Yurok Tribe Joins Lawsuit Against Feds For Not Disbursing Relief Funds To Tribes
The Yurok Tribe this week joined seven other tribal governments in suing the federal government for not disbursing coronavirus relief funds.
Congress passed the CARES Act at the end of March, which reserved $8 billion dollars for tribal governments. The federal government needed to release those funds by April 26, but it has yet to do so.
Leaders with the Yurok Tribe on the Northern California coast say their community desperately needs this assistance for health services related to the pandemic.
“This disease is especially devastating in Indian Country, where there are substantial vulnerable populations and very few healthcare services,” says Yurok Tribe Chairman Joseph James in a press release. “The Treasury needs to quickly release these funds to protect the health and welfare of millions of indigenous people.”
A couple of dozen U.S. senators — including California Senator Kamala Harris, and Oregon senators Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley — sent a letter yesterday Monday urging Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin to immediately send these funds to tribal governments. They also requested that additional resources be included in the next coronavirus relief package.