Pursuant to A.R.S. 41–2052 B (4), the Governor's Office on Tribal Relations serves as an informational clearinghouse for Arizona Tribal Nations and Communities. Consistent with this mission, we are working in conjunction with the AZ Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA) Task Force which is composed of state agencies involved in competitive infrastructure development opportunities under IIJA/BILJA, to provide opportunities for information sharing and technical assistance. In response to this, we propose the formation of a BILJA Tribal Task Force* to continue to design and initiate programs to stimulate economic growth within American Indian populations both on and off tribal land. This task force is dedicated to working exclusively with representatives serving Arizona Tribal Nations and Communities.
Funding under IIJA/BILJA is once in a generation funding, and the largest investment in Indian Country in American history. NOW is the time for big thinking. Scarce resources have been the norm for generations. It has forced many to not just work in between the lines, but to scale down funding requests. This mindset is often baked into our planning process — whether it's conscious or not. The historic level of funding being made available to tribal nations and communities means it's important to look beyond individual program areas such as transportation, and to take a more integrated approach. Maximizing this opportunity for federal dollars means an optimal plan should create a synergy that is ultimately greater than the sum of its individual parts. These plans will be more sustainable and resilient in addressing future needs, and create a pipeline of projects that are shovel worthy under IIJA/BILJA. The role of the Task Force is to increase collective thinking beyond program areas and traditional boundaries to enhance infrastructure throughout the great state of Arizona.
THE FUNCTION OF THE BILJA TASK FORCE*
BILJA Task Force Overview
Through a series of virtual town halls, and bi-weekly "office hours," the task force will:
- Share notices of funding opportunities
- Share new program policy and guidance
- Share Technical Assistance available from federal agencies
- Establish a Peer-to-Peer network to share success stories
- Identify types of technical assistance needed and how this information should be delivered: town halls, office hours, workshops; FAQs; website; email; newsletter, etc.
WHEN TO CONNECT WITH BILJA TASK FORCE*
- Need clarification on a grant?
- Need direct contact with a federal agency?
- Need technical assistance to complete an application?
- Interested in partnering with the state or gateway community to apply for an opportunity?
- Looking for an objective review of potential funding sources?
- Discuss capacity issues. What do you need to be successful?
- Questions on land use and permitting?
BI-WEEKLY VIRTUAL OFFICE HOURS: THURSDAYS AT 10:00AM (MST)
Office Hours will be conducted via Zoom meetings as a forum for open dialogue, answer questions and may also include presentations from subject matter experts. Issues that may require deeper discussion will be developed into a Town Hall.
8/18/22 Topic: BILJA Office Hours Launch "Stimulating Economic Growth"
9/1/22 Topic: Open Discussion and Q/A
9/15/22 Topic: Open Discussion and Q/A
9/29/22 Topic: Open Discussion and Q/A
10/6/22 Topic: Open Discussion and Q/A
10/20/22 Topic Open Discussion and Q/A
HOW TO BECOME INVOLVED WITH THE BILJA TASK FORCE*
- DESIGNATE a person to represent your Tribal Community on the task force.
- SIGN UP to receive information and notices regarding BILJA Task Force* Office Hours (including zoom link)
- ESTABLISH a BILJA Tribal Coordination Team:
Land Use and Permitting
Broadband and IT
Education/Tribal Colleges and Universities
Workforce Development (NTNWIB) and TERO
Oil and Gas
RELEVANT RESOURCES (not an exhaustive list)
NGA - IIJA Implementation Resource**
DOT Technical Assistance Resources
Broadband Internet for All
Internet for All
*The BILJA Task Force is focused on exclusive interactions with representatives of Arizona Tribal Nations and Community members.
**User friendly and able to sort by eligibility
NOTE: This plan will be finalized once AZ Tribal Nations and Communities have provided input on this plan.