fbpx
facebook app symbol  twitter  linkedin  instagram 1
 

TULSA, Okla. — Citing the “first to file rule,” a federal judge has granted a motion to transfer the Shawnee Tribe’s CARES Act lawsuit to the District Court for the District of Columbia. 

In a six-page opinion, Chief Judge John Dowdell with the Northern District of Oklahoma ruled Tuesday that the Shawnee Tribe’s lawsuit against the Department of the Treasury over its share of CARES Act money should be moved to the same venue that has already heard similar complaints from several tribes, including the Prairie Band of Potawatomi, Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians and the Confederated Tribes of the Chehalis Reservation.

“The chronology of actions is not in dispute: the plaintiffs in Confederated Tribes brought their suit in the D.C. district court long before the Shawnee Tribe filed its suit here in the Northern District of Oklahoma,” Dowdell wrote. “The parties are also similar. The plaintiffs in Confederated Tribes were, like the Shawnee, due to receive Title V funds (from the CARES Act), and like the Shawnee, they sued Mr. Mnuchin in his official capacity as Secretary of the Treasury. Finally, the issues in this case substantially overlap with the issues in Confederated Tribes.”  

The tribe filed suit in June after the Department of the Treasury announced that the Shawnees would receive $100,000 in federal relief funds through the CARES Act – the minimum amount allowed. 

Headquartered in Miami, Okla., the Shawnee Tribe has about 3,000 enrolled citizens. However, it does not participate in the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Indian Housing Block Grant program, from which the Treasury department pulled enrollment data to help determine funding allocations. 

 

According to the Shawnee Tribe’s complaint, the decision to rely on that data set instead of the certified enrollment count provided to the Treasury meant the allocation was based on inaccurate numbers and thus reduced the amount the tribe would be eligible to receive. 

More Stories Like This

Inter-Tribal Council Passes Resolution Urging FCC to Establish Specific Event Code for Missing and Endangered Persons
Native News Weekly (April 21 2024): D.C. Briefs
Q+A: Journalist Connie Walker Reflects on Season 3 of 'Stolen' Podcast Investigating Navajo Nation MMIP Cases
Native Bidaské with Sarah Eagle Heart (Oglála Lakota) on the Indigenous Fashion Collective
Twelve Cherokee Nation Cyclists, 950 Miles: The 40th Annual Remember the Removal Bike Ride

Native Perspective.  Native Voices.  Native News. 

We launched Native News Online because the mainstream media often overlooks news that is important is Native people. We believe that everyone in Indian Country deserves equal access to news and commentary pertaining to them, their relatives and their communities. That's why the story you’ve just finished was free — and we want to keep it that way, for all readers.  We hope you'll consider making a donation to support our efforts 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-centered journalism. Thank you.

 
About The Author
Author: Lenzy Krehbiel BurtonEmail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.