A group of more than 55 members of Congress came together to send a letter to Senate leadership urging the inclusion of additional funding for the Indian Health Service, Tribal Health Programs, and Urban Indian Health Organizations in future COVID-19 relief packages. Read the full letter here.

President Trump recently met with tribal leaders to discuss CARES Act funding for tribal governments, the impact of COVID-19 in Indian Country, and Missing and Murdered American Indians and Alaska Native Awareness Day. This meeting coincided with the news that tribes would start to receive $4.8 billion of the CARES Act funding that was promised last month – a delay that has recently come under fire.

A recent video entitled “Dear America” and tagged #NavajoStrong, which brings light to the COVID-19 pandemic in Navajo Nation, has been backed by A-list celebrities including Mark Hamill, Ellen DeGeneres, and many more.

After a spike of confirmed COVID-19 cases, The Warm Springs Reservation is now requiring quarantine and masks to be worn, while the Yurok tribe stands firm on their decision to close their reservation to outside visitors despite economic losses.

Keep reading for a full news update.


Over 55 Congresspeople Push To Include Tribal Funding In Next COVID-19 Relief Package

KRCR News ABC, MeganBender, May 6

U.S. Senators Kamala D. Harris (D-CA), Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) and Tom Udall (D-NM) and Representatives Raul Ruiz (D-CA) and Markwayne Mullin (R-OK) on Tuesday led 55 of their colleagues in sending a letter to Senate leadership in a push to include additional funding for Indian Health Service, Tribal Health Programs and Urban Indian Health Organizations to recover from significant COVID-19 related losses in revenue, a press release said.

‘A Slap In The Face For Indian Country’: Tribes Decry Trump Administration’s Delay In $8 Billion In Coronavirus Relief

Indianz.com, Acee Agoyo, May 6

Under fire in Indian Country, Congress and the courts, the Trump administration is finally releasing $8 billion in coronavirus relief funds promised to tribal governments over a month ago.

Tribes Will Begin To See Some Of Coronavirus Relief Money Owed By Federal Government

ABC News, Cheyenne Haslett, May 6 

Native American tribes were expected to see some long-awaited relief money from the federal government trickle in as soon as Tuesday, according to the Treasury Department — but the battle is long from over with no timetable set for the remaining funds and a court fight over some of that cash potentially going to for-profit corporations. 

Trump Meets With Three American Indians On Arizona Trip

Native News Online, Levi Rickert, May 6

What was billed on Tuesday as a Native American town hall with the President of the United States turned out to be a 21-minute discussion between leaders from two Arizona tribes, President Donald Trump and Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey.

Trump, Tribal Leaders Talk Virus, Missing And Murdered

Indian Country Today, Aliyah Chavez, May 5

President Donald Trump met with leaders from two tribal nations Tuesday during his first trip away from the White House in several weeks, speaking at a roundtable about coronavirus relief and the issue of missing and murdered women and girls.

Treasury Will Disburse $4.8 Billion Of Disputed Coronavirus Aid To Native American Tribes

Market Watch, Jonathan Nicholson, May 5

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said Tuesday his department will begin sending out today $4.8 billion in disputed aid for U.S. tribal governments.


A-list Celebrities Rally For #Navajostrong: PSAs Feature Ellen Degeneres, Mark Hamill, Marisa Tomei, More

Native News Online, Rich Tupica, May 6

A dramatic voice over, spoken by the actor who portrayed the legendary Luke Skywalker, declares: “The force is strong with the Navajo.”

Native Population Severely Undercounted In Covid-19 Cases

Native News Online, May 6

American Indians and Alaska Natives are often misclassified upon entering the health system. Sometimes the data collector checks the Caucasian, Latino or “other” box without asking the patient.

Why California Native Tribes Are Cautious About Ending Shutdown. ‘We Can’t Lose A Single Elder’

The Sacramento Bee, Ryan Sabalow, May 6

Sherry Scott joined the rebellion in some parts of the state against Gov. Gavin Newsom’s stay-at-home order at a protest with dozens of others in Crescent City on Friday.

Warm Springs Reservation Mandates Masks

Indian Country Today, May 6

The Warm Springs Reservation has become the first government in Oregon to require quarantine and masks under certain circumstances amid the coronavirus pandemic.

10 Steps To Save Native Americans From Covid-19 Catastrophe [Opinion]

CNN, Van Jones, May 6

The pandemic ravaging some Native American communities has echoes that go back centuries — to the measles and smallpox epidemics that first decimated the original Americans. This time, however, rapid action can avert a catastrophe.

US, Wyoming Urge Rejection Of Ruling Blocking Bear Hunts

Indian Country Today, Matthew Brown, May 5

Attorneys for the U.S. government and the state of Wyoming urged an appeals court Tuesday to throw out much of a judge’s ruling that blocked the first grizzly bear hunts in the Lower 48 states in almost three decades.