“Presidential Agenda Secures $27M of Funding for Tribal Dam Safety and Water Projects – US Dept. of Interior”


Protecting Tribal Communities: $27 Million Investment from Biden’s ‘Investing in America’ Agenda

The Department of the Interior has announced a remarkable $27 million investment from the President Joe Biden’s Investing in America agenda. This substantial funding is set to upgrade clean water systems and replace failing dams in order to help safeguard Tribal communities across the United States.

What is the Investing in America Agenda?

President Biden’s Investing in America agenda has rightfully been dubbed as a pillar of ‘Bidenomics’. This bold initiative promises to fund essential infrastructure projects that provide electrification, safe roads and bridges, modern wastewater and sanitation systems, clean drinking water and reliable and affordable electricity to Tribal communities across the country.

The Benefits of the Infrastructure Law

The passing of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law promises to invest an impressive $13 billion into American Indian and Alaska Native tribal communities. This legislation includes a noteworthy $250 million over five years dedicated to repair old Tribal dams and water systems.

Words from the Interior Department

Secretary Deb Haaland has stated that the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law will make ‘critical infrastructure investments in Tribal communities across the country’, improving Tribal water supplies and protecting remotely located inhabitants from persistent drought conditions in the West.

Assistant Secretary for Indian Affairs Bryan Newland further emphasised the importance of this funding, claiming that ensuring dam safety and providing access to clean drinking water are essential for securing the wellness, protection, and prosperity of Indigenous communities.

How the Funded Projects Will Benefit Tribes

The Bureau of Indian Affairs has allocated a huge $22.3 million to address existing dam safety defects. Highlights include $12 million for Oglala Dam, and $10.3 million for Menager Dam’s complete replacement. This promises to bolster downstream flooding protection for neighbouring areas.

The Interiors Department has also set aside an additional $4.39 million for vital repairs and fixes in BIA-owned water systems. An estimated $4.14 million has been committed to prioritize water sanitation needs at Columbia River Treaty Fishing Access sites in the Pacific Northwest, with additional funds allocating towards improvements at the North Idaho Public Water System on the Nez Perce Reservation.


From the perspective of the Department of the Interior, this monumental announcement is set to drastically improve the quality of life for Tribal communities across the US. Investing in America’s framework is a clear and tangible demonstration that the federal government is delivering on their promise to foster the health and livelihood of Indigenous nations.

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