Tuesday, April 7, 2009

New Website Tracks Stimulus Money for Native American Indians

Following up on last weeks story on how the global economic crisis is impacting indigenous peoples, I'm excited to see the below article by Mary Annete Pember about the launch of Indian Country Works.

A new online resource explains how the stimulus funds will be dispersed to Indian County: which projects are eligible and how tribal governments can apply.

After weeks of intense lobbying for tribes to be included in the American Economic Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA), representatives at the National Congress of American Indians realized that tribal leaders needed information about accessing the new funding. With the help of a team of legislative and policy experts, www.indiancountryworks.org was born. The website provides tribal governments vital information about funding streams available in the stimulus act.
Native American Indian Country Works and Stimulus Money
Stimulus funding for tribes will first be directed to federal agencies and other organizations that serve them. Monies will then be directed to tribes through existing programming.

Many other organizations serving Indian Country including the Indian Housing Council, National Indian Health Board, National Indian Education Association, the National Center of American Indian Enterprise Development and others, are collaborating on the website.

“Organizations are excited about having a central place to send information for use by tribal governments," says Dante Desiderio of the Sapony tribe. Desiderio, an economic development policy specialist with NCAI, has been working intently on the website since early February.

The site is constructed with the unique needs of tribal governments in mind. The Frequently Asked Questions area of the site offers basic information about the stimulus act, explaining how tribes can apply and which types of projects and programs are eligible for funding. Indian Country Works is a central clearinghouse for information on all areas of ARRA, including transportation, housing, law enforcement, education, health, energy and other infrastructure needs. Read more of the article here, or visit Indian Country Works to see how the stimulus money will be used in Indian Country.

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