Quapaw, OK (April 3, 2021) - March 10th - marked a historic day for Indian Country as we saw the most significant government investment back into our communities. One we may have never thought possible before. The Cares Act relief funds of 2020 contained $2 billion for tribal governments, which means the current legislation will represent over a 900 percent increase. The increase to tribal governments does not account for the money being sent to Indian health programs, nor does it account for the recently released $450 million from HUD. 20 billion of the more than 31 billion dollar package is to go directly to tribal governments, but how disbursed and whether or not stipulations will be added is still up for debate.
SO WHAT DO WE KNOW SO FAR?
We know of the 20 billion that will be disbursed to tribal governments; 1 Billion will be divided equally, while 19 billion will be divided based upon a formula assumed by the Department of Interior. How that formula will be decided is anyone's guess. Still, if it is decided anything like the prior disbursement, it will be based on tribal population, with larger tribes receiving the most. There were several errors with that first disbursement, and they are still working those errors out. We also don't know how long this could take.
In any case, The Quapaw Post will continue to monitor the situation and update you as the condition progresses.
According to the United States Senate Committee on Indian Affairs,
The $31.2 billion investment in Native communities includes:
$20 billion for tribal governments to combat COVID-19 and stabilize tribal community safety-net programs with some of that going toward the Indian Health Service for COVID-1- vaccines, testing, tracing, mitigation and workforce expenses.
$1.248 billion for HUD Tribal & Native Hawaiian housing programs
$1.1 billion for Native education programs, including Bureau of Indian Education schools, tribal education agencies, tribal colleges and universities, Native Hawaiian education programs, and Alaska Native education programs
$1 billion for Native families, for childcare programs and more money for the Pandemic Emergency Assistance Fund
$900 million for Bureau of Indian Affairs programs, with includes welfare assistance, assistance to tribal governments, public safety and child welfare, money for the Housing Improvement Program and money for potable water delivery.
$600 million for Native communities’ critical economic and infrastructure investments, which includes money for critical infrastructure projects in Native communities
$20 million to mitigate the impact of COVID-19 on Native languages
$19 million for Native communities’ efforts to combat domestic violence, with money through the Family Violence and Prevention and Services Act and $1 million for “Stronghearts” Native Domestic Violence Hotline.