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Posted: October 20, 2020

Citizen Potawatomi Nation Offers Coronavirus Relief Program for Tribal Citizens, Businesses

More than $40.6 million federal dollars to directly benefit CPN members

SHAWNEE, Oklahoma — The Citizen Potawatomi Nation (CPN) CARES Act program benefits tribal citizens and tribally owned businesses hurt financially by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The CARES Act was enacted on March 27, but tribal governments did not begin to receive payments until May, which was later than the deadlines established by Congress and after states began to receive distributions.

CPN received its second CARES Act money in June. On June 29, the CPN Tribal Legislature passed a resolution to pay CPN members nationwide who have been affected by the current economic crisis.

“More than 65 percent of the $62 million we’ve received from the federal government is dedicated to tribal members in need during these trying times,” said Tribal Chairman John “Rocky” Barrett. “Because we’re prohibited from distributing the funds received from the CARES Act as per capita payments, we encourage all CPN citizens to apply for these special programs as soon as possible.”

Tribal governments must spend these funds by December 30, 2020. The U.S. Treasury department has released rules on how the funds may be used. Programs are designed to support CPN members and CPN member-owned businesses who have been damaged by COVID. Specific programs include:

  • COVID-19 Income Loss Support
  • COVID-19 Business Interruption Grant
  • Student Assistance Program
  • Technology Program
  • Post-Secondary Assessment Grant
  • Post-Secondary Technology and Student Support Program
  • Disability Food Security
  • Elder Food Security
  • Elder Housing Assistance Relief Program
  • COVID-19 Related Expenses Program
  • Foreclosure and Eviction Prevention Program

“We know many tribal members are struggling to pay for everything from additional childcare expenses to higher grocery and utility bills,” Barrett said. “We hope these CARES Act programs will provide needed relief, and we encourage all who need assistance to apply.”

For full information on the programs and to apply, visit Potawatomi.org/CARES.

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