ND tribal communities eligible for money through an $8 billion U.S. Tribal Relief Fund

Published: Apr. 16, 2020 at 8:04 PM CDT
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A Tribal Relief Fund will provide $8 billion for Indian Tribes across the U.S. to address COVID-19.

Tribal communities were worried when the CARES Act was initially passed, saying they didn't have access to all of the programs.

After working with lawmakers, the communities should be included and will also be receiving special funding to combat COVID-19.

Tribal governments must provide information to the Department of Treasury in order to be eligible for the funds.

Tribal leaders say they hope the disbursement of funds will work, as every tribe functions differently.

“The whole reservation needs to be included and the reason being because we provide services, tribal and nontribal within our boundaries. We think the whole reservation should be included because we have the responsibility for caring for everybody,” said MHA Nation Chairman Mark Fox.

Sen. John Hoeven, R-N.D., says they added language to the CARES Act to include tribal businesses.

He also said the language is meant to supersede past law that made gaming organizations ineligible, since tribal communities rely heavily on casino revenue.

The Department of the Treasury says the payments should be out no later than April 24.