COVID-19 in Indian Country
Please join the Harvard Project on American Indian Economic Development for “A Conversation with Bryan Newland – How Tribes Can Maximize their American Rescue Plan Opportunities.”
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The Bureau of Indian Affairs has begun disbursing $900 million to federally recognized tribes under the American Rescue Plan Act.
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“This much-needed financial support will aid our ability to help the Tribal communities we serve recover more quickly from the pandemic’s wide-ranging impact on them,” said Bryan Newland, who has been nominated to serve as the Assistant Secretary for Indian Affairs in the Biden administration.
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The American Rescue Plan invests $1.75 billion in American Indian and Alaska Native programs administered through the Assistant Secretary for Indian Affairs at the Department of the Interior.
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The Trump administration official who oversees the department with the most trust and treaty responsibilities has tested positive for COVID-19.
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"This was a shameful failure of federal relations with Indian Country," said Rep. Raúl Grijalva (D-Arizona), chairman of the House Committee on Natural Resources.

To date, the CARES Act has provided the Department of the Interior with $909.7 million, which includes direct apportionments of $756 million and a $153.7 million transfer from the Department of Education to the Bureau of Indian Education.

On Wednesday, July 29, 2020 at 10am Eastern, the House Committee on Natural Resources is scheduled to hold a markup on more than a dozen bills.

The Bureau of Indian Education is hosting three consultation sessions to discuss reopening of schools in the COVID-19 era.

Citing 'unlawful threats' to its sovereignty, the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe on June 23, 2020, sued President Donald J. Trump over coronavirus checkpoints on the reservation.

Over two months after Congress passed the CARES Act, the Trump administration continues to withhold Indian Education COVID-19 funding to Tribal schools, leaving students without resources for distance learning.

The CARES Act provided the U.S. Department of the Interior with $756 million to support the needs of DOI programs, bureaus, Indian Country, and the Insular Areas.

The Department of the Treasury’s administrative record (AR) in ongoing litigation over the $8 billion coronavirus relief fund promised to tribal governments was submitted in federal court on May 22, 2020. The AR is divided into 14 sections, according to the index submitted in court. Almost every section contains just one document but section 10 […]

On May 20, 2020, five Indian Country organizations called for the resignation of Tara Sweeney as the Assistant Secretary for Indian Affairs.

The Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe is in federal court to prevent the Trump administration from taking its reservation out of trust amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Oversight of the DOI’s CARES Act spending is critical to safeguard health and safety, water, and Indian education.

Dr. Ronald J. Graham (Absentee Shawnee) is the new president of Haskell Indian Nations University in Kansas.

The Trump administration's botched handling of the $8 billion coronavirus relief fund is under investigation by internal watchdogs at both the Department of the Interior and the Department of the Treasury.

The Office of Inspector General at the Department of the Interior on May 5, 2020, released a report titled "Where’s the Money? DOI Use of CARES Act Funds."

A top Interior Department official charged with overseeing the disbursement of direct emergency relief to tribes failed to disclose that she is married to a lobbyist for an Alaska Native Corporation that is asking for relief funding, Western Values Project discovered.