Navajo-Hopi Nations,Flagstaff & Winslow News
Sun, April 18

Nation approves funding for summer youth employment and enterprises impacted by COVID-19

Twenty Navajo students, who are part of the chapter’s summer youth employment program, completed the Ts’ah Bii Kin Trail Initiative using revenue collected through the Navajo Nation’s two-percent tax on unhealthy foods and beverages.  (Photo/Office of the President and Vice President­)

Twenty Navajo students, who are part of the chapter’s summer youth employment program, completed the Ts’ah Bii Kin Trail Initiative using revenue collected through the Navajo Nation’s two-percent tax on unhealthy foods and beverages. (Photo/Office of the President and Vice President­)

WINDOW ROCK, Ariz. — The Navajo Nation president and vice president approved funding that was previously approved by the Navajo Nation Council for summer youth employment and enterprises impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Four million dollars was approved for the summer youth program and $18.7 million for four Navajo enterprises from the 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,” said Navajo Nation President Jonathan Nez. “The funds they earn will help the students cover some of the costs of their education and other expenses.”

Nez said the pandemic has also impacted all of the Nation’s enterprises and some had been hit harder than others because of 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,” he said.

Resolution CF-08-21 appropriates $4 million for summer youth employment to the 110 chapters based on the 50/50 formula, 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,” said Vice President Myron Lizer. “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.”

The resolutions were approved by the 24th Navajo Nation Council during a special session held Feb. 12. Both are effective immediately.

Information provided by the Navajo Nation Office of the President and Vice President

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