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)

The following is a June 26, 2020, statement from Kim Reitmeier, Executive Director of the ANCSA Regional Association, in response to a court ruling that confirms that Alaska Native corporations are entitled to shares of the $8 billion coronavirus relief fund.

“The ANCSA Regional Association and Alaska Native Village Corporation Association applaud the D.C. District Court’s Decision to uphold the Alaska Native Regional and Village Corporation’s right to receive much-needed funding from Title V of the CARES Act. This disaster assistance will provide immediate support to Alaska’s rural communities suffering from COVID-19 and help repair the economic damage caused by the pandemic.

In addition to granting the funding, the Court’s decision also reaffirms our status as “Indians” under the Indian Self Determination and Education Assistance Act, and as defined by the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act that was signed into law nearly 50 years ago.  Alaska Native Corporations are proud of the cultural and tribal identities that define us, and we work tirelessly to support tens of thousands of Alaska Natives every day.

We look forward to working together with other Native organizations to solve the problems and challenges brought on by COVID-19. We continue to believe that when Indian Country, Alaska Native corporations and Villages, and Native Hawaiian organizations align as one, our ability to serve our people is powerful.”

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