In 1996, the Navajo Nation Council established the Navajo Engineering and Construction Authority Trust Fund for Scholarships to ensure that future generations of Navajo students will have a permanent source of funds from which scholarships will be awarded. (Navajo Nation Council Resolution CJA-5-97)
The trust fund was established with an initial appropriation of $1 million. Additional appropriations are made from time to time by the Navajo Nation Council provided that additional sources of revenue and/or funds are available for appropriation.
Dividends declared by NECA to the Navajo Nation in accordance with 5 N.N.C. § 1972 are designated as a Special Revenue Fund to specifically fund scholarship and financial assistance to eligible Navajo college students
The fund principal shall not be expended except pursuant to a referendum adopted by a two-thirds (2/3) vote of all registered Navajo voters. The Navajo Nation Council may place a "Referendum to Expend Fund Principal" on the ballot of any primary, general or special election by a two-thirds (2/3) vote of the full membership of the Navajo Nation Council.
Ten percent of the Fund (market value) shall be used as scholarships and financial assistance on an annual basis. The market value to be used in determining the budget amount will be the previous fiscal year end market value of the Fund. The unexpended portion of the Fund (market value) income shall be reinvested in the Fund to cover the rate of inflation and to provide for reasonable Fund growth.
According to CJA-5-97, scholarships and financial assistance to Navajo students wishing to attend post-secondary institutions and colleges shall be awarded in accordance with Policies and Procedures of the Office of Navajo Nation Scholarship and Financial Assistance.
Navajo Engineering & Construction Authority is a long-time sponsor of the Chief Manuelito Scholarship Awards Ceremony. NECA also administers an in-house scholarship program.