Tribal Government & News
Tribe receives $27.5 million in American Rescue Plan funds
By Dean Rhodes
Smoke Signals editor
The Grand Ronde Tribe received $27.544 million in American Rescue Plan funds on May 21, according to the federal government’s website USASpending.gov.
A total of $1 billion was allocated equally among eligible Tribal governments in Rescue Plan funding and $19 billion was to be divvied up by the Treasury. Of that, $12.35 billion was to be allocated based on a Tribe’s self-certified enrollment numbers submitted to the Bureau of Indian Affairs in April.
The remaining $6.65 billion will be based on self-certified Tribal employment data from numbers submitted to Treasury in May 2020 in connection with the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act that allocated $8 billion to help Tribes.
According to Treasury’s website, the first payment to Tribes included the approximately $1.7 million sent to every Tribal government as part of the equally distributed $1 billion and each Tribe’s prorated share of the $12.35 billion enrollment allocation.
The deadline for Tribes to confirm their employment numbers is June 21 to acquire a share of the remaining $6.65 billion.
Tribes have until the end of 2024 to use the funding.
Other Oregon Tribes that have received Rescue Plan funding include the Confederated Tribes of Siletz Indians, $27.469 million; the Coquille Indian Tribe, 6.3 million; the Confederated Tribes of Coos, Lower Umpqua & Siuslaw, 7.6 million; and the Burns Paiute Tribe, 3.6 million.
The U.S. Department of Treasury held five Tribal consultations with 85 Tribal leaders in late March and early April to accept input on how to improve the allocation of funds for pandemic and economic relief.
Tribal governments used the Treasury Submission Portal and completed various requirements to receive the two payments.
In 2020, some Tribes had issues with the CARES Act methodology and sued the federal government. For instance, the Shawnee Tribe in Oklahoma and the Miccosukee Tribe of Indians in Florida received the minimum $100,000 because Housing & Urban Development data said they had enrollment totals of zero.
The Grand Ronde Tribe, as well as the other eight federally recognized Tribes in Oregon, fared well under the CARES Act. Grand Ronde received more than $45 million and dedicated a considerable portion to fund coronavirus relief payments to adult Tribal members who received a combined eight payments that totaled $4,400 in 2020.
So far, the Grand Ronde Tribe has not announced any plans on how it will spend American Rescue Plan funds.
Some of the allowable expenditures permissible by the Treasury Department’s guidance include responding to the COVID-19 public health emergency and its negative economic effects, providing premium pay for essential workers, investments in infrastructure like water, sewer and broadband, and replacing lost revenues to provide governmental services.
The $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan was signed into law by President Joseph Biden on March 11, 2021.