Tribal Government & News

Tribe receives $23.5 million more in American Rescue Plan funding

08.31.2021 Dean Rhodes Federal government


By Dean Rhodes

Smoke Signals editor

The Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde received its second disbursement of American Rescue Plan funds on Aug. 13, according to the federal government website

The Grand Ronde Tribe received $27.544 million in American Rescue Plan funds on May 21 and $23.547 million on Aug. 13, bringing the Tribe’s total disbursement to more than $51 million.

A total of $1 billion was allocated equally among eligible Tribal governments in Rescue Plan funding and $19 billion was divvied up by the Treasury. Of that, $12.35 billion was allocated based on a Tribe’s self-certified enrollment numbers submitted to the Bureau of Indian Affairs in April.

The remaining $6.65 billion distributed in August was 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 in May 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 was June 21 to acquire a share of the remaining $6.65 billion.

Tribes have until the end of 2024 to use the funding.

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.

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 in 2020. 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.

Some of the expenditures permissible by the Treasury Department’s guidance regarding American Rescue Plan funding 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.