American Rescue Plan Act and Funding for Tribal Governments, COVID-19 Response, and Recovery Policy Brief

The Harvard Project on American Indian Economic Development and the Native Nations Institute released that the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (ARPA) has resulted the single largest mix of federal funding for Native America in U.S. history. The funding of $20 billion is for more than 570 federally recognized American Indian and Alaska Native (AI/AN) Tribal governments.


As required by the Act, the U.S. Department of the Treasury created and has now implemented a formula for allocating these monies. The formula is from dividing $1 billion of the available $20 billion equally among all Tribes. The core of the Treasury Department’s allocation formula required distributing 65% of the ARPA funds for Tribal governments based on the number of total Tribal citizens served by those governments, and distributing the remaining 35% based on Tribes’ total number of employees, Native and non-Native, immediately before the COVID-19 pandemic hit.


This direct funding was intended to provide relief to Tribes, because AI/ANs have experienced significant historical disadvantage and have suffered significantly disproportionate from the COVID-19 pandemic. Read more.


For further information, contact the Harvard Project on American Indian Economic Development at [email protected].