- By Native News Online Staff
WASHINGTON—The Department of the Treasury’s CARES Act distribution formula determined 25 federally recognized American Indian tribes and Alaska Native tribal entities had zero population.
The formula, which was used to allocate $8 billion in relief funds for tribal governments, was based on population data from the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) program for Indian Housing Block Grants, which doesn’t count tribal members who live off the reservation. Tribes with zero population were allocated the minimum distribution of $100,000 of CARES relief funding.
At least two federally recognized tribes have sued the Treasury for undercounting their populations. This week, the Miccosukee Tribe of Indians of Florida filed suit in federal court in Florida. The legal action follows a similar lawsuit filed by the Shawnee Tribe in June. Both tribes are seeking relief funding amounts they claim they are owed based on their actual populations rather than the HUD data.
The American Indian tribes in the group of 25 included:
- Miccosukee Tribe of Indians of Florida
- Onondaga Nation
- Tonawanda Band of Seneca
- Tuscarora Nation
- Delaware Tribe of Indians (Eastern)
- Jena Band of Choctaw Indians
- Shawnee Tribe
- Alturas Indian Rancheria
- Augustine Band of Cahuilla Indians
- Ewiiaapaayp Band of Kumeyaay Indians
- Inaja Band of Diegueno Mission Indians
- Jackson Band of Miwok
- Jamul Indian Village
- Koi Nation of Northern California (Lower Lake)
- Tejon Indian Tribe
The Alaska Native tribal entities included:
- Bill Moore’s Slough
- Mary’s Igloo
Support Independent Indigenous Journalism
Native News Online is an independent, Indigenous-led newsroom with a crucial mission: We want to change the narrative about Indian Country. We do this by producing intelligent, fact-based journalism that tells the full story from all corners of Indian Country. We pride ourselves on covering the tribes you may have never heard of before and by respecting and listening to the communities we serve through our reporting. As newsrooms across the country continue to shrink, coverage of Indian Country is more important than ever, and we are committed to filling this ever-present hole in journalism.
Because we believe everyone in Indian Country deserves equal access to news and commentary pertaining to them, their relatives and their communities, the story you’ve just finished was free — and we want to keep it that way, for all readers. But we hope it inspires you to make a gift to Native News Online so that we can continue publishing more stories that make a difference to Native people, whether they live on or off the reservation. Your donation will help us keep producing quality journalism and elevating Indigenous voices. Any contribution of any amount, big or small, gives us a better, stronger future and allows us to remain a force for change. Donate to Native News Online today and support independent Indigenous journalism. Thank you.