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$6.6 million of the Navajo Relief Fund remains unspent

In May 2020, the Navajo Nation COVID-19 Relief Fund was established to help the tribe respond to the pandemic. 

The fund has since raised $10.7 million, but the Navajo Nation Council recently found that more than half of that money remains unspent.

About $6.6 million of the fund remains unspent, despite multiple plans to allocate money to different tribal departments and services.

Some officials are questioning how the dollars have been disbursed, including $1.9 million for “contractual services” with little information on who received the contracts and how they were rewarded.

One council member suggested an independent investigation into how funds have been used, and why other funds have not been used.

Council Speaker Seth Damon told the Navajo Times that the council would look into the matter and seek advice on next steps.

Vaughan Jones is the weekend reporter for KJZZ, and a graduate of ASU’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communications. He graduated with a bachelor’s degree in sports journalism, with a minor in music. As a Phoenix native, Jones’s dream is to serve his community by covering important stories in the metropolitan area.He spent two years as music director at Blaze Radio, ASU’s student-run radio station. His passion for radio stems from joining Blaze his freshman year as a DJ.When he is not working, Jones can be found writing music with his band, playing video games with his friends, or watching his favorite Phoenix-area sports teams.