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WASHINGTON — In addition to articles already covered by Native News Online, here is a roundup of other news released from Washington, D.C. that impacts Indian Country during the past week.

Over $134.6 Million in Housing Grants Available for Tribal Communities

This week, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) awarded over $134.6 million in housing grants for tribal communities across Arizona. These grants are awarded through the Indian Housing Block Grant program. 

The Indian Housing Block Grant Program assists grant recipients with affordable housing activities in safe and healthy environments on reservation and in tribal communities. 

The recipients of the Grant and the city they’re located in are as follows: 

  • Ak-Chin Indian Community, Maricopa - $594,102
  • Cocopah Tribe, Somerton - $1,022,589
  • Colorado River Indian Tribes, Parker - $2,914,714
  • Fort McDowell Yavapai Nation, Fountain Hills - $255,609
  • Gila River Indian Community, Sacato, - $8,796,160
  • Havasupai Tribe, Supai - $137,792
  • Hopi Tribe, Kykotsmovi - $9,305,781
  • Hualapai Indian Tribe, Peach Springs - $1,800,004
  • Kaibab Band of Paiute Indians, Fredonia - $486,019
  • Navajo Nation, Window Rock - $65,552,664
  • Pascua Yaqui Tribe, Tucson - $5,696,783
  • Quechan Tribe, Winterhaven - $1,730,732
  • Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community, Scottsdale - $2.797,335
  • San Carlos Apache Tribe, San Carlos - $7,262,167
  • San Juan Southern Paiute Tribe, Tube City - $145,551
  • Tohono O'Odham Nation, Sells - $15,440,599
  • Tonto Apache Tribe of Arizona, Payson - $86,095
  • White Mountain Apache (Fort Apache), Whiteriver - $9,410,672
  • Yavapai-Apache Nation (Camp Verde), Camp Verde - $1,117,591
  • Yavapai-Prescott Indian Tribe, Prescott - $86,095
$2.5 billion in support for the Indian Water Rights Settlement Completion Fund

In 2020, Congress passed the Navajo-Utah Water Rights Settlement Agreement. Now, President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law will monetarily support this settlement in order to fulfill claims of Indian water rights. 

The agreement affirms the Navajo Nation’s right to use 81,500 acre-feet of water per year from the San Juan River. This will protect existing water uses and support future development in this community. 

This agreement also provides over $200 million in federal funding, provided through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. $8 million in state funding will also be provided for water infrastructure development on the reservation. 

The Navajo Nation was not the only tribe to benefit from this investment. $57 million went to Rocky Boys North Central Montana Rural Water System and $7 million went to the Fort Peck Reservation. Additionally, $3 million was invested into repairing the aging water delivery systems in the Toston Irrigation District.

The $2.5 billion to implement the Indian Water Rights Settlement Completion Fund also delivers water resources to tribes, including the Blackfeet Nation and the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes. 

Call for funding increase for BIE schools during House Committee Hearing

During the oversight hearing, “Examining the Policies and Priorities of the Bureau of Indian Education,” Rep. Melanie Stansbury (D-NM) called on Congress to fully fund the construction backlog affecting BIE schools

Over 83 of 183 BIE schools are rated in poor condition, and the agency has estimated that over $4.5 billion is needed to address the construction backlog for K-12 facilities. They also estimated that $3.27 billion will be needed for Tribal colleges and Universities. 

Previously, a bipartisan letter to leadership of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Interior where legislators called for the committee to use the Biden-Harris administration’s FY23 budget request to address the issue. 

The livestream of the committee meeting can be watched here

Committee on Indian Affairs Hosts Hearing to Consider Roselyn Tso's Nomination to be IHS Director

On Wednesday, the nomination hearing to consider President Biden’s nomination for Ms. Roselyn Tso for Director of the Indian Health Service (IHS) was led by Chairman of the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs, Senator Schatz. This position Tso has been nominated for is the most senior federal official charged with developing Native healthcare policy. 

Tso is a citizen of the Navajo Nation and was nominated March 2022. Currently, she is serving as Director of the Navajo Service Area. 

To view the full video of the hearing, click here.

Neely Bardwell (descendant of the Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa Indians), a Michigan State University student who is interning with Native News Online, contributed to these briefs.

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