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Additional COVID Help Headed for the Navajo Nation

Additional COVID Help Headed for the Navajo Nation
December 23
03:21 2021

More Covid Help for Navajos

By John Christian Hopkins

Amber Kanazbah Crotty

Navajo Nation Delegate Amber Kanazbah Crotty has introduced emergency legislation to the 24th Navajo Nation Council to provide more financial assistance for tribal members.

Emergency Legislation No. 0263-21 would allocate $207 million of Navajo Nation Fiscal Recovery Funds to provide a second hardship assistance check for the Navajo people.

“It has been 283 days since President Joe Biden signed into law the American Rescue Plan Act. The Navajo people need immediate assistance now during this pandemic and the Navajo government must meet their requests,” Crotty said. “The federal government provided us Fiscal Recovery Funds to directly help Navajo households with their utility bills and those experiencing job loss and reduced work hours. This money must be used to assist our communities recover from the long-term effects of COVID-19. A second allocation of hardship assistance payments directly to our families will allow them to purchase critical winter supplies like gasoline, firewood, and food.”

The bill also approves the Hardship Assistance Expenditure Plan that will have legislative oversight by the Budget and Finance Committee and administrative oversight by the Nez-Lizer Administration.

According to the Navajo Nation Department of Justice (NNDOJ), individuals do not have to reapply for the second allocation of hardship assistance payments. Any future check disbursements will follow the financial process previously approved by the Office of the Controller (OOC). Individuals who have yet to apply for assistance can do so through the OOC online portal.

“Our people have been through a lot the last two years and they need our immediate help. These hardship assistance payments are long overdue and the Navajo Nation Council must take action to help our grandmas and grandpas, and our most vulnerable families,” Crotty added. “This is no longer a debate because our communities are suffering. The next urgent matter is we allocate the remaining CARES Act funds for our elders over 60 years of age.”

Navajo leaders have a responsibility to assist their people, especially during the colder winter months.

“We support this emergency legislation to send out a second hardship check that will help Navajo families during this pandemic,” Delegate Eugene Tso said.

The council is working closely with President Jonathan Nez and the Executive Branch to responsibly allocate billions of dollars to be invested into projects for the Navajo people, Speaker Seth Damon said. “This also means a second round of direct hardship checks to assist our families so they can pay for the light bill and purchase food, propane, firewood, and hay for livestock.”

Earlier, the Northern Agency Council unanimously approved Resolution NNAC-128-2021 supporting Legislation No. 0263-21 and recommending increasing the allocation of $207 million to $621 million to change the amount each Navajo individual receives in hardship assistance.

If approved by the Navajo Nation Council, Speaker Damon has 10 days after a session to certify legislation. Following this process, Navajo Nation President Jonathan Nez has 10 days to approve or veto.

 The Naabik’íyáti’ Committee just concluded another two-day work session with the Executive Branch to discuss Legislation No. 0257-21 allocating $1.2 billion of ARPA funds for the construction of over 10,000 infrastructure and economic development projects.

The Navajo Nation Fiscal Recovery Fund Office with the Controller’s Office created a website to share all ARPA updates and information at

Additional COVID Help Headed for the Navajo Nation - overview

Summary: Additional COVID Help Headed for the Navajo Nation


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