ND tribes to receive $109M to combat COVID-19

The U.S. Department of the Treasury announced it will allocate 60 percent of the $8 billion from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act to assist tribes with COVID-19 relief efforts.

Sen. John Hoeven, chairman of the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs, announced the allocation.

Under the population distribution formula released by Treasury, North Dakota tribes will receive approximately $109 million in funds to combat COVID-19:

– Spirit Lake Nation: $12 million

– Standing Rock Sioux Tribe: $21 million

– MHA Nation (Three Affiliated Tribes): $17 million

– Sisseton Wahpeton Oyate: $15 million

– Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa Indians: $44 million

According to the formula released by Treasury, Indian tribes will receive 60% of the $8 billion based on the population count under HUD’s Indian Housing Block Grant Formula. Distribution of the remaining $3.2 billion will be weighted between employees the tribe employed prior to the COVID-19 epidemic and the expenses incurred since March 2020. Treasury will be sending out further guidance on the distribution at a future date.

The CARES Act mandates that the Relief Fund dollars will be used to cover:

– Necessary expenditures incurred due to the public health emergency with respect to COVID-19;

– Expenditures that were not accounted for in the most recently approved budget, as of the date of enactment of this section for the State or Tribal government; and

– Expenditures incurred during the period that begins on March 1, 2020, and ends on Dec. 30, 2020.

Designated awareness day

On Tuesday, President Trump declared that day Missing and Murdered American Indians and Alaska Natives Awareness Day.

Sen. John Hoeven issued the following statement:

“I join the President and my colleagues in the Senate in working to raise awareness about the crisis of missing and murdered Native American women and children,” said Hoeven. “At the same time, as chairman of the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs, we have been working on a bipartisan basis to advance important legislation, including Savanna’s Act and the SURVIVE Act, legislation.” He said the legislation provides vital resources to improve public safety in tribal communities and help stop the violence taking too many lives.”

Savanna’s Act, named for Savanna LaFontaine-Greywind from North Dakota who was tragically murdered in 2017, also directs the Department of Justice and the Department of the Interior to consult with Indian tribes while developing national law enforcement guidelines. The bill was introduced by former Sen. Heidi Heitkamp last Congress and was reintroduced by Sen. Lisa Murkowski in the current Congress.

Sen. Kevin Cramer issued the following statement on Tuesday in regard to Missing and Murdered American Indians and Alaska Natives Awareness Day:

“As President Trump states, the violence our tribal communities have endured – especially women and young girls – is egregious and unconscionable. On Missing and Murdered American Indians and Alaska Natives Awareness Day, I join the President in reaffirming our efforts to stand against injustice, to fight for the safety and wellbeing of Native Americans, and to reverse the unacceptable trend of violence aimed at those who are most vulnerable.”


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