Indian Affairs was appropriated $900 million through the American Rescue Plan to address the coronavirus pandemic and related economic impacts. This document provides a description of the methodologies used to allocate funding.

Potable Water Delivery: $20 million (identified in bill language)

Distribution Methodology: A total of $20 million will be distributed across all Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) regional offices based on tribal enrollment data for implementation of potable water delivery. BIA Regional Directors will award projects based on needs as they arise.

Housing Improvement: $100 million (identified in bill language)

Distribution Methodology: The $100 Million specifically set aside for HIP will be distributed as follows:

  1. All Federally recognized Tribes will receive a minimum allocation level of $60,000 (as defined in Category B HIP regulations).
  2. With the remaining funding, there will be a pro rata distribution of these funds to all the Federally recognized Tribes, using latest Tribal enrollment data as base dataset.

Additionally, a waiver will be processed to allow Tribes to have maximum flexibility in implementing the HIP regulations in the areas of usage and eligibility.

Implementation approach: The $772.5 million will be allocated as follows:

  • $700 million through the Aid to Tribal Government funding line, thereby allowing tribes to reprogram across TPA lines as necessary.

  • $30 million will be allocated for law enforcement and detentions funding.

  • $30 million will be allocated through the Aid to Tribal Government funding line to tribes that do not receive BIA law enforcement funding or services, so they can reprogram to meet tribal safety (non-law enforcement) and social service, and other needs.

  • $12.5 million will be held centrally to allocate for unexpected exigencies as necessary.

Methodologies for allocating this funding are provided below.

Tribal Government ($700 million)

Methodology: Funding will be allocated to tribal governments listed on the Federal Register annual list of entities eligible to receive services from the BIA. The allocations will be based on tribal enrollment data, using a distribution approach that groups tribes by enrollment size.

  • utilizes 20 bands, or like enrollment levels, to smooth out the range of payments between small tribes and large tribes.

  • provides:

  • Minimum of $50,000 for tribes with enrollment up to 60,

  • Weighted amounts for the top 4 largest tribes:

  • 20% increase over the highest band for the 1 tribe that has twice the enrollment as the largest tribe in the highest band ($5.3M)

  • 80% increase over the highest band for the 3 tribes that have 5 to 7 times the enrollment as the largest tribe in the highest band. ($8M)

Public Safety and Justice ($30 million)

Methodology: The $30 million will be split into two pots. $8 million will be held for use to benefit direct service tribes and $22 million will be distributed based on the existing OJS allocation of base (recurring annual) funding level for OJS-funded, tribally operated, public safety programs. Specifically, the detention and law enforcement base funding of each tribe will be added together and the resulting total will be used to pro-rate the $22 million allocation. The corresponding distribution document and contract modification language will state that the funding can be used to meet the needs of both detention and law enforcement programs operated by these tribes.

Additional support to tribes who don’t receive Law Enforcement funding or services ($30 million). There are tribes that do not receive law enforcement funding or services from the BIA, to ensure equity in ARP distributions, this funding is being provided to address their unique needs.

Methodology: Funding will be issued to tribes that do not currently receive Law Enforcement funding or services. Funding will be provided through the Aid to Tribal Government (TPA) line, and will primarily be distributed based on enrollment. Funding can be used for tribal safety needs outside of a formal law enforcement program and tribes can determine whether to reprogram as necessary to other TPA areas, like Tribal Courts (TPA).

Administrative and Oversight Costs ($7.5 million identified in bill language)

Methodology: Funding will be managed centrally to support maintaining public health capabilities to have an informed Indian Affairs response to COVID-19, IT surge needs, facility adaptations for COVID safety requirements, PPE, staff surge needs and project management.

ADDENDUM – American Rescue Plan Act Statutory Language


(a) In General.—In addition to amounts otherwise made available, there is appropriated for fiscal year 2021, out of any money in the Treasury not otherwise appropriated, $900,000,000 to remain available until expended, pursuant to the Snyder Act (25 U.S.C. 13), of which—

(1) $100,000,000 shall be for Tribal housing improvement;

(2) $772,500,000 shall be for Tribal government services, public safety and justice, social services, child welfare assistance, and for other related expenses;

(3) $7,500,000 shall be for related Federal administrative costs and oversight; and

(4) $20,000,000 shall be to provide and deliver potable water.

(b) Exclusions From Calculation.—Funds appropriated under subsection (a) shall be excluded from the calculation of funds received by those Tribal governments that participate in the “Small and Needy’” program.

(c) One-time Basis Funds.—Funds made available under subsection (a) to Tribes and Tribal organizations under the Indian Self-Determination and Education Assistance Act (25 U.S.C. 5301 et seq.) shall be available on a one-time basis. Such non-recurring funds shall not be part of the amount required by section 106 of the Indian Self-Determination and Education Assistance Act (25 U.S.C. 5325), and such funds shall only be used for the purposes identified in this section.

Additional Information

Additional Resources

Contact Us

Office of the Assistant Secretary
1849 C Street, N.W., MS-4004-MIB
Washington, DC 20240
Open 8:30 a.m.–4:30 p.m., Monday–Friday.