On Friday, Navajo Nation President Jonathan Nez and Vice President Myron Lizer signed into law two resolutions previously approved by the 24th Navajo Nation Council, appropriating funds in the amounts of $4 million for summer youth employment and $18.7 million for four Navajo Nation enterprises to assist with financial impacts caused by the COVID-19 pandemic from the Navajo Nation’s Unreserved, Undesignated Fund Balance.
“Last summer, students were not afforded the opportunity to be employed through the Navajo Nation due to the COVID-19 pandemic. With the funding approved today, we will offer the financial support for students and the opportunity to learn new skills as they help their communities. The funds they earn will help the students cover some of the costs of their education and other expenses. The pandemic has also impacted all of our Navajo Nation enterprises and some have been hit harder than others due to the nature of their industry. During this pandemic, we’ve also supported the hardship assistance program for our Navajo families, relief for Navajo businesses and entrepreneurs, and infrastructure projects that have helped many of our Navajo people,” President Nez said.
Resolution CF-08-21 appropriates $4 million for summer youth employment to the 110 chapters, with 50 percent of the $4 million divided equally among all chapters and the other 50 percent allocated to chapters based on the number of registered voters.
Resolution CF-10-21 appropriates $1.4 million for the Navajo Nation’s Hospitality Enterprise, $15 million for the Gaming Enterprise, $2 million for Navajo Arts and Crafts Enterprise, and $296,241 for Navajo Nation Shopping Centers, Inc.
“The enterprises have done their best to support their employees, especially with medical benefits during this public health emergency, but their resources are limited. As leaders of our Nation, we’ve done our best to support all of our people across the board with the time and resources we have. Many of the enterprises have also stepped forward to help our people during the pandemic by providing direct financial relief, PPE’s, food and water, and many other contributions. For our students, we encourage them to take advantage of the summer employment opportunities and we urge the chapters to provide a meaningful and safe experience for our youth,” said Vice President Lizer.
The resolutions were approved by the 24th Navajo Nation Council during a special session held on Feb. 12. Both are effective immediately with approval by President Nez and Vice President Lizer.