May 23: 5 Things You Need to Know this Week

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Photo of the Week: We’re still gushing over the return of our “Leading People and Investing to Build Sustainable Communities” program earlier this month. Special thanks to our partners at Harvard Business School and AFOA Canada!

1. POLICY: DOE SET TO ANNOUNCE TRIBAL ENERGY FUNDING OPPORTUNITY THIS SUMMER

 

Last Friday, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Indian Energy Policy and Programs (Office of Indian Energy) issued a Notice of Intent (NOI) to release a Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) this summer.

“American Indian and Alaska Native communities are home to an abundance of energy resources,” said Office of Indian Energy Director Wahleah Johns. “The $20 million in funding that DOE will soon make available will help tribal nations harness their vast expertise and unmatched ingenuity to bring more energy resilience and security to their lands, decreasing the cost of electric power.”

Through this planned FOA, the Office of Indian Energy intends to solicit applications from Indian tribes, Alaska Native Regional Corporations and Village Corporations, Intertribal Organizations, and Tribal Energy Development Organizations, to deploy energy infrastructure on Indian lands.

With this funding, the Office of Indian Energy will continue its efforts, in partnership with Native communities, to maximize the deployment of clean energy solutions for the benefit of American Indians and Alaska Natives.

Between 2010 and 2021, the Office of Indian Energy invested over $114 million in more than 200 tribal energy projects implemented across the contiguous 48 states and Alaska. These projects, valued at nearly $200 million, are leveraged by over $80 million in recipient cost share.

See the Office of Indian Energy website for a map and summaries of these competitively funded projects.  


2. REPORT: TRIBAL FUNDING: ACTIONS NEEDED TO IMPROVE INFORMATION ON FEDERAL FUNDS THAT BENEFIT NATIVE AMERICANS

The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) provides information to tribal stakeholders and others on agency-reported federal funding for programs that benefit Native Americans (see figure). This information is known as the Native American Crosscut.

GAO found that five selected agencies—the Departments of Agriculture (USDA), Education, Health and Human Services (HHS), the Interior, and Transportation (DOT)—interpret OMB’s guidance differently when identifying programs and information on federal funding to include in the crosscut. They also take different approaches to reporting data to OMB for a variety of reasons. The crosscut lacks detailed information about what the agency-reported data represent. Tribal stakeholders stated that this lack of detail makes it challenging for them to leverage the data for decision-making. By improving guidance to collect more detailed information from agencies in its request for crosscut data, OMB could help to provide crosscut users with greater clarity about the data being reported and better meet their needs.


3. FROM THE NAFOA NAVIGATOR: READY OR NOT

By Scott Huebert, Partner, Finley & Cook, P.L.L.C.

After two years of delays and a completely changed world environment, GASB 87 – Leases, is set to become effective for fiscal years ending on or after June 30, 2022. If you recall, GASB 87 is a major change in how we account for lease agreements. The purpose of this article is to provide a basic understanding of the new pronouncement and to identify the key points to consider in preparations for its implementation. The basic objective of the statement is to quantify and present the full value of the lease on the statement of net position.

Currently, if you are in contract with a vendor for a lease it is generally accounted for as an expense during the period you pay for the lease. With GASB 87’s implementation, however, the lease will be a liability for the full life of the lease to be amortized over that lease period. The same is true if you are leasing to another entity the right to use a tribal asset. In that case, a receivable will be created for the life of the lease and amortized over the lease period. With either scenario the result is an increase in assets or liabilities on your statement of net position that wasn’t presented previously.


4. GRANTS: CLIMATE RESILIENCY IN INDIAN COUNTRY GRANT

As the world confronts climate change and its disastrous effects, many institutions now look to Indigenous knowledge and practices to mitigate and adapt to these changes. Despite this, Native communities remain some of the most vulnerable to extreme weather events due to the lack of access to resources and infrastructure.

This grant aims to support 10 Native-led organizations working to promote climate resiliency in Native communities in line with the Justice40 initiative.

First Nations is now accepting applications under our Stewarding Native Lands program for Native-led projects related to the development or implementation of climate resiliency planning. First Nations expects to award 10 grants up to $100,000 each to eligible tribes and organizations. Organizations that have not been formalized as a nonprofit are encouraged to apply through a fiscal sponsor.

The Climate Resiliency in Indian Country Grant is separate from the Regional Dialogues on Climate Resiliency Grant. Tribes and Organizations can, and are encouraged to, apply for one or both opportunities if they have interest and capacity. Review processes for each grant opportunity are distinct.

The grant period for this funding opportunity is July 1, 2022 – June 30, 2023.


5. JOBS: SAN MANUEL BAND OF MISSION INDIANS IS SEEKING SENIOR COMPENSATION ANALYST

The Senior Compensation Analyst is responsible for managing and improving various enterprise-wide and/or line of business compensation programs and processes. This position is also responsible for supporting business units with their compensation requirements, including salary and bonus administration, detailed compensation analyses, and job evaluation.


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