The Jamestown S’Klallam Tribe joins all 574 Indian Nations across the United States in expressing our deepest appreciation to Congress and the Biden administration who have championed the urgently needed legislation known as the American Rescue Plan.
We firmly believe that the funding in this legislative initiative will have the greatest impact to date on tribes’ goal of becoming truly self-governing and self-reliant.
The COVID-19 pandemic has caused a serious setback for all our communities over the last year, but tribes have struggled for many generations in trying to restore and stabilize our governmental foundation with past legislatures and administrations.
These new stimulus funds will not only assist our tribal governments in recovering from the pandemic but also provide the resources necessary to restore our local businesses, economies and address urgently needed infrastructure including upgrades to our roads, water, wastewater and broadband capacity.
They will address seriously underfunded tribal programs that are a trust responsibility of the United States Government, including health care, housing, public safety, natural resources and cultural resurgence, all of which contribute to the self-reliance of our tribal citizens and benefit our local communities.
I have witnessed the efforts of the past six administrations and the work of Congress since the 1980s; this commitment will make a significant and meaningful difference to Indian Country.
I, along with my fellow tribal leaders across the nation, enthusiastically look forward to these funds arriving in our communities. We are ready to utilize them effectively and efficiently over the course of 2021 and beyond.
W. Ron Allen is Tribal Council Chair/CEO of the Jamestown S’Klallam Tribe.