As COVID-19 continues to impact the health and economic position of those around the world, the amount of both information and questions are on the rise. NAFOA is here to provide resources for those in Indian Country who want to stay abreast of the latest developments. This page will provide timely updates on the status of legislative efforts to provide relief to Indian Country, which includes the progress of the Tribal COVID-19 working group comprised of all the national and regional native organizations across the country, as well as pertinent notices from various federal agencies, and links to the resource pages of our other partner organizations.
RECENT COVID BROADCASTS
Policy Alert: Treasury Announces Formula to Distribute $20 Billion in COVID-19 Relief to Tribal Governments
On Monday, May 10, the U.S. Department of the Treasury (Treasury) announced the much awaited distribution of $20 Billion to Tribal Governments for Coronavirus Relief. This announcement described the methodology Treasury used to allocate the funds as well as the timeline for distribution, upcoming information sessions, and the regulation determining allowable uses and requirements for the funds.
TOMORROW Friday, Feb 12 at 3:00 pm ET. NAFOA is coordinating with several national organizations to convene a Tribal Leader Town Hall tomorrow Friday, February 12, 2021 at 3:00 EST to discuss the $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief package - which includes a proposed $20 billion tribal relief fund - that Congress is expected to pass next week using budget reconciliation rules.
NAFOA’s pilot podcast “Standing Together for Tomorrow,” invites tribal leaders to discuss the financial, community, and personal impacts of the pandemic on their tribes.
LEGISLATIVE PROCESS AND RESPONSE
The legislative relief effort will be the result of several phases of legislation. There are discussions of a possible next phase coming soon. We are working with Native national and regional organizations to push for health, nutrition, economic, and governance relief throughout this entire process. There are several more priority items that we are working to include in later phases of this ongoing relief effort.
Tribal Inclusion: This legislation provides at least $40 million dollars for "tribes, tribal organizations, urban Indian health organizations, or health service providers to tribes, to carry out surveillance, epidemiology, laboratory capacity, infection control, mitigation, communications, and other preparedness and response activities."
Tribal Response: the National Indian Health Board (NIHB) submitted a letter to the Secretary of Health and Human Services advising how the $40 million tribal set-aside could best be distributed to get needed resources to Indian Country quickly and efficiently.
Tribal Inclusion: The legislation guarantees free coronavirus testing, establishes paid leave, enhances Unemployment Insurance, expands food security initiatives, and increases federal Medicaid funding. The act specifically allocates $64 million to the Indian Health Service to cover the costs of COVID-19 diagnostic testing for Indians receiving care through the Indian Health Service or through an Urban Indian Health Organization. The Act ensures coverage of testing for COVID-19 at no cost sharing for Indians receiving contract health services. Additionally, the Act provides nutrition services for older Native Americans.
Summary: NAFOA Summary
DECEMBER 2020 COVID RELIEF BILL
Department of Treasury
- U.S. Dept of Treasury Reply to NAFOA Regarding FAQ No. B.13 Regarding CRF Beneficiary vs. Subrecipient Clarification (11/20/2020)
Small Business Administration
Office of Management and Budget
- M-20-17: Administrative Relief for Recipients and Applicants of Federal Financial Assistance Directly Impacted by the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) due to Loss of Operations
- M-20-11: Administrative Relief for Recipients and Applicants of Federal Financial Assistance Directly Impacted by the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) Department of Agriculture
Department of Agriculture
Department of Energy
Department of Housing and Urban Development
- COVID-19 FAQs for the Public Housing, Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) (including the Project-based Voucher Program (PBV)) and Native American Programs
Department of the Interior
Coronavirus Relief Fund Litigation
- District Court Opinion: Confederated Tribes of the Chehalis Reservation et al v. Mnuchin (Civil Action No. 2020-1002.) (4/27/2020)
- Plaintiff: Chehalis Reservation et al - Complaint for Declaratory and Injunctive Relief
- Defendant: Mnuchin - Defendant's Consolidated Opposition to Plaintiff's Motion for Temporary Restraining Order and Preliminary Injunction
- NAFOA and Tribal Amicus Brief
- Alaska Native Village Corporation Amicus Brief