The Navajo Nation controller’s office announced recently that they have received $600 million from the CARES Act Tribal Relief funds.
The Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians has begun to talk about relaxing their COVID-19 restrictions, the Guardian reports that the Navajo Nation has the highest per-capita COVID-19 infection rate after New York and New Jersey, and New Mexico has extended a lockdown on one of the nation’s worst coronavirus hotspot – a town where rural residents from the largest American Indian reservation come to stock up on supplies.
The Oklahoma Indian Gaming Association voted Thursday to amend its bylaw and remove two tribal members from the organization – the removed tribal members will be eligible to reapply to the organization in one year.
Keep reading for a full news update.
CARES Act Funding
CARES Act Funding Received By Tribe, Official Says
Navajo Times, Arlyssa Becenti May 7
The wait is finally over. The U.S. Treasury announced Tuesday that a portion of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act would be distributed and the Navajo Nation will receive over $600 million from the $8 billion.
And the Navajo Nation controller’s office announced Wednesday that the funds had been received. The Nation has been using its own resources and donations while the federal government continued to withhold the $8 billion it had earmarked for federally recognized Native tribes on March 27, when President Donald Trump signed the CARES Act. As the Nation waited for these dollars the numbers of COVID-19 cases increased rapidly.
Instead Of Supplies To Fight COVID-19, Native American Health Center Says It Received Body Bags
AlterNet, Marissa Higgins, May 7
As the United States fumbles in handling the ongoing novel coronavirus pandemic, many Native American communities are being hit especially hard. While as of Tuesday Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said his department would send $4.8 billion in funding to tribal governments, that doesn’t erase the difficulty some communities have already faced. For example, Esther Lucero, chief executive officer of the Seattle Indian Health Board—which serves thousands in the Seattle and King County area of Washington state—told NBC News that instead of getting coronavirus tests in March, the community health center received a box of body bags.
Navajo Nation Reels Under Weight Of Coronavirus – And History Of Neglect
The Guardian, Nina Lakhani, May 8
Every day the president of the Navajo Nation provides a coronavirus update, and every day there’s more bad news.
The Native American tribe now has the highest per-capita Covid-19 infection rate after only New York and New Jersey, and the spread is not slowing.
New Mexico Extends Lockdown For Town That’s A US Hot Spot
ABC News, Morgan Lee, May 7
Traffic was almost nonexistent in this small New Mexico city, and just a handful of people waited their turn to get into grocery stores and other essential businesses. This place where rural residents from the largest American Indian reservation come to stock up on supplies is one of the nation’s worst coronavirus hot spots, and the governor extended a lockdown Thursday to try to stem the spread.
Eastern Cherokee Talks Of Relaxing Restrictions
Indian Country Today, Joseph Martin, May 7
With neighboring Great Smoky Mountains National Park and the state of North Carolina beginning to reopen in phases, the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians has also made adjustments to its efforts to control the spread of the COVID-19 virus on tribal lands.
BIA Steps On Tribal Sovereignty
Native Sun News Today, May 6
Cheyenne River Sioux Tribal Chair Harold Frazier answered a federal Bureau of Indian Affairs challenge to the tribe’s Covid-19 highway checkpoints with an April 30 challenge of his own.
In a missive to Bureau of Indian Affairs Director Darryl LaCounte, Frazier penned the latest chapter in a month-long spat that the checkpoints sparked between the two over the BIA’s federal trust responsibility to native nations and its intromission in sovereign tribal decisions.
Donovan White: Respect Native People, Native Nations, And Indian Sovereignty
Indianz.com, Donovan White, May 7
Indian nations and tribes are the original American sovereigns. Our Creator blessed us with life and liberty. Our grandfathers and grandmothers from the dawn of time established our Native nations to protect and serve our Native Peoples and Mother Earth.
Oklahoma Indian Gaming Association Suspends 2 Tribes For Remainder Of Calendar Year
8 ABC Tulsa, Makenzie Trotter, May 7
The Oklahoma Indian Gaming Association voted Thursday to amend its bylaw and remove two tribal members from the organization.