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Qawalangin Tribe Qualifies For Federal Funds Under $2 Trillion Economic Relief Plan

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Laura Kraegel/KUCB
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On Friday, President Donald Trump signed a $2 trillion economic relief plan into law—the largest stimulus ever passed in the United States. 

 

The package has many different allocations in it, including $10 billion set aside for the country's native population. More than $1 billion will go to the Indian Health Service. Another billion will go towards public health, housing, and nutrition programs. 

 

That leaves about $8 billion for tribal governments. But it's still unclear exactly how that money will be doled out. 

 

"So we're just in the process of finding out whatever opportunities there are for us to qualify for," said Chris Price, administrator for the Qawalangin Tribe. 

 

On Tuesday, the tribe received an email from the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA), inviting them to join a meeting on Thursday, April 2. Tara Sweeney, Assistant Secretary of the Interior for Indian Affairs, is looking for feedback on how the economic relief money should be used.  

 

"They're asking us for our input to formulate a methodology for the allocation of the $8 billion," said Price. 

 

While they wait to see what economic opportunities are available for tribal governments, the Qawalangin Tribe has already been exploring other ways to help the community.

 

"We did contact [The Federal Emergency Management Agency] and asked them to help with masks locally," said Price. "We want to try and be able to provide some to the clinic or locally to tribal members. We are also looking at getting our Camp Qungaayux tents deployed to help people with storage or if they needed to be housed. We're just trying to help in any way we can." 

 

Price said he hopes to have a better understanding of available funds by next week.