3-27-2020: Tribal Leader Town Hall CARES Act in Response to COVID-19 (Coronavirus)

Tribal Leader Town Hall

CARES Act in Response to COVID-19 (Coronavirus):
Resources and Information for Tribal Governments and Citizens
On Thursday, March 26, 2020, leading national organizations in Indian Country hosted a Tribal Leader Town Hall to discuss the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic and the $2 trillion stimulus package — the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (the CARES Act).

The CARES Act passed the Senate in a bipartisan vote late Wednesday night, with the House passing by voice vote earlier today. and President Trump signing moments ago.
To view a recording of the Tribal Leaders Town Hall webinar click here.

To view the PowerPoint Slides from the presentations
by Organizational Hosts click here.

To read the CARES Act of 2020 click here.

To read the Tribal Priorities in the Act from the
Congressional Native American Caucus click here.

The Town Hall included over 1,200 attendees including leaders from tribal governments, Congress, and national tribal organizations. The Town Hall included Congressional updates from Senator Martha McSally (R-AZ) and Congresswoman Kendra Horn (D-OK), in addition to an overview of the impacts of COVID-19 on Indian Country and potential relief from the CARES Act. 

The Tribal Leader Town Hall was spearheaded by the Native American Finance Officers Association (NAFOA) and the National Congress of American Indians (NCAI). NAFOA is working with other groups to address the Coronavirus Relief Fund distribution structure, the Economic Stabilization Fund qualifications, and the Small Business Administration’s 7(a) loan eligibility issues. NCAI has organized working groups focused on the implementation of the CARES Act centered on health, governance, and economic security.

The National Indian Health Board (NIHB) is working on the implementation of the 3 phases of COVID-19 legislation, including working with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and engaging tribes on health resources and substance abuse and mental health series allocations.
Information and Resources for Tribal Governments and Citizens
The CARES Act includes $8 billion for tribal governments for losses of expenses related to COVID-19. The Act provides funding to support healthcare, public health, nutrition, education, housing, economic relief, tribal governance, and community development. Additionally, it provides supplemental funding for the Bureau of Indian Affairs, Indian Health Services, and for support to Urban Indians. The act includes state aid in the amount of $150 billion. All states will receive at least $1.25 billion; Arizona is set to receive $2.822 billion. 

Tribal communities are particularly vulnerable to the economic harm of the COVID-19 crisis because tribal enterprises support essential public services from public health programs to housing, education, welfare, policing, and other governmental operations. Indian Country relies heavily on the gaming and tourism industries to fund governmental affairs because tribes generally do not have a tax base from which to draw public revenues. As tribally-owned casinos and reservation borders across Indian Country have closed in response to the threat of COVID-19, so have these revenue streams. 
Organizational Hosts Websites
Native American Finance Officers Association (NAFOA):

National Congress of American Indians (NCAI): 

National Indian Health Board (NIHB) 

National Council of Urban Indian Health (NCUIH): 

Indigenous Food and Agriculture Initiative at the University of Arkansas 

National Indian Education Association (NIEA)

Native American Contractors Association (NACA): 

National American Indian Housing Council (NAIHC)

National Indian Gaming Association (NIGA):
All casinos are closed in Indian Country.