April 01, 2020

Udall Releases Guidance for Tribes on Federal Resources from Emergency Coronavirus Package

WASHINGTON U.S. Senator Tom Udall (D-N.M.), vice chairman of the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs, released guidance documents for Tribal governments to provide information on the $8 billion “one stop” Tribal Coronavirus Relief Fund and the $2 billion in Tribal health provisions appropriated in the third emergency coronavirus package, the CARES Act.

“Indian Country is on the front lines of this public health crisis, and they have been very clear that they need health, economic, and community COVID-19 recovery resources. That is why I pushed for inclusion of Tribal-specific resources in the CARES Act,” Udall said. “I am urging the administration to deploy these critical federal resources as quickly as possible with guidance from expedited, government-to-government consultations with Indian Tribes. I will keep fighting to ensure that Tribal communities have the support they need from the federal government to stay healthy and financially afloat during this national crisis.”

The coronavirus package established an $8 billion Tribal Government Relief fund to ensure Indian Tribes have direct “one stop” access to COVID-19 resources for economic recovery and continuation of essential government services based on local needs.  

The agreement also contains over $2 billion in emergency supplemental funding for Indian Tribes, urban Indian health programs, and Native communities, including:

- $1.032 billion for the Indian Health Service, with significant funds put in the field through Tribal shares and urban organizations;
- $453 million for operation of essential Tribal government programs funded through the Bureau of Indian Affairs, like public safety and purchase of protective equipment for emergency personnel;
- $69 million for the Bureau of Indian Education. 

A summary of the Tribal provisions in the CARES Act can be found here.

Frequently Asked Questions for Tribes, Tribal Organizations, and Tribal Enterprises can be found here.