June 10: 5 Things You Need to Know This Week

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Photo of the Week: Thanks for connecting with us at the NCAI’s Mid-Year Convention! We enjoyed visiting the Eastern Band of Cherokee, making new connections, and engaging with NAFOA community members. (Left to right: NAFOA staff Jaycee Salling and Bettina Gonzalez, with Board 1st Vice President VaRene Martin and Board President Rodney Butler)

1. IMPORTANT NEWS:
SUPREME COURT RULES IN FAVOR OF TRIBES IN CONTRACT SUPPORT COSTS CASE

Late last week, June 6, 2024, the Supreme Court of the United States ruled in favor of tribal governments in a 5-4 decision on the San Carlos Apache Tribe/Northern Arapaho Tribe case on contract support costs. The case, argued in March of this year, is about what tribes are entitled to regarding contract support costs, how they are controlled, and the impact they have on Tribes’ ability to carry out transferred federal healthcare programs. Centered around the Indian Self-Determination and Education Assistance Act (ISDA), the decision ruled that tribes could sue the federal government to recoup certain administrative expenses associated with running their own healthcare programs.

“The Supreme Court’s decision in Becerra v. San Carlos Apache Tribe and Becerra v. Northern Arapaho Tribe stands
as a historic victory for tribal self-determination. It reaffirms
Tribal Nations’ entitlement to full reimbursement for all healthcare
program costs, thereby establishing parity with Indian Health Service
programs and, crucially, ensuring they possess the resources required to
deliver quality care to their communities. NAFOA takes pride in its
contribution to this landmark decision. Our amicus brief earlier this
year, informed by the expertise of tribal financial professionals,
provided the Court with valuable insights into the practical realities
of these healthcare contracts in Indian Country.”

— Chairman Rodney Butler, Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation
NAFOA Board President 


2. GRANTS:
GRID RESILIENCE STATE/TRIBAL FORMULA GRANTS PROGRAM, DEADLINE JUNE 17

Authorized by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, managed through the Grid Deployment Office (GDO), and administered by the National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL), the Grid Resilience State and Tribal Formula Grants program is designed to strengthen and modernize America’s power grid against wildfires, extreme weather, and other natural disasters that are exacerbated by the climate crisis. 

The program will distribute funding to states, territories, and federally recognized Indian tribes, including Alaska Native Regional Corporations and Alaska Native Village Corporations, over five years based on a formula that includes factors such as population size, land area, probability and severity of disruptive events, and a locality’s historical expenditures on mitigation efforts. The states, territories, and tribes will then award these funds to a diverse set of projects, with priority given to efforts that generate the greatest community benefit providing clean, affordable, and reliable energy.

On January 18, 2024, DOE released the Grid Resilience State and Tribal Formula Grant fiscal year 2024 (FY24) Administrative and Legal Requirements Document (ALRD) to open the allocation request and application period for fiscal year 2024 (FY24) grant funding. An additional $562 million in funding is available through FY24 grants. Applicants have until June 17, 2024 at 11:59 pm ET to apply or request allocations.


3. IN THE NAFOA NAVIGATOR:

TRIBAL 8(A) CONSIDERATIONS: CREATING MORE DIVERSE REVENUE STREAMS THROUGH ACQUISITIONS

By Tess Oxenstierna, Group Head, Aerospace, Defense, Government & Security, Capstone Partners, Mike Lettig, Group Head – Native American Financial Services, Huntington Commercial Bank and  Alex Wesaw, Ph.D., Director and Relationship Manager, Huntington Commercial Bank, Treasurer of the Pokagon Band of Potawatomi Indians

Prioritizing economic and revenue stream diversification has been an increasing priority for Tribal leaders. These diversification initiatives seek to bolster financial security, stability, and resilience. Acquiring businesses can be a particularly advantageous strategy, as it can provide Tribes with immediate access to new revenue streams, operational capabilities, and expertise. Pursuing these opportunities through Tribal 8(a) and other government programs has proven to be a successful option for economic diversification, though Tribal Nations can face numerous challenges and strict requirements in doing so. The benefits and difficulties underscore the importance of taking a strategic approach to business acquisition and market expansion, as well as leveraging financial experts to support these initiatives.


4. WEBINAR:

GOVERNMENTAL ACCOUNTING STANDARDS BOARD UPDATES

Tuesday, July 16, 2024, at 10:00 AM Pacific Time

Join Moss Adams for a webcast, Governmental Accounting Standards Board Updates. Speakers will discuss lessons learned and standard practices on GASB Statement Numbers 87 and 96 and cover GASB Statement Numbers 101, 102, and 103 and their potential impacts on governmental entities’ financial statements and overall financial reporting.

Speakers will also provide a sneak peek into the new statements and discuss how to prepare for adoption and provide a quick look at what projects the GASB is still working on in 2024.


5. JOBS:
FINANCE DIRECTOR, CAHUILLA BAND OF INDIANS

The Finance Director is the Cahuilla Band of Indians (CBOI)- Tribal Administration focal point for managing the financial affairs of Cahuilla Band of Indians tribal government. Provide professional financial administrative direction, accounting, and financial reporting as well as management daily operations of the Finance Department. This includes strategic planning, systems control, reporting, resource allocation, and execution. The Finance Director is primarily responsible for the design, implementation and operational oversight of the tribal government financial systems, functions, and control protections. The Finance Director extends responsibility for ensuring adequate internal controls are established to safeguard the assets of the Tribe. Alignment of CBOI strategic planning and business, critical in financial reporting and risk management and investment and control. Lead Executive with planning and maintenance of central accounting system including auditing, general ledger management, accounting controls, finical and capital budget investments, and asset and inventory controls.


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