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Posted: May 11, 2021

The capital of the Navajo Nation is located in Window Rock, Arizona, named for its famed natural feature. Photo: Ben FrantzDale

The Navajo Nation 

Office of the President and Vice President

May 10, 2021

U.S. Department of the Treasury announces timeline, funding formula, and requirements for tribes to receive American Rescue Plan Act funding

WINDOW ROCK, Ariz. – The U.S. Department of the Treasury announced through a letter to tribal leaders issued on Monday, the Coronavirus State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds program authorized by the American Rescue Plan Act, which provides $20 billion for tribes to help “turn the tide on the pandemic, address its economic fallout, and lay the foundation for a strong and equitable recovery.”

According to the letter, the Treasury Department requires all tribal governments to submit a request for funding through an online portal no later than May 24, in order to receive its share of $1 billion that will be allocated equally among the tribes. After a tribe’s submission is received, it will take approximately four to five days for the Treasury Department to review and process. 

For the remaining $19 billion, 65-percent or $12.35 billion of the Treasury’s allocation will be based on self-certified tribal enrollment numbers that were submitted to the Bureau of Indian Affairs in April 2021. The Navajo Nation submitted updated enrollment information reflecting close to 400,000 enrolled members of the Navajo Nation, which was provided by the Navajo Nation Office of the Controller on April 21. The remaining 35-percent, or $6.65 billion, will be distributed to tribes based on tribal employment data. Tribes will have until June 7, 2021 to confirm or amend employment numbers. In mid-June the Treasury will inform tribes of their portion of funding and the anticipated date to receive it.  

“Our administration continues to closely monitor the rollout of the American Rescue Plan Act funding. The Office of the President and Vice President, in coordination with the Navajo Nation Washington Office, is prepared to submit the requested information to the U.S. Treasury in accordance with the procedures and deadlines announced today. Thanks to the hard work of the Office of the Controller, our enrollment numbers increased substantially and our office submitted that information to be used to determine funding for the Navajo Nation,” said President Nez.

In late April, the Nez-Lizer Administration also met with each of the five Navajo agencies, to provide information to all 110 chapters regarding the American Rescue Plan Act and to layout a process for chapters to submit feasible construction ready projects for consideration.

Treasury also released the Interim Final Rule (“IFR”) for the program that describes eligible uses of funding. These include responding to acute pandemic-response needs, filling revenue shortfalls, and supporting the communities and populations hardest-hit by the COVID-19 crisis. With the launch of the program, eligible state, local, territorial, and Tribal governments will be able to request funding from Treasury to address these needs. 

“We have to continue working together to complete the next steps before we receive the full allocation of funds. The general strategy for the American Rescue Plan funds should be to maximize and leverage funding each of the funding opportunities, not only from the $20 billion, but also from the other pots of funding that will become available. We have been engaged in tribal consultation sessions with various federal agencies, regarding the American Rescue Plan and we will continue to do so,” said Vice President Lizer. 

According to the U.S. Treasury, the Coronavirus State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds provide eligible state, local, territorial, and Tribal governments with a substantial infusion of resources to meet pandemic response needs and rebuild a stronger and more equitable economy as the country recovers. Recipients may use these funds to:

  • Support public health expenditures, by, for example, funding COVID-19 mitigation efforts, medical expenses, behavioral healthcare, and certain public health and safety staff
  • Address negative economic impacts caused by the public health emergency, including economic harms to workers, households, small businesses, impacted industries, and the public sector
  • Replace lost public sector revenue, using this funding to provide government services to the extent of the reduction in revenue experienced due to the pandemic
  • Provide premium pay for essential workers, offering additional support to those who have and will bear the greatest health risks because of their service in critical infrastructure sectors
  • Invest in water, sewer, and broadband infrastructure, making necessary investments to improve access to clean drinking water, support vital wastewater and stormwater infrastructure, and to expand access to broadband internet

Within these categories of eligible uses, Tribal governments have broad flexibility to decide how best to use this funding to meet the needs of their local communities. Further, in recognition of the pandemic’s disproportionate public health and economic impacts in Tribal communities, the following services are also eligible when provided by a Tribal government:

  • Addressing health disparities and the social determinants of health, including community health workers, public benefits navigators, remediation of lead paint or other lead hazards, and community violence intervention programs
  • Building stronger neighborhoods and communities, including supportive housing and other services for individuals experiencing homelessness, development of affordable housing, and housing vouchers and counseling
  • Addressing educational disparities exacerbated by COVID-19, including early learning services, decreasing funding gaps between low- and high-poverty districts, and educational services or tutoring for at-risk students
  • Promoting healthy childhood environments, including childcare, home visiting programs, and enhanced services for child welfare-involved families and foster youth

The Nez-Lizer Administration will continue to work with the U.S. Department of the Treasury, the Biden-Harris Administration, the 24th Navajo Nation Council, Judicial Branch, and others to ensure the successful implementation of the American Rescue Plan Act funds. For more information, please visit:

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