FY 2015 the navajo nation budget priorities

FY 2015
the Navajo nation
budget priorities
Prepared for Tribal/Interior Budget Council
National Budget Meeting
March 21 & 22
Washington, DC
Navajo nation
The Navajo Nation’s priorities are based on the economic,
environmental, social and cultural needs of the Navajo people
to ensure a sustainable and vibrant Navajo Nation.
1. Natural Resources (including NEPA)
2. Public Safety & Justice
3. Education
4. Human Services
5. Construction (O&M)
Natural resources
• The Navajo Nation seeks to maximize it’s economic
opportunities and utilization of all it’s assets. This can only
be done when adequate resources are provided for:
• Compliance Review including NEPA clearance processing.
• Chronic underfunding has led to backlogs that hinder
development and clearance processes.
• Not only do these conditions hinder development but can
exacerbate problems such as:
Drought preparedness
Water Management
Fish and Wildlife Management
Forestry Management
Natural Resources
• The Navajo Nation is a fossil fuel based economy trying to diversify our portfolio.
We need assistance in renewing and preserving our existing fossil fuel extraction and power
We need programs that will help to develop solar and winds resources, and assistance in
building the infrastructure needed to distribute renewable energy.
• Costs associated with current imposition of NEPA compliance has slowed renewable
development and drought and fire mitigation activities
• Projects that provide essential water for human and agricultural consumption such as
the Navajo Gallup Water Supply Project, and the Navajo Indian Irrigation Project must
be fully funded to ensure completion.
• Our natural resources are our trust assets; the Department has a responsibility to fund
programs that mitigate the effects of the ongoing drought, forest fires, invasive species
and the protection of native species.
• Drought preparedness, water management, fish and wildlife management, and forestry
management must all receive adequate funding.
Public Safety & Justice
The Navajo Nation remains chronically
underfunded in Public Safety and
280 commissioned officers cover an area
of 27,000 square miles
The Nation strives to ensure the safety
of its residents and visitors and to
ensure adequate detention and court
facilities. Underfunding is detrimental
to these goals.
Navajo Nation Public Safety
Operational Information
Annual Budget:
Actual Budget Need: $22,000,000
Law Enforcement and the Justice
System go hand in hand.
The Navajo court system serves the Navajo people through: Tribal Courts, Peacemaking,
Probation & parole
Our justice system fully embodies the traditional values and processes of the Navajo People in
accordance with Navajo Nation laws, customs, traditions, and applicable federal laws.
To maintain the operation of the most advanced and respected tribal court system in Indian
Country the Navajo Nation requests $3.4 million for tribal courts.
- Higher education • Every Navajo member that
wishes to seek higher education
should have the opportunity to
do so.
2009-2012 Total Applicants
• 35 million additional funds
• Funds provided do not support
the need of students nor support
the rising cost of education
Total Applicants
Students Funded from Federal Funds
• Further the Navajo Nation
advocates for full forward
funding to ensure students are
not left awaiting appropriations.
Many drop out while waiting for
funds to trickle in from the
federal government
Johnson-O’Malley Program
• Funding under education also covers the Johnson
O’Malley Program.
• This program not only helps to get youth on the right
track but also supports language and culture
• JOM works to ensuring the success of our youth and
maintaining Native identity.
• At least some of the success that Navajo’s have had in
language preservation can be attributed to JOM.
According to recent Census statistics Navajo’s
maintain the highest rate of language usage at 70%.
Human services
The Navajo Nation like so much of Indian Country has a large human services
need. We rely on human services funding to assist in combating:
• Underemployment and Unemployment
• Drug/Alcohol/ and Substance abuse
• Family violence and neglect
Why these issues continue to persist in Indian County is part and parcel of limited
economic opportunities. A part of the Navajo Nation’s strategy is to protect
these services while addressing the underlying issues that contribute to
unsustainable situations.
Our need for social services outpaces the national average.
These services assist individuals with seeking employment, bringing families back
together, and restoring balance and harmony to the individual and the
Human services
- Social Services The service area for the Navajo Nation P.L. 93-638 Social
Services contract covers the Navajo Nation and border towns.
Navajo 93-638 social workers 35:1
The National Child Welfare
League of America 15:1.
217 miles
217 217
Human Services
- Housing Every member of the Navajo Nation has safe and suitable housing.
The Housing Improvement Program (HIP)
HIP provides just that to the most needy of individuals. The funding
provided under HIP does not meet the number of requests that come to the
Navajo Nation. The Housing Improvement Program is NOT a duplication
Bennett-Freeze Housing/Rebuilding
In 1966 a freeze was placed on this area of the Navajo Nation due to land
disputes. Although formally lifted in 2009 a housing need of the nine affected
communities is estimated to be over 2,400 homes. Of homes assessed in the
area 61% are found to be substandard and in poor to very poor condition. The
population of this area is 22,928.
Construction (O&M)
• While new construction is a priority the Navajo Nation places
particular importance on Operations and Maintenance of existing
facilities and structures.
• Education Buildings – both BIE and 638 schools are underfunded
resulting in hazardous learning environments for Navajo children.
Basic maintenance cannot be performed even on relatively new
buildings that require it due to a lack of funding in this line item.
Ex. Navajo Mountain School had to close down due to a loss of
water. The shutdown could have been avoided with adequate
• Public Safety Facilities – even newer facilities face issues of being
not being fully utilized due to low operations line items.
• Government and other Infrastructure - Lack of for preservation
of BIA and tribally owned buildings
• The Navajo Nation has an obligation to serve the needs of it’s citizens
just as the federal government has an obligation to fulfill its trust
• For this reason the Navajo Nation requests:
• Contract Support (TPA) costs need to be fully funded (currently at
• Tribal Grant Contract Support costs need to be fully funded
(currently at 65%)
• Native Nations should be considered in practice MANDATORY/NON
DISCRETIONARY FUNDING not subject to reductions under the
Deficit Reduction Act aka sequester.
• Treaty obligations are not discretionary they are legal compacts.

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