Published June 13, 2019
WINDOW ROCK — Navajo Nation President Jonathan Nez and Vice President Myron Lizer are pleased with Wednesday’s announcement from the New Mexico Indian Affairs Department that the Tribal Infrastructure Fund board has awarded more than $14 million in funding across 11 tribal communities in New Mexico, which includes over $1.8 million for the Navajo Nation.
“Vice President Myron Lizer and I are very thankful to the TIF board for recognizing and funding the needs of our communities, especially those in rural areas,” said President Jonathan Nez, “ We are very optimistic that the Navajo Nation and the State of New Mexico will work well together to complete these projects to help our overall community development efforts.”
The $1.8 million in funding for the Navajo Nation includes:
· $400,000 to construct a new Head Start facility in the community of Tse’ii’ahi
· $975,000 for a water system improvement project in the community of To’hajiilee
· $501,113 for the phase two design of a community water system in the community of Chichiltah
The TIF board met on June 7 in Santa Fe, N.M., where the board approved the $14 million for tribes in accordance with the Tribal Infrastructure Act of 2005, which recognizes that many of New Mexico’s tribal communities lack basic infrastructure, resulting in poor health, social and economic conditions. The nine-member board thoroughly evaluates and scores each project proposal from tribal communities to ensure that critical need is established.
Navajo Nation Division of Community Development Executive Director, Dr. Pearl Yellowman, was recently appointed to serve on the TIF board by New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham at the recommendation of President Nez and Vice President Lizer.
“These projects are absolutely essential and, in some cases, long overdue. Hundreds of families across New Mexico’s tribal communities will benefit from these investments. State government must always be proactively seeking measures that will meet the needs of our rural neighbors, tribal neighbors and any neighbors who lack crucial infrastructure – and my administration will continue to explore means of honoring and rebuilding sacred government-to-government partnerships,” said Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham, regarding the $14 million in funds for tribes.
New Mexico Indian Affairs Department Secretary Lynn Trujillo also spoke about the importance of the funds for tribes and expressed her appreciation to the many supporters who advocated on behalf of the New Mexico tribes.
“The New Mexico Indian Affairs Department is honored to be able to make these awards to so many important projects in Indian Country. I’m thankful to our Governor and to our Legislature for their leadership and their continued support for the Tribal Infrastructure Fund. These resources are used to fund critical infrastructure projects that impact the daily lives of thousands of New Mexicans,” said Secretary Trujillo.
“$1.8 million is a great investment for our Navajo communities. We are truly grateful to Gov. Lujan Grisham, Secretary Trujillo, and the entire State Legislature for supporting these projects for the Navajo Nation,” said Vice President Lizer.