U.S. Unsure It Can Meet Deadline To Disburse Funds To Tribes

Apr 23, 2020

 The U.S. Treasury Department says it's unsure it will be able to disburse $8 billion in coronavirus relief funds to Native American tribes by a Sunday deadline.

In this Jan. 20, 2020, file photo, a woman walks before dawn in Toksook Bay, Alaska, a mostly Yuip'ik village on the edge of the Bering Sea. Native American leaders are raising questions about how $8 billion in federal coronavirus relief tagged for tribes will be distributed, with some arguing that for-profit Alaska Native corporations shouldn't get a share of the funding.
Credit AP Photo/Gregory Bull, File

The department says it's still working to determine whether Alaska Native corporations are eligible for a share of the funding. Meanwhile, the list of tribes suing the federal government to try and keep the money out of the hands of the corporations is growing. The tribes say the funding should go only to tribal governments. The Interior Department and the Alaska Native corporations say the plain reading of the CARES Act makes the corporations eligible.