The Impact of the Pandemic on Native American Communities: Interview with Joseph Kalt


As COVID-19 tears across Indian Country, tribal governments are racing to meet not only the public health challenges caused by the pandemic, but are also grappling with the economic devastation left in its wake. To learn more about the economic crisis unfolding across Indian Country, the Ash Center spoke with Joe Kalt, the Ford Foundation Professor of International Political Economy, Emeritus and co-director of the Harvard Project on American Indian Economic Development, which is housed at the Ash Center. Professor Kalt and his research colleagues at the Harvard Project recently sent a policy memo to Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin outlining many of the unique economic challenges many of the nation’s 574 federally recognized tribes are facing during the COVID-19 outbreak.

Related Resources

COVID-19 Resources for Indian Country toolbox

As the country responds to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, the task before tribal nations is complicated by many unknowns. The Harvard Project recognizes the challenges you're up against and we want to help. We are not experts in the health consequences of the pandemic, but we are monitoring…

Thumbnail or cover image
Allocation of COVID-19 Response Funds to American Indian Nations

Dear Secretary Mnuchin, We write to respectfully comment on the impact of the current COVID-19 crisis on American Indian tribal economies, tribes’ responses to the crisis, and on implications for the allocation of federal COVID-19 response funds to federally recognized tribes under the CARES Act…

Native American tribe takes trailblazing steps to fight Covid-19 outbreak

The Lummi nation, a sovereign Native American tribe in the Pacific north-west, will soon open a pioneering field hospital to treat coronavirus patients, as part of a wave of strong public health measures which have gone further than many governments. Tribal leaders have been preparing for Covid-19…