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Biden-Harris Administration Announces $120 Million from President's Investing in America Agenda to Enhance Climate Resilience in Tribal Communities

146 awards will support 102 Tribes and 9 Tribal organizations to strengthen preparedness, resilience in the face of climate change

WASHINGTON — The Department of the Interior today announced that more than $120 million from President Biden’s Investing in America agenda will fund 146 projects to help Tribal communities plan for and implement projects to tackle severe climate-related environmental threats to their homelands.

This investment from the Inflation Reduction Act, Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, and annual appropriations will help Tribes proactively plan for and adapt to these threats and safely relocate critical community infrastructure, where necessary. It is the largest amount of annual funding awarded to Tribes and Tribal organizations in the history of the Bureau of Indian Affairs’ Tribal Climate Annual Awards Program, with 102 Tribes and 9 Tribal organizations receiving funding.

“Indigenous communities are facing unique and intensifying climate-related challenges that pose an existential threat to Tribal economies, infrastructure, lives and livelihoods,” said Secretary Deb Haaland. “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.”

“By providing these resources to Tribes to plan and implement climate resilience programs in their own communities, we can better meet the needs of each community and allow them to incorporate Indigenous Knowledge when addressing climate change,” said Assistant Secretary for Indian Affairs Bryan Newland. “These resources will enable Tribes to protect their ability to exist in their homelands in the face of a changing climate.”

“The most severe impacts of climate change fall disproportionately on communities that are least able to prepare for and recover from them,” said White House Senior Advisor to the President and Director of Intergovernmental Affairs Tom Perez. “The Biden-Harris Administration is making unprecedented investments to ensure Tribal communities have the resources to develop effective community-driven climate resilience strategies.”

The Tribal Climate Resilience Annual Awards Program supports both planning and implementation projects, including for climate adaptation planning, community-led relocation, managed and partial relocation, protect-in-place efforts, ocean and coastal management, and habitat restoration and adaptation. A summary of awards by Tribe, title, funded amount, and project description can be found on the Bureau of Indian Affairs website.

Today’s funding announcement is part of an overall $440 million investment for Tribal climate resilience programs through the President’s Investing in America agenda. The Department also launched the Voluntary Community-Driven Relocation Program in 2022 with an initial $135 million commitment to advance relocation and planning efforts for Tribal communities severely impacted by climate-related environmental threats. The Department also serves as co-chair of the White House National Climate Task Force’s Community-Driven Relocation (CDR) Subcommittee, which convenes agencies to explore key considerations, issues and strategies for working in partnership with communities to support voluntary movement away from high-risk regions.

Today's announcement includes $26 million from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, $71 million from the Inflation Reduction Act, and $23 million from fiscal year 2023 annual appropriations. This historic funding also advances the Biden-Harris administration’s Justice40 Initiative, which sets the goal that 40 percent of the overall benefits of certain federal investments flow to disadvantaged communities that are marginalized by underinvestment and overburdened by pollution.

 

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