Indianz.Com > COVID-19 > Navajo Nation (Arizona, New Mexico, Utah)
Posted: October 15, 2021


The Navajo Nation 

Office of the President and Vice President

October 13, 2021

Initial distribution of ARPA Fiscal Recovery Funds allocated 

WINDOW ROCK, Arizona – The Navajo Nation is moving forward with initial allocations of Fiscal Recovery Funds (FRF) authorized through the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA). The Navajo Nation received a total appropriation of $2,079,461,464 from the U.S. Treasury.

In August, the Navajo Nation approved Resolution CJY-41-21, which established the framework for the implementation of the $2 billion dollars. Among other purposes, the resolution established the Fiscal Recovery Fund (FRF) to hold the $2 billion dollars and allows the FRF to be used to reimburse eligible defunded CARES Act allocations and appropriations that were previously funded through the Navajo Nation’s Síhasin Fund and Unreserved, Undesignated Fund Balance (UUFB). 

This week, following reviews conducted by the Navajo Nation Department of Justice, to ensure eligibility in accordance with U.S. Treasury guidelines, Navajo Nation President Jonathan Nez signed off on the following reimbursement allocations totaling $389 million:

  • $185 million: for connecting homes to electricity, septic system installations for homes, improvements to wastewater conveyance, improvements to water transmission and distribution systems, drinking water treatment, drinking water storage, cistern system installations for homes, and broadband last mile/middle mile to residents and businesses. (Previously funded through the Síhasin Fund, UUFB, and defunded from the CARES Act)
  • $12 million: for the Navajo Department of Health for continued COVID-19 testing, emergency food assistance to high-risk patients, medical transport for COVID patients, mobile medical units, and Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). (Previously defunded from the CARES Act in 2020)
  • $31 million: for the Navajo Nation Division of Economic Development to provide artisan and business economic relief grants to NavajoNation businesses. Certified Navajo artisan and small businesses who did not previously receive funding under the 2020 CARES funding, will be eligible to apply and be awarded an economic relief grant up to $60,000. This grant is designed to provide financial relief to businesses that experienced and continue to experience a loss of revenue due to the ongoing COVID-19 public health emergency. Grants are not required to be repaid. For more information on the “Small Business Economic Relief Grant” please contact the Division of Community Development at 928-871-6544 or visit (Previously defunded from the CARES Act in 2020)
  • $6 million: for the Judicial Branch Programs and Courts serving the entire Navajo Nation to assist in addressing the backlog of court cases to facilitate court and program operations and increase speed of case resolution. Funds will be utilized to hire court personnel and for travel expenses to provide outreach and transport of clients. There is also funding for supplies to implement COVID-19 safety measures such as office supplies for teleworking. There is Personnel Protective Equipment (PPE) and custodial supplies, contractual services for process servers, information technology and heating ventilation and air condition improvements. (Previously defunded from the CARES Act in 2020)
  • $8 million: for heavy equipment for chapters including backhoes, vehicles, trailers, and tractors, and others. This equipment is vital for the chapters to maintain operations and transport supplies and materials to those in need. (Previously funded through the Síhasin Fund through Resolution CJA-01-21)
  • $2 million: for burial assistance for families that have lost a family member due to COVID-19. (Previously funded through the Unreserved, Undesignated Fund Balance through Resolution CMA-14-21)
  • $145 million: for Executive Branch programs and offices to implement the Fiscal Recovery Funds over the course of five-years to cover administrative and support costs at a rate much lower than the standard 17-percent Indirect Cost that is provided for other types of federal funds for tribes. The $145 million is lower than the $180 million that was allocated for the Executive Branch. The remaining $35 million may be allocated for other purposes such as hardship assistance. (Funded through Section 7 of Resolution CJY-41-21)

On Oct. 4, President Nez issued Executive Order No. 008-2021 establishing the Navajo Nation Fiscal Recovery Fund Office dedicated to overseeing the implementation of the Fiscal Recovery Funds, in accordance with Resolution CJY-41-21. The Office of the President and Vice President is in the process of staffing the office and preparing office space. 

The NNFRF Office will be a clearinghouse for APRA related activities including educating the public on NNFRF matters, collaborating with NavajoNation departments and offices, reviewing and approving NNFRF projects, overseeing NNFRF projects and ensure Navajo Nation compliance with Fiscal Recovery Funds provisions of ARPA and Navajo Nation laws.

“With these initial allocations totaling $389 million, we are reimbursing funding sources that were previously appropriated through other sources of funding such as the Síhasin Fund, UUFB, and CARES Act funds, some of which was reallocated to the Hardship Assistance Program to provide relief to the Navajo people last year. In addition, we are providing the necessary support for administrative and central support costs to carry out the challenging tasks of implementing the Fiscal Recovery Funds. When it comes to new expenditure plans, resolution BFS-31-21 outline the process that requires new allocations to be reviewed by the Department of Justice then approved by the Navajo Nation Council. We will be meeting with the Council this week to discuss the next steps in that process. At this point, everything is on the table for consideration including hardship assistance for the Navajo people. We are looking at options to provide hardship assistance this year, but again that will require the support of the Council,” said President Nez. 

The $389 million allocation may increase as the Department of Justice continues reviewing additional appropriations that were previously funded, to determine if they meet the guidelines and requirements under the American Rescue Plan Act. 

“It’s an enormous task to implement this level of funding. The Navajo Nation has never received this amount of funds from the federal government at one time. We have to take the time to plan carefully and ensure that we are complying with the U.S. Treasury’s guidelines and requirements and our own internal processes. We realize that our Navajo people want immediate results and we want the same, but we are doing so carefully so that we account for all funds in the end. Every single dollar of ARPA funding is accounted for,” said Vice President Lizer. 

The Office of the Controller has created a website to help keep the public informed – the website is available at and is currently being further developed. The Nez-Lizer Administration continues to work with the 24th Navajo Nation Council to prepare expenditure plans to be considered in the near future.  

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