June 4, 2021
Ayukîi Karuk Tribal Members and Descendants,
We wanted to provide you with an update on the status of the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) and its resulting funding opportunities. There are over twenty-seven (27) Tribal specific provisions through ARPA, providing an investment of $31 billion for Indian Country. We want to express our gratitude and excitement for this monumental investment in Indian Country after years of inadequate and underfunding of the majority of our programs. In addition to funds the Karuk Tribal Government will be receiving, a variety of Tribal Programs will be receiving program-specific funding to help respond to and mitigate the impacts of COVID-19, including the Karuk Tribe Housing Authority, Karuk TANF, and Karuk Child Care. You will see updates from these programs as funds are utilized and programs become available.
Last week the Karuk Tribe received the initial round of funding from ARPA in the amount of $18,968,462. This round is 65% of the total funding to be allocated and is based on the number of Tribal Members Enrolled with the Karuk Tribe. The second round, which has yet to be received, will fulfill the other 35%, and the distribution amount is based on the number of employees the Tribe has. As of today, none of the ARPA funds received by the Karuk Tribe have been spent. The purpose of these funds is to respond to our current public health emergency, address associated negative economic impacts, and invest in critical infrastructure improvements. According to the Interim Final Rule, funding can be used for costs incurred starting March 3, 2021, and ending December 31, 2024. Funds that have been obligated on eligible construction projects such as sewer, water, or broadband can continue through December 31, 2026.
The program flexibility and extended timeline to expend these funds present opportunities for long term infrastructure improvements and community projects that the CARES Act funding did not allow for. Tribal Managers and Directors have developed a variety of potential projects that may be eligible for funding, including investments in healthcare, economic stimulus, water, broadband, education, and other critical Tribal infrastructure. The Karuk Tribal Council will be convening this month to review: the ARPA funding allocation, federal requirements and guidelines for utilizing those funds, and proposed projects.
We thank everyone for their patience as we work through this process. These ARPA funds offer an unprecedented opportunity, and we are taking appropriate measures to ensure that they are used to their full potential to create a lasting, and uplifting impact in our community. We look forward to sharing the initiatives made possible through ARPA with all of you in the near future.
Russell “Buster” Attebery, Karuk Chairman
See the Official Announcement Letter HERE