The Navajo Nation plans to stimulate the reservation economy by issuing its first bonds. The $120 million offering would be the biggest sale of nongaming tribal debt in at least a decade, reported Bloomberg BusinessWeek.
The Tribe intends to put the money toward thousands of jobs on the reservation, where more than 37 percent of the 170,000 residents lived below the federal poverty level in 2009. Despite the Nation’s natural resource revenue and cash reserves of more than $1 billion, according to a May rating by Standard & Poor, the Tribe fears its resources will one day deplete and is looking for other means to create jobs and bolster cash flow.
“I am concerned with the time when we won’t have revenues from our natural resources,” Katherine Benally, head of the Navajo Nation Council’s resources and development committee, told Bloomberg BusinessWeek. “We need to be ready for that.”