Red Lake Nation News - Babaamaajimowinan (Telling of news in different places)

'Are stimulus checks allowed?' How tribes are spending CARES Act money


August 14, 2020

The Curyung Tribal Council building in Dillingham. (Tyler Thompson/KDLG)

Millions of dollars in CARES Act funding is flowing into the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta's villages. The funds come with the requirement that they be used in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, or else they'll have to be paid back. But there's some disagreement among tribes about what is an allowable expense.

Many villages are allocating a portion of their CARES Act funding for medical supplies like masks, suits and hand sanitizer. Some are buying portable quarantine facilities and outfitting them with beds. These purchases clearly fit the U.S. Department of the Treasury's criteria as "necessary expenditures incurred due to the COVID-19 public health emergency."

Some villages are getting creative with that requirement. Kipnuk is one of a few communities hiring extra village police officers and COVID-19 Task Force members.


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