Indianz.Com > COVID-19 > CARES Act Lawsuit
Posted: April 21, 2020

The E. Barrett Prettyman United States Courthouse houses both the federal court for the District of Columbia and the Circuit Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. Photo by Indianz.Com (CC BY-NC-SA 4.0)

In another major development, five more tribes — including one of the two largest in the U.S. — have joined the CARES Act lawsuit.

An amended complaint filed on the afternoon of April 21, 2020, adds the Navajo Nation, the Quinault Nation, the Pueblo of Picuris, the Elk Valley Rancheria and the San Carlos Apache Tribe to the case, which seeks to ensure an $8 billion coronavirus relief fund goes to Indian Country governments, not for-profit corporations.

PDF: Amended Complaint in Confederated Tribes of the Chehalis Reservation v. Mnuchin 

The tribes join the original six Indian nation plaintiffs as they head to a showdown in federal court later this week. A video conference hearing is scheduled to take place on the afternoon of April 23 — just one day before the Department of the Treasury is going to start distributing the $8 billion to Indian Country.

Despite the quickly approaching deadline, Indianz.Com reported that the Trump administration hasn’t yet figured out how to do that, almost a month after Congress authorized the fund through H.R.748, the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act, also known as the CARES Act.

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The original plaintiffs are:

  • Confederated Tribes of the Chehalis Reservation (Washington)
  • Tulalip Tribes (Washington)
  • Houlton Band of Maliseet Indians (Maine)
  • Akiak Native Community (Alaska)
  • Asa’carsarmiut Tribe (Alaska) 
  • Aleut Community of St. Paul Island (Alaska)

The new additions are:

  • Navajo Nation (Arizona, New Mexico, Utah)
  • Quinault Nation (Washington)
  • Pueblo of Picuris (New Mexico)
  • Elk Valley Rancheria (California)
  • San Carlos Apache Tribe (Arizona)
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