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Posted: December 2, 2021
Navajo Nation Council

The Naabik’íyáti’ Committee hosting the Executive Branch Divisions at Twin Arrows Navajo Casino. Photo courtesy Navajo Nation Council

The 24TH NAVAJO NATION COUNCIL

Office of the Speaker

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
December 1, 2021

$622 Million in American Rescue Plan Act funding presented by Navajo Nation Executive Branch

TWIN ARROWS, Arizona — The Naabik’íyáti’ Committee (NABI) of the 24th Navajo Nation Council host Executive Branch divisions to receive presentations on Non-Fiscal Recovery Funds (FRF) in the amount of $622,377,514 million through American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds available or to be allocated to Navajo programs and departments.

These grants are additional funds along with the $2.1 billion in ARPA money already allocated to the Navajo Nation by Congress and the Biden Administration to respond to the negative impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

“We will work with our Executive Branch divisions to ensure the $622 million in new grant money is properly allocated to our Navajo families,” said Speaker Seth Damon (Bááhaalí, Chichiltah, Manuelito, Red Rock, Rock Springs, Tséyatoh). “These funds must be invested into the low-income household assistance program, support for frontline workers, new housing and broadband construction, and for emergency rental assistance for families that need it most. We are committed to carefully allocating ARPA money to uplift our small businesses and immediately get relief to our communities.” 
 
The Naabik’íyáti’ Committee is hosting a work session over the next two days with Navajo Nation President Jonathan Nez and Chief Justice JoAnn Jayne to discuss Legislation No. 0257-21 and future expenditure plans for over 10,000 infrastructure and economic development projects funded by ARPA.

ARPA Distributions in Non-Fiscal Recovery Funds (FRF) include the following: 

  • $102 million for social service programs 
  • $206 million for education programs, tribal colleges/universities 
  • $84.4 million for economic development and small business credits 
  • $16.3 million for community development, housing improvements, and water lines
  • $198.4 million for homeowner assistance, Indian housing block grants, and emergency rental assistance funds
  • $53 million for broadband internet expansion 
  • $48.7 million for health care services, telehealth infrastructure, and COVID-19 mitigation
  • $7.9 million for public safety, tribal courts, and the criminal investigation program

“Our work session today allows us to get necessary updates from Executive Branch leaders on how programs and departments plan to spend over $600 million in new federal grants,” said Council Delegate Nathaniel Brown (Dennehotso, Kayenta, Chííłchinbii’tó). “We need to support our medicine people to continue the meaningful work they do, begin building homes for our most vulnerable families, and fund local chapter projects. It is important we remind ourselves of our resilience as a people and continue to offer prayers to the Holy People for protection and guidance.”
 
In August, the Navajo Nation Council approved Resolution CYJ-41-21 establishing the Fiscal Recovery Fund (FRF) Office as the official headquarters to oversee and approve all APRA projects during the pandemic. 
 
During the meeting, Executive Branch Chief of Staff Paulson Chaco added, “President Nez directed all executive divisions and programs to immediately apply for the $622 million in grant money available for the Navajo people. We are still developing plans on how to spend these funds and are at various stages of implementation. It is historic that the Navajo Nation was allocated almost $3 billion in COVID-19 relief funding from Congress. The Nez-Lizer Administration is committed to working closely with the Navajo Nation Council to make sure all ARPA funds are allocated responsibly.” 
 
Tomorrow, the Office of Legislative Counsel with the assistance of the NavajoDepartment of Justice, will lead a discussion on the structure and layout of Legislation No. 0257-21 that will allocate $1.16 billion of ARPA funding for construction of new water and electric lines, broadband internet connections, and road infrastructure projects. 
 
The Navajo Nation Fiscal Recovery Fund with the Controller’s Office created a website to share all ARPA updates and information with the Navajo people at www.NavajoNationARPA.org

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