Indianz.Com > COVID-19 > Omaha Tribe (Nebraska)
Posted: April 16, 2020

The Omaha Tribe of Nebraska issued a statement Thursday criticizing Nebraska Gov. Pete Ricketts for allegedly withdrawing an offer to provide financial support and medical resources to help with the tribe’s efforts to stop the coronavirus.

“It is very disappointing that Governor Ricketts reneged on his initial offer of financial support and medical resources made nearly 3 weeks ago,” the tribe said in a statement. “During this time of a worldwide Pandemic of an infectious disease you’d think he’d follow through on his offer. We are not surprised by the actions of the Governor, we didn’t expect aid from the state of Nebraska before and will not expect it today.”

At a press conference held Thursday, Ricketts addressed the tribe’s concerns, saying he offered the four tribes in his state personal protective equipment, such as gloves and masks, but never offered financial support to them.

“The story is getting a little bit jumbled here,” he said, responding to a reporter’s question about the Omaha Tribe’s criticism of his actions.

He said the state decided that any financial support to tribes in Nebraska would have to come from the federal government, which he said had provided $11 billion to tribes and territory for coronavirus relief.

“That’s why we’ve said the state’s not going to provide cash financial support, but we’re happy to supply things like personal protection equipment, things like masks or gloves or things like that,” he said.

Omaha tribal leaders learned of the governor’s decision not to provide financial support to the tribe during a Thursday conference call with the governor.

The tribe called on the state’s congressional representatives, as well as State Sen. Joni Albrecht, whose legislative district includes the Omaha Reservation, to “immediately intervene and reverse this tragic breach of trust.”

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