WINDOW ROCK, AZ – Navajo Nation President Jonathan Nez and Vice President Myron Lizer were recently joined by 24th Navajo Nation Council Speaker Seth Damon and Council Delegates Carl Slater, Wilson Stewart, Jr., Rickie Nez, Thomas Walker, Jr., and Mark Freeland, as they signed Resolution CJY-41-21 into law, which establishes the Navajo Nation Fiscal Recovery Fund and the Expenditure Authorization Process for the American Rescue Plan Act allocation of $1.8 billion.
In May, the U.S. Department of Treasury allocated $1.8 billion to the Navajo Nation under the American Rescue Plan Act, for recovery efforts related to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“After decades of unfinished infrastructure, struggling economy, and inadequate education systems, the Navajo Nation is on the doorstep of changing our future for our grandchildren,” said President Nez. “Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, we have faced many challenges that endangered our well-being and financial security. Together, through the resiliency of our frontline warriors and our Navajo people, we built on opportunities and resources to help each other. In the process, we initiated projects to install water lines, waste water systems, electricity, and broadband for hundreds of families and communities. With the Navajo Nation Fiscal Recovery Fund, we envision to increase those efforts to combat COVID-19 and build a stronger foundation for many generations to come.”
Council Delegate Carl Slater sponsored the legislation, which was approved by the 24th Navajo Nation Council on July 22. In addition to establishing the Fiscal Recovery Fund and the expenditure process, the resolution also authorizes emergency procurements, allows for the reimbursement of projects funded by the Síhasin Fund and the Undesignated, Unreserved Fund Balance, supports CARES Fund projects that were not completed, and authorizes the establishment of the Fiscal Recovery Fund Office. All funds deposited into the will be used in compliance with all ARPA purposes and guidelines.
“I really want to thank the teams on both sides in order for us to get a comprehensive plan together and move forward,” said Speaker Damon. “Thank you, Honorable Slater, for carrying the torch forward and thank you to President and Vice President for enacting it here today.”
“This funding represents a once in a lifetime opportunity for the Navajo Nation to emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic stronger than before, and tackle critical issues facing Navajo families, businesses, and communities,” said Vice President Lizer. “The funds also allow us the opportunity to make transformational investments to build a more prosperous Nation and empower our communities.”
The Nez-Lizer Administration thanks Council Delegate Carl Slater for sponsoring the legislation and the Office of the Speaker and 24th Navajo Nation Council for their support.