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Two tribal consultations set on $8 billion in COVID-19 funds for Indian Country

The U.S. Department of Treasury and others are holding at least two “Tribal Leader Consultations” regarding funding for the COVID-19 pandemic this week. Courtesy NAFOA. (Courtesy NAFOA)

The Native American Finance Officers Association (NAFOA) sent out a reminder March 31 about two scheduled tribal leader consultations on how to determine the most effective and fair distribution of billions of federal dollars for Indian Country due to the COVID-19 public health emergency.

The tribal consultations are organized through the U.S. Department of the Interior and the U.S. Department of Treasury. The two sessions were announced in a “Dear Tribal Leader Letter” from the Assistant Secretary of Indian Affairs.

The “Coronavirus Relief Fund” within the recently passed “Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act,” has $8 billion in funds set aside for tribal governments and tribal entities.

The April 2 consultation runs from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. (EST) with a focus on these two questions:

  • What would a formula/methodology to allocate the $8 billion look like?
  • What qualifies as an expenditure related to COVID-19?

The April 9 consult runs from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. (EST) and will be based on the comments that are collected during the April 2 consultation and that are submitted through email. The departments will present their proposed ideas and seek tribal leader input.

Officials are encouraging tribal leaders attending the consultations to also provide their input in writing no later than April 13 by emailing consultation@bia.gov and tribal.consult@treasury.gov.

A third consultation would be scheduled if necessary, officials said.

To read the “Dear Tribal Leader Letter,” click here.

For more on tribal provisions in the “CARES Act” by the Seminole Tribune, click here.

More information on the “Coronavirus Relief Fund” is available here.

Additional questions can be directed to NAFOA executive director Dante Desidero at (202) 631-2003 or via email at dante@nafoa.org.

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Damon Scott
Damon is a multimedia journalist for the Seminole Tribune. He has previously been an editor and reporter for digital and print media in Florida and his home state of New Mexico. Send him an email at damonscott@semtribe.com.
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