COVID-19 Blog Posts

The CARES Act authorized direct payments—called Economic Impact Payments—to American citizens to aid economic recovery in response to COVID-19, but many are wondering if they qualify for a stimulus payment, how much they will receive, and how they will receive the payment. For additional questions, click here

Who is eligible for an Economic Impact Payment? 

Individuals with a social security number who have filed income taxes for 2018 or 2019 are eligible, as well as some individuals who are not normally required to file income taxes, such as many social security recipients. The Department of Treasury is working with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to determine individuals’ eligibility for Economic Income...

Last week, we highlighted the Navajo & Hopi Families COVID-19 Relief Fund, which has now raised more than $460,000. Earlier this week, we shared this list of funds collated by Native Americans in Philanthropy who hope to connect those willing and able to donate with tribal communities in need. Today, we are happy to bring you more examples of tribal communities and organizations coming together to battle the coronavirus. 

This Urban American Indian Wishlist is sponsored by a collective of Native-based organizations in Southern Arizona who have come together to provide urban Indians and Indigenous peoples in need with groceries and other essential supplies. Due to...

Image Source: Ethel Branch, Navajo & Hopi Families COVID-19 Relief Fund

How to Support Indigenous Organizers Fighting Coronavirus in Native American Communities (April 3, 2020) 

In recent weeks, federal aid spending packages have dominated the news cycle, including funding for relief to tribal communities. But tribes are not sitting idle, waiting for help from Washington. Rather, indigenous communities and organizations around the country are taking proactive measures to combat COVID-19 amongst their people. In addition to collaborating with the Decolonizing Wealth Fund to launch the Native American Community Response Fund highlighted in a post last week, Native Americans in Philanthropy is compiling a list of funds across tribal...


Trump administration revokes reservation status for Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe amid coronavirus crisis (April 2, 2020) 

The Trump administration revoked the reservation status of the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe in Massachusetts last Friday. The Interior Department's order removes the 321 acres of land out of trust status, abolishing the Tribe’s ability to govern on its land. This process has been done only one other time since the Termination Era of the 1950s and 60s. Of course, Indian Country took note of the timing of this decision, as reservations shut down amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Some worry it could signal what’s to come for other tribes. Massachusetts Sens. Elizabeth Warren and Ed Markey...

With families of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians (EBCI) quarantining themselves to help stop the spread of COVID-19, an EBCI tribal program is helping provide some exercise time.  Cherokee Choices, a diabetes prevention and education program under the EBCI Public Health & Human Services (PHHS) Division, is posting online yoga sessions, hosting an online women’s strength training class, and running a Facebook group for children to help keep them healthy and active. The Cherokee Choices Kids Challenge focuses on exercise, art, and nutrition for children ages 3-12. Robin Callahan, Cherokee Choices program director, said that with this program, EBCI is able to offer additional stress-management tools to...

Funding appropriated specifically for payments to tribes cannot yet be distributed because criteria and mechanisms for distribution must first be developed. The Administration is now seeking tribal input to help them determine how tribes should receive federal aid. 

The $2.2 trillion Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act sets aside $150 billion for emergency relief payments to state, tribal, and local governments in response to the COVID-19 pandemic and creates the Coronavirus Relief Fund (CRF or the Fund) to manage the financial distributions. 

CRF funding will cover necessary costs that were: 1) “incurred due to the public health emergency;” 2) not accounted for in the state or local government’s most...

AIPI COVID-19 Update #4

Protecting Native Elders in a Pandemic (March 27, 2020) 

“It’s hard to overstate the importance of Native elders to their families, tribes, and communities. These are people who fought on the frontlines to withstand American assimilation. They fostered our languages and our traditions. They carry with them stories and memories that will fade when they pass, precious fragments of their tribe’s collective story. But more than being living carriers of cultural knowledge, they’re our parents, our grandparents, aunties, and uncles. As Representative Deb Haaland, a Democrat from New Mexico’s 1st District, a citizen of the Pueblo of Laguna and one of two Native women...


Federal Emergency Relief Spending: How Is It Affecting Tribes and How Are Tribes Responding?

Three major Acts of Congress have passed into law this month to combat the COVID-19 pandemic. With each proposal, emergency spending packages grow exponentially larger. Below are summaries of how the legislation affects tribes and how tribes are responding. 

Phase I

H.R. 6074 – Coronavirus Preparedness and Response Supplemental Appropriations Act of 2020 

The act is aimed primarily as bolstering the medical capacity of the...

AIPI COVID-19 News Roundup #3

Coushatta Tribe and Vivera Pharmaceuticals Join Forces in Fight Against COVID-19 (March 24, 2020) 

Vivera Pharmaceuticals, Inc., a California based pharmaceutical company, and the Coushatta Tribe of Louisiana announced a new relationship in the fight against COVID-19. The two are working together to gain FDA emergency approval for a novel rapid testing kit manufactured by Pharmact AG, a leading German manufacturer of rapid diagnostic testing kits. The CoV-2 Rapid Test provides results in 20 minutes, making it ideal for point of care testing and triage of large patient populations. "The CoV-2 Rapid Test brings visibility to this faceless foe so that our heroes on the...

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