Following Monday’s CARES Act court decision, Alaska Native Corporations are said to not be eligible to receive stimulus funding as tribes implore theTreasury to disburse funding as quickly as possible to help fight COVID-19. The Trump Administration announced yesterday that it plans to re-establish the White House Council on Native American Affairs, which was created by a 2013 executive order issued by then President Barack Obama.
Six tribes will be awarded $1.1 million by the Native American Affairs Technical Assistance to Tribes Program to develop, manage, and protect water and related resources, while U.S. Tribes and British Columbia First Nations have published a joint commentary (PDF) urging United States and Canadian leadership to immediately address damages and risks caused by Canadian mine pollution flowing downstream into U.S. states.
The Northern Arapaho Tribe hired a company to build temporary housing for the area’s transient population, and for those already with the virus, to self-isolate or quarantine.
Keep reading for a full news update.
CARES Act Funding and Lawsuit:
Tribes Urge Treasury To Disburse Coronavirus Relief Funding
ABC News, Felicia Fonseca, April 28
Tribes urged the federal government to quickly disburse coronavirus relief funding after a judge handed them an early victory in a case centered on who is eligible for a share of the $8 billion allocated to tribes.
Reclamation Awards $1.1M To Six Tribes For Water Resource Technical Assistance
Water World, April 27,
Bureau of Reclamation Commissioner Brenda Burman announced that six tribes will share $1.1 million through the Native American Affairs Technical Assistance to Tribes Program to develop, manage and protect water and related resources.
‘Indian Country Is Particularly Vulnerable To COVID-19’
Indian Country Today (Cronkite News), McKenzie Sadeghi, April 29
Tribes have been severely hit by the coronavirus but have received only a fraction of the help they need from the federal government, said lawmakers, who called the impact on businesses and health on reservations “particularly worrisome.”
COVID-19 Cases Surpass 1 Million In Country; Navajo Nation Reports 104 Case – Death Toll At 60
Native News Online, Levi Rickert, April 28
On Tuesday, the United States surpassed one million COVID-19 cases. On Tuesday night, the Navajo Nation reported 104 new cases of the deadly coronavirus, which means the total COVID-19 cases now stand at 1,873.
Michigan Tribes Losing Police, Health Budgets as Coronavirus Shuts Casinos
Bridge Magazine, Kelly House, April 27
The Ojibwa Casino in the northwestern Upper Peninsula town of Baraga is just one of many thousands of Michigan businesses shuttered due to the coronavirus pandemic. But at most businesses, lost revenue doesn’t immediately demolish budgets for the local health department, police force and social services system.
Wyoming Tribes Face Unique Challenges In Coronavirus Fight
Washington Times, Chris Aadland, April 27
Amid a severe shortage of housing for tribal members on the Wind River Reservation, a new challenge has further illustrated the crisis the tribes face: the coronavirus.
Tribes Set Up Temporary Housing For Fremont County’s Transient Population To Quarantine Or Self-Isolate
Casper Star Tribune, Chris Aadland, April 27
The emergence of a coronavirus cluster within the Fremont County transient population has highlighted the challenge of managing the virus when it starts to spread among homeless groups.
White House Re-Establishes Council On Native American Affairs
Native News Online, April 28
A day after it lost a court battle over COVID-19 relief funding for Native American tribes, the Trump Administration announced it plans to re-establish the White House Council on Native American Affairs, which was created by a 2013 executive order issued by then President Barack Obama.
Nevada Fight Over Bombing Range Pits Tribes vs. U.S. Navy
Las Vegas Sun, Ben Spillman, April 27
On any given day, the remote desert valleys of central Northern Nevada can feel like the most peaceful places on earth. Until the noise from the jets arrives.
International letter Urges Canada, U.S. To Jointly Address Transboundary Mining Pollution
Anchorage Press, April 27
An international group of 22 science and policy experts have published a joint commentary in the prestigious journal Science, urging United States (U.S.) and Canadian leadership to immediately address damages and risks caused by Canadian mine pollution flowing downstream into U.S. states. At a workshop led by University of Montana and Alaska researchers, the group, which included representatives from U.S. Tribes and British Columbia (B.C.) First Nations, concluded that the threats and impacts of Canadian mines on shared rivers, fisheries, and communities is not adequately assessed by the B.C. government. The letter also calls on the U.S. and Canadian federal governments to invoke the U.S.-Canada Boundary Waters Treaty of 1909 and address the fact that B.C. mine assessments are neither adequately based on defensible science nor adequately protect U.S.-B.C. transboundary waters from mining pollution.