History has been made in New Mexico with the signing of two agreements between the Santa Clara Pueblo and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).
The agreements, which were signed Monday, allow funds to be sent directly to the Pueblo, instead of through a state agency. This is the first time a Tribal Nation in Region 6, which encompasses Arkansas, Louisiana, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Texas, has worked directly with FEMA, a new procedure that is now allowed by recent changes in federal legislation.
“Allowing us direct access to FEMA funding will make a huge difference towards our cleanup efforts in Santa Clara Canyon,” said John Shije, Santa Clara Lt. Governor. “On behalf of the tribe, I’d like to extend my sincere appreciation to the FEMA representatives who have helped us through this process.”
The FEMA/Tribal letters of agreement follow two major disaster declarations related to flooding in July and September at Santa Clara. Those declarations make federal funding available to the Santa Clara Pueblo and certain private nonprofit organizations on a cost-sharing basis for emergency work as a result of the severe storms and flooding.