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Posted: April 14, 2020

Treasury and Interior Action on Relief Fund, BIA and BIE Funding

On April 13, 2020, the U.S. Department of the Treasury and the U.S. Department of the Interior announced their plans for distribution of funding appropriated in the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act), P.L. No. 116-136.

The Department of the Treasury
Relief Fund

The Department of the Treasury launched a web portalto gather information from eligible state, local, and tribal governments to receive payments to help offset their costs as a result of the coronavirus crisis. Eligible tribal payments will be made by April 24, 2020. 

“Our State, local, and tribal partners across the country are facing unique challenges as they navigate the economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic,” said Secretary Steven T. Mnuchin.  “As part of our whole-of-government approach, we have moved with unprecedented speed to get these funds to those who need them a week ahead of schedule.” 


The Department of the Interior
BIA and BIE Funding


The Department of the Interior released a Dear Tribal Leader Letter dated April 13, 2020 outlining the disbursement methodology of the additional $522 million in direct appropriations resources for COVID-19 response activities through the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) and Bureau of Indian Education (BIE). 

Funding Breakdown

  •  BIA Allocations
    • $420 million in direct payments to tribes
      • $380 million to all tribes though aid to tribal government 
        • Distribution based on tribal enrollment data with tribes being grouped and funded based on population. Smallest tribes will receive at least $60,000
      • $20 million will be provided through welfare assistance
        • Distribution based on enrollment data and Distributed proportionally 
      • $20 million in temporary reserve to be used as needed
    • $33 million to BIA for facility deep cleaning, quarantine of inmates, overtime costs, and IT investments to enhance telework capabilities and Wi-Fi connectivity
    • Total: $453 million to BIA 
  • BIE Allocations 
    • $23 million to tribal colleges and universities 
      • Distributed proportionally
    • $46 million to BIE operated and tribally controlled schools to address operational needs
      • Enhance online distance learning for students, IT hardware capacity, and Wi-Fi connectivity and other support
    • Total: $69 million to BIE
Save the Date: Tribal Leader Call to Review Approach

The Department of Interior will hold a Tribal Leader Call on Wednesday, April 15, 2020 from 3:00 p.m. EDT to 4:00 pm EDT to explain the allocation and distribution approach.

Call-In Information
Conference Call: 1-888-452-9848
Participant Password: 3081480

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