Juneau, Alaska (KINY) - Newly announced funding from the bipartisan Infrastructure bill aims to distribute $970 million in funding towards Tribal communities.
According to a release from US Senator Lisa Murkowski, about $700 million will come from the Indian Health Service to address sanitation, $154 million from State Revolving Funds for Tribal water needs, and $120 million will go to Tribal transportation.
The release further said that the allocations are a result of Senator Murkowski’s leadership on behalf of Tribal communities, including through her role as Vice Chairman of the Committee on the Indian Affairs.
Most recently, during a committee hearing on oversight on IIJA, Senator Murkowski advocated for the federal agencies to partner with Tribes and Native organizations to ensure funding can be easily accessed and strategically invested in Alaska Native and American Indian communities.
“As a lead author and negotiator of the historic infrastructure law, one of my top priorities was ensuring that Alaska Native people were not left out. As a result, the final package includes substantial funding for Tribes, Alaska Native Corporations, and other Native organizations to benefit Native communities across the state. Now that funding is being made available, my priority is to ensure that Alaskans know what they are eligible for and how to access it, so that it is implemented in the most beneficial way possible,” Senator Murkowski said. “Over the next several years, this law will provide for significant improvements for Alaska Native communities. Today’s announcement – investments in health systems, transportation, clean water, and sanitation – is a step toward the federal government ensuring greater equity and upholding our federal trust responsibility. I look forward to seeing the real-life impacts it will have on communities across Alaska.”
In addition, she said the allocations align with testimony and recommendations from Native leaders and organizations.
The administration also launched the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law Tribal Playbook, which aims to give greater insight on funding set-asides for Tribal communities, eligibility requirements, and how to apply for funding.