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The Biden-Harris Administration announced  on Friday the approval of $10 million for multi-purpose facilities in tribal communities under the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Capital Projects Fund (CPF), part of President Biden’s Investing in America agenda. The announcement was made at the Indian Pueblo Cultural Center in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

Friday’s announcement will fund New Mexico’s Tribal Library Broadband-Ready Facility Improvement Program, which will construct a new childcare center and improve and expand six libraries and family resource centers within tribal communities to help ensure Native Americans have access to educational programming, health and career services, and social supports in their communities.

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Upon completion of the projects, all facilities will provide broadband internet and computers to directly enable work, education, and health monitoring within their communities, currently among the state’s least served in terms of broadband access. New Mexico estimates that the facilities will serve thousands of Tribal community members annually across seven Pueblos, Tribes, and Indian Nations across the state. 

“Connecting workers and families to job training, education, and health care is key to expanding economic opportunity,” said U.S. Deputy Secretary of the Treasury Wally Adeyemo. “These resources from President Biden’s American Rescue Plan will increase access to high-speed internet for some of the least connected Tribal communities in New Mexico, helping Indian County thrive.” 

“I'm very proud that, through the American Rescue Plan, President Biden signed into law the largest single investment in Indian Country in our history,” said Senior Advisor to President Biden and White House Coordinator for the American Rescue Plan Gene Sperling. “The American Rescue Plan funds deployed by Governor Lujan Grisham to uplift and modernize libraries and childcare centers in the pueblo communities is a tremendous way to use these funds to ensure their children emerge from the pandemic with brighter and stronger futures. I’m honored to join Governor Lujan Grisham, the leaders of these pueblos, and the Albuquerque community to see firsthand how they are building economic and educational opportunity from the bottom up and middle out as President Biden so strongly believes.” 

“Investment in broadband and other critical infrastructure is essential to the overall health and well-being of tribal communities,” said New Mexico Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham. “The funding announced today will improve access to education, workforce development tools, career counseling, telehealth and other services that create opportunities and improve lives. I thank the Biden Administration for their commitment to assisting New Mexico tribes.” 

“The Pueblo of Sandia Tribal Council recognizes that studies have shown the shape of a building (particularly a school building) can have an impact on brain development. Many of today’s schools were built 50-60 years ago. These buildings were not designed for change and are very static and linear in design,” said Sandia Pueblo Governor Felix Chaves. “Twenty-first Century educators are developing new and innovative ways to teach, only to be hindered by obsolete spaces that prevent them from giving students the best learning experiences. Rather than selecting a traditional linear design for the new CDC, the Blossom Circular plan was developed to inspire creativity in children who are developing new ways of thinking about their world and are no longer bound by linear patterns of thought. Thinking has become more multi-dimensional, and building design should reflect this.” 

“Access to reliable, high-speed internet is a necessity to keep up with everyday life. But right now, too many Tribes in New Mexico lack access to this essential service,” said Senator Martin Heinrich. “I’m proud to welcome $10 million from our American Rescue Plan to help Tribes and Pueblos close the digital divide and ensure that every family has the tools needed to thrive in their communities.” 

“This critical investment, made possible by the American Rescue Plan, gets us closer to 100% connectivity by delivering $10 million in funding to support libraries on Tribal lands,” said Senator Ben Ray Luján. “Senator Heinrich and I have long worked to expand federal support for broadband at Tribal libraries. Whether completing homework, conducting research, or operating in the digital economy, these libraries serve as an essential hub for communities around New Mexico. That's why I’m honored to welcome this funding that will ensure seven libraries and family resource centers in Tribal communities have access to a reliable internet connection.” 

“I am honored to announce $10 million for New Mexico’s Tribal Library Broadband-Ready Facility Improvement Program–a vital step in bridging the digital gap across seven Pueblos, Tribes and Nations in our state," said Representative Gabe Vasquez (NM-02). "By prioritizing broadband internet and computer access, we're ensuring Native American communities have the tools they need to access education, health services and career opportunities. I stand committed to supporting the sovereignty and prosperity of Indian Country and ensuring they have equal access to essential resources.” 

The American Rescue Plan’s (ARP) Capital Projects Fund provides $10 billion to states, territories, freely associated states, and Tribal governments to fund critical capital projects that expand economic opportunities and provide internet connectivity in communities with unmet needs. Through high-speed internet, multi-purpose community facilities, and digital technology investments like the one being announced today, CPF funding is both closing the digital divide and bringing workforce, education, and health care services to communities in need. 

Friday’s announcement is in addition to the $117 million in CPF funding for broadband infrastructure in New Mexico announced in 2022, which the state estimates will connect over 40,000 homes and businesses to affordable, high-speed internet. To date, the Treasury Department has awarded more than $9.2 billion in CPF funding for broadband, digital technology, and multi-purpose community center projects in all 50 states and the District of Columbia, which will reach more than 2 million locations with improved internet access. In addition, hundreds of thousands of individuals will be served annually by multi-purpose community facilities and digital technology programs. An additional $78 million in CPF awards have gone to 440 Tribal governments. 

This CPF funding is one example of how the Biden-Harris Administration has made strengthening the self-determination and economic vitality of Tribal Nations and Native people a key priority, including through the implementation of President Biden’s American Rescue Plan (ARP). The ARP included over $30 billion for Tribal governments, including $20 billion from the State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds (SLFRF) program – the largest single infusion of federal funding into Indian Country in U.S. history. This week, during virtual remarks at the National Center for American Indian Enterprise Development’s (NCAIED) 2024 Reservation Economic Summit (RES)Secretary of the Treasury Janet L. Yellen announced new small business funding for Tribes under the State Small Business Credit Initiative (SSBCI), reauthorized and expanded by the ARP. To date, the Treasury Department has approved $265 million in SSBCI funding for 80 Tribes. 

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