the US Comptroller of the Currency. In March, the Congresswoman and three other sitting Native American congressional members shared their testimony along with a panel featuring NAFOA Board President Cristina Danforth for a historic hearing with the Ways & Means Select Revenue Measure Subcommittee on the impact of the tax code on tribes. NAFOA supports Representative Haaland’s nomination and is confident of her leadership that will oversee key divisions that have a significant impact on Indian Country.

2. COVID-19 UPDATES:
INDIAN HEALTH SERVICE COVID-19 VACCINE ALLOCATION BY IHS AREA
The Indian Health Service is coordinating closely with Operation Warp Speed in preparation for the availability of a COVID-19 vaccine. The IHS anticipates that vaccines will be shipped to IHS within 24 hours of a vaccine receiving emergency use authorization from the FDA.

To enable equitable and expedient distribution of COVID vaccine, the IHS has worked with tribal communities to design distribution plans based on each local community and the unique populations and geographical characteristics of the community. This includes preparing for appropriate storage and handling of vaccines, once authorized or approved.

The Indian Health Service is expecting to receive an initial allocation of approximately 22,400 doses of the Pfizer vaccine and 46,000 doses of the Moderna vaccine. IHS supports CDC and the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices recommendations for vaccine release, including prioritization of health care workers and residents of long-term-care facilities.

Learn more from IHS.gov.

3. FOR STUDENTS:
INDIAN LAND TENURE FOUNDATION HAS FUNDING AVAILABLE FOR 2021 TRIBAL LAND OFFICE INTERNSHIPS
Are there high school students in your community who are interested in exploring a career in tribal land? ILTF is offering grants for interns (Up to $10,000 for one intern or $15,000 for two) to work in tribal land offices in 2021. The Foundation recognizes the difficulties caused by the COVID-19 pandemic for tribal operations across Indian Country, and we know that next summer’s internships may need to be adapted depending if your land staff is working in the office, at home or some combination. Regardless, these internships offer a great opportunity for high school students to participate in a positive enrichment experience, and we encourage tribal staff to apply.

Interns should have completed their sophomore, junior or senior year of high school and have an interest in working on some aspect of tribal land management. The purpose of this program is to provide real-life experience to students, exposure to tribal land issues and the work of the tribal land office. Learn more and apply.

4. FOR COMMUNITIES:
WEBINAR: YEAR-END FINANCIAL CHECK-UP
2020 is almost a wrap. Are your finances in order to kick off 2021 with a bang? Holiday shopping, new annual budgets, investments, and many other money topics are on the agenda for this fun and engaging year-end financial check-up. Join the First Nations Development Institute on Wednesday, December 23 at 12pm MT for the “Year-End Financial Check-Up” Webinar. Register here.

5. FOR BUSINESSES:
PAYMENT PROTECTION PROGRAM (PPP) MYTH VS. FACT
The Paycheck Protection Program is a loan designed to provide a direct incentive for small businesses to keep their workers on the payroll. Current law dictates that the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) close at the end of August 8, 2020. As such, the Small Business Administration (SBA) is no longer accepting PPP applications from participating lenders. Paycheck Protection Program provided emergency COVID-19 relief to millions of small businesses and their workers. Learn more and download the PPP Myth vs. Fact factsheet.