Senate Passes Largest Investment in Native Programs in History, More Than $31 Billion Heading to Native Communities

US Capitol

U.S. Senator Brian Schatz (D-Hawai‘i), Chairman of the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs, helped secure more than $31.2 billion in dedicated funding for tribal governments and Native communities, comprising the largest investment in history for Native programs. The new funding will deliver immediate relief for hard-hit Native American families and support Tribal Nations as they build a bridge toward economic recovery.

“Native communities need relief. We listened and we took action. With more than $31 billion for tribal governments and Native programs, the American Rescue Plan delivers the largest one-time investment to Native communities in history,” said Senator Schatz, a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee. “This historic funding is a down payment on the federal government’s trust responsibility to Native communities and will empower American Indians, Alaska Natives, and Native Hawaiians to tackle COVID-19’s impacts on their communities.”

The $31.2 billion investment in Native communities includes:

$20 billion for tribal governments to combat COVID-19 and stabilize tribal community safety-net programs through Treasury’s State/Local “Coronavirus Relief Fund”

$6+ billion for Native health systems

·       $2.340 billion for COVID-19 vaccines, testing, tracing, mitigation, and workforce expenses

·       $2 billion for lost third-party medical billing reimbursements

·       $600 million for health facilities construction and sanitation programs

·       $500 million for clinical health services and Purchased/Referred Care

·       $420 million for mental and behavioral health

·        $140 million for improving health IT and telehealth access

·       $84 million for Urban Indian health programs

·       $10 million for potable water delivery

·       $20 million set-aside for Papa Ola Lōkahi and the Native Hawaiian Health Care Systems within the Community Health Centers funding at the Health Resources and Services Administration

$1.248 billion for HUD tribal & Native Hawaiian housing programs

·       $498 million tribal set-aside within Treasury’s Homeowners Assistance Program for Tribes and Native housing programs

·       $450 million for the Indian Housing Block Grant

·       $280 million for the Indian Community Development Block Grant

·       $15 million for technical assistance, administrative costs, and oversight

·       $5 million for the Native Hawaiian Housing Block Grant

$1.1+ billion for Native education programs, including Bureau of Indian Education schools, tribal education agencies, tribal colleges and universities, Native Hawaiian education programs, and Alaska Native education programs

·       $850 million for Bureau of Indian (BIE) education programs, BIE K-12 schools & dormitories, and tribal colleges and Universities

·       $190 million for Department of Education grants to tribal education agencies, Native Hawaiian education organizations, and Alaska Native education organizations

·       $142+ million for tribal colleges and universities through the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund

·       $89+ million for Native-serving institutions of higher education, including Alaska Native and Native Hawaiian serving institutions, through the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund

$1+ billion for Native families

·       $1+ billion for tribal child care programs and supports

·       $75 million for tribal TANF grantees to provide assistance to families in need through the Pandemic Emergency Assistance Fund

$900 million for Bureau of Indian Affairs programs

·       $772.5 million for tribal government services (i.e., general welfare assistance, assistance to tribal governments, public safety, child welfare)

·       $100 million for the Housing Improvement Program

·       $20 million for potable water delivery

·       $7.5 million for administrative costs and oversight

$600 million for Native communities’ critical economic and infrastructure investments

·       $500 million for tribal governments to support capital investments in Native businesses within Treasury’s State Small Business Credit Initiative

·       $100 million for critical infrastructure projects in Native communities

$20 million to mitigate the impact of COVID-19 on Native languages

·       $20 million for a new emergency Native language preservation & maintenance grant program through the Administration for Native Americans to mitigate impacts of COVID-19 on Native language communities

$19 million for Native communities’ efforts to combat domestic violence

·       $18 million for tribal awardees through the Family Violence Prevention & Services Act

·       $1 million for “Stronghearts” Native Domestic Violence Hotline

The American Rescue Plan Act was passed by the Senate today. The House is expected to consider the Senate bill this coming week.