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    Biden administration announces $120 million for tribal climate resilience

    By Zack Budryk,


    The Biden administration will fund 146 tribal climate resilience projects to the tune of $120 million, Interior Department officials announced Thursday.

    The funds include $71 million in Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) funds, $26 million in Bipartisan Infrastructure Law funds and $23 million from annual appropriations for fiscal 2023. They can be used for mitigation and resilience projects ranging from relocation efforts to coastal management and habitat restoration, according to the Interior Department.

    On a call with reporters, Interior Secretary Deb Haaland, the nation’s first indigenous Cabinet secretary, said the funds are the largest single award of annual climate funding to tribes in the history of the Bureau of Indian Affairs. The funds will be disbursed across 102 tribes and nine tribal organizations.

    Haaland also praised the administration’s broader investment in Native community infrastructure on a call with reporters, saying the total of $45 billion is equivalent to 15 years of the Bureau of Indian Affairs’s annual budget.

    “Indigenous communities are facing unique and intensifying climate-related challenges that pose an existential threat to Tribal economies, infrastructure, lives and livelihoods,” Haaland, said in a statement. “Through President Biden’s Investing in America agenda, we are making transformational commitments to assist Tribes and Tribal organizations as they plan for and implement climate resilience measures, upholding our trust and treaty responsibilities and safeguarding these places for generations to come.”

    The award is part of $440 million in funds the administration has allocated to climate resilience in tribal communities. It follows another program launched in 2022 that funds voluntary relocation of Native Americans displaced by climate change.

    Recipients included residents of Alaska’s Newtok Village and Native Village of Napakiak, both of which have seen severe erosion, with Interior projecting Napakiak is losing between 25 to 50 feet annually of riverbank.

    Haaland has emphasized Native issues during her tenure, including an ongoing review of federal boarding schools where Native children were forcibly placed and forbidden from growing their hair or speaking tribal languages.

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