Funding will provide stabilizing aid for food, water, other immediate needs
WASHINGTON — In response to the damaging coastal storms that hit Alaska’s western shores this week, the Department of the Interior Friday announced that the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) is distributing $2.6 million to support the needs of 45 Alaska Native villages. These funds will provide critical resources for Alaska Native communities prior to winter’s arrival, including immediate aid for food, water and other essential supplies.
The funding is provided through President Biden’s American Rescue Plan, which authorized $900 million in funding for the BIA to support a wide range of activities related to Tribal government services, public health and economic challenges. The American Rescue Plan overall made a historic $31.2 billion investment in Tribal communities, the largest single investment the United States has ever made in Indian Country.
“The Interior Department is committed to ensuring Tribal communities have the resources and support they need, including when responding to the devastating effects of extreme weather events. As we continue to work with our Tribal partners to identify and address long-term needs, these initial funds will help purchase critical food, supplies and water for those impacted by the storms,” said Assistant Secretary for Indian Affairs Bryan Newland. “Critical investments from the Biden-Harris administration, including from the American Rescue Plan, continue to support Tribal communities as they face the compounding impacts of public health, economic and climate challenges.”
The Interior Department continues to coordinate with the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the state of Alaska, BIA emergency management and regional staff to respond to ongoing emergency needs across the state.