WKBW Buffalo reports that the Seneca Nation is set to receive over $300K in federal funding to battle COVID-19, while the virus continues to negatively impact food supplies in Indian Country, and confirmed cases of COVID-19 continue to rise on tribal lands in the Dakotas and the Navajo Nation.

Sealaska sues fashion retailer Neiman Marcus for allegedly violating the Indian Arts and Craft Act by copying the traditional Ravenstail pattern in coat that retails for $2,500.

Arizona Capitol Times report that the Inter-Tribal Council of Arizona has provided enough information to show there is evidence that the federal government failed to maintain sufficient financial security in a trust fund related to the old Phoenix Indian School. In the ruling by the federal appeals court, Arizona tribes have the right to sue the federal government for the defaulted payments.

Keep reading for a full news update.


Coronavirus Emergency Aid Has Become Its Own Disaster In Indian Country

The New Republic, Nick Martin, April 21

In Indian Country right now, like so much of the country, the Covid-19 pandemic has revealed itself as a series of overlapping and compounding crises: Tribal leaders have rushed to secure personal protective equipment for essential workers; organized to ensure vulnerable community members have access to food, water, and safe housing; and lobbied for desperately needed federal relief. But as the number of positive cases in Indian Country continues to outpace the American average—from the pueblos of New Mexico to Navajo Nation and the Mandan, Hidatsa, and Arikara Nation—a new crisis has emerged.

Census In Rural, Native American Communities Delayed Until June

The Spokesman-Review, Rebecca White, April 21

Native Americans living on some reservations and other remote areas must wait until June to participate in the U.S. Census due to COVID-19 restrictions. It’s a delay that some fear could lead to a drastic under-count.

Sullivan Defends Inclusion Of Alaska Native Corporations In CARES Act Funding 

Alaska Public Media, Wesley Early, April 21

Republican U.S. Sen. Dan Sullivan is defending Alaska Native Corporations benefiting from the $2.2 trillion CARES ACT. The for-profit corporations created under ANCSA are eligible for a share of the $8 billion in funding set aside for Native American tribes. That’s led to some heated opposition in Alaska, the Lower 48 and on Capitol Hill.

Indian Country awaits decision on $8 billion in coronavirus relief money

Indianz.com, Acee Agoyo, April 21

With just days left before an $8 billion coronavirus relief fund is supposed to go out to Indian Country, the Trump administration has yet to decide how to distribute the much-needed money.

Farmers and ranchers look for help to weather this storm

Indian Country Today, Kolby KickingWoman, April 21

There is no sector of business that has been untouched or affected by COVID-19.

As Congress works to pass another relief package, appearing to focus on replenishing funds for the Paycheck Protection Program as well as money for hospitals and testing; Native farmers and ranchers are hoping to get support also.

Indian Country’s Pandemic Recovery Plan

Indian Country Today, Patrice H. Kunesh, April 21

The world is reeling from an unprecedented global economic shock brought on by the sudden onset and rapid spread of the highly infectious COVID-19 (SARS-CoV-2) virus.

In Indian Country, tribal leaders have stepped up to protect their communities by closing casinos and related businesses (such as hotels and convenience stores). For tribal leaders, though, combatting the virus comes at a severe cost. Tribal governments are both the providers of essential services to tribal citizens and major employers of thousands of people.

Coronavirus Batters The Navajo Nation, And It’s About To Get Worse

NBC News, Nina Mayer Ritchie, April 20

On March 17, when the Navajo Nation saw its first COVID-19 case, the reservation’s limited health facilities sprang into action.

COVID-19 Surfacing On Tribal Lands In The Dakotas 

Public News Service, Mike Moen, April 20

In recent weeks, Native American tribes have tried some aggressive approaches in their efforts to prevent the coronavirus from ravaging their territories.

But in the Dakotas, the virus has found its way to some reservations.

Coronavirus Is Creating A Food Security Crisis In Indian Country

CIVIL EATS, April 20

“There’s no way this is going to end well,” said Catherine Bryan, explaining the dire circumstances Native tribes are facing as coronavirus has taken hold in their communities. Bryan is the director of the Strengthening Tribal and Community Institutions program at the First Nations Development Institute (FNDI), a nonprofit grantmaking organization, and one of many people working to support Indigenous people on the frontlines of coronavirus.

Seneca Nation To Receive $300k To Help Battle COVID-19

WKBW Buffalo, April 20

The Seneca Nation of Indians is set to receive more than $300,000 in federal funding to help combat the COVID-19 pandemic.

Virus Poses Unique Threat To Indian Nations Says NIGA Chairman Stevens

SBC Americas, Chris Murphy, April 20

Ernie Stevens Jr, Chairman of the National Indian Gaming Association (NIGA), has published a heartfelt statement on behalf of the Indian nations as they face growing uncertainty amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Tribal leaders throughout Indian Country, he stated, are making difficult decisions to protect “our children, our communities, and our future”.


Alaska Native Village Corporation Association Newsletter

ANVCA, April 21

Over the weekend, leaders of various Alaska Native Corporations received a baffling questionnaire from a reporter with the Pro Publica and Anchorage Daily News and asking for justification on amounts that ANCs had allegedly applied for under the Senate’s Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, Tribal Relief Fund.

Sealaska Sues Nieman Marcus For Allegedly Using Native Design In $2,500 Coat

Alaska Public Media, Elizabeth Jenkins, April 21

Sealaska Heritage Institute has filed a federal lawsuit against the high-end fashion retailer Neiman Marcus, alleging the company copied a traditional Ravenstail pattern when it produced a coat that retails for more than $2,500.

Court Allows Tribe To Sue U.S. Government Over Education Deal

Arizona Capital Times, Howard Fischer, April 20

Arizona tribes have the right to sue the federal government for allowing a major developer to default on payments it was supposed to make to obtain the old Phoenix Indian School, a federal appeals court has ruled.