COVID-19 Relief Includes Historic Investment to Support Tribal Communities in Fight against Pandemic
Navajo Nation President Nez “grateful” for Senator Kelly’s support for tribal relief
The COVID-19 relief package includes a historic $31.2 billion investment into tribal communities that will provide additional support in the fight against the pandemic and to rebuild tribal economies. Arizona’s tribal communities have been among the hardest hit by the pandemic, and across the country, Native Americans have faced the highest rates of hospitalization and death from COVID-19.
The COVID-19 relief bill allocates $20 billion for tribal governments who have led in the fight against COVID-19 and continue to face increased demands for essential services. It also provides $6 billion for the Indian Health Service, $850 million for Native education programs, and $500 million to fund drinking water and wastewater projects in rural and tribal communities – a critical step in the fight against COVID-19 that Senator Kelly advocated to have included in the package.
“The American Rescue Plan goes beyond the assistance that was provided through the previous CARES Act funds, which helped connect over 700 Navajo families to the electric grid, over 300 off-grid solar installations for homes, over 140 broadband improvement projects, water resources, relief for Navajo businesses and entrepreneurs, direct financial and food aid for tens of thousands of Navajo families, burial assistance for over 1,000 families that have lost loved ones due to COVID-19, and much more. Now, we have another opportunity to provide more direct relief and to empower tribal nations to meet the needs of our people. I am very grateful to Senator Kelly and all of our federal partners for supporting funds for tribal nations and Indian Health Service in the American Rescue Plan. We stand ready to provide further support for our people and we ask Congress to support this important initiative to overcome the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Navajo Nation President Jonathan Nez.