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

For Montana's Little Shell Tribe, Pressure Mounts as the CARES Act Spending Deadline Inches Closer


December 3, 2020

In December 2019, the Montana State Capitol raised the flag of the Little Shell Tribe of Chippewa Indians of Montana to celebrate the tribe becoming federally recognized by the United States. (Via Facebook)

In December 2019, the U.S. Senate passed the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). Included as a rider was the federal recognition bill for Montana's Little Shell Tribe of Chippewa Indians. The passage of this law was a long-awaited victory for Little Shell tribal members, who had been fighting for federal recognition for more than a century.

However, due to the Covid-19 pandemic, Little Shell's first year as a federally recognized tribe has been drastically different from what was originally expected.

The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, signed into law in March, allocated $8 billion in funding to tribal governments across the United States. The Little Shell Tribe qualified to receive $25 million in CARES Act funding, yet with this money comes a catch: it must be spent by the end of December.


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