Aid Has Arrived—Will It Go Unspent?

Navajo Nation has suffered more COVID-19 deaths per capita than any US state, a scourge enabled by a basic lack of infrastructure on the reservation, where some 30% of homes lack running water.
Reservation leaders want to use a chunk of the $714 million federal aid package to address yawning infrastructure gaps to prevent such a crisis from ever unfolding again. That would mean expanding sorely lacking running water and electricity, affordable housing, and broadband access.
But regulations, both tribal and federal, make it near-impossible to break ground for projects on tribal land—and if the money isn’t spent by December 30, tribes risk losing it.

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