Insights from Congressional and Tribal Leaders: Coronavirus Relief for American Indian Tribal Govt


In March 2020, American Indian tribes celebrated their historic inclusion in the CARES Act, receiving nearly $11 billion in direct relief. The Act recognized that tribal governments are confronting extraordinary demands parallel to those faced by state and local governments. The relief dollars, however, have been slow to reach Native Americans. While tribal governments have put forth unprecedented efforts to serve their citizens in crisis, restrictions on the use and timing of federal relief monies have hindered tribes’ capacities to do all they are capable of. Now, as Congress returns from their summer recess to debate additional coronavirus relief packages, including potential additional direct aid to tribal governments, the Harvard Kennedy School’s Ash Center and the Harvard Project on American Indian Economic Development will host a diverse panel of Congressional and tribal leaders to look ahead and discuss how Congress might come together on a bipartisan basis to enhance support for Indian Country’s pandemic recovery efforts. Please join us for an informative session, featuring:

  • U.S. Senator Steve Daines (R-MT)
  • U.S. Representative Sharice Davids (D-KS)
  • President Shelley Buck, Prairie Island Indian Community
  • Governor Stephen Lewis, Gila River Indian Community (HKS MPA 2006)
  • Chairman Alvin “A.J.” Not Afraid, Jr., Crow Tribe of Indians
  • Moderated by Prof. Joseph P. Kalt, Director, Harvard Project on American Indian Economic Development

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