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Relief bill includes aid for Native tribes



MINOT, N.D. – U.S. lawmakers passed what they are calling the largest investment in Native programs in history.

The $31.2 billion investment is part of the 1.9 trillion-dollar Coronavirus Relief Bill passed by the U.S. House Wednesday.

Of that $31.2 billion, $20 billion will go towards tribal governments across the country to help stabilize safety net programs and stimulate economic recovery.

And $6 billion will go towards health systems in Indigenous communities to cover the costs of needs like COVID vaccines and tests.

MHA Chairman Mark Fox said he is pleased the bill is passed, and now it’s all about making sure it is distributed to communities accurately and timely.

“It’s the largest ever single appropriation it’s just how is this disseminated out how are we able to use it is really where the proof will be in the pudding,” said Chairman Fox.

President Joe Biden signed the bill into law Thursday.

Chairman Fox said Tribal governments may need to apply to get a portion of the aid.

The bill also includes a little over $1.1 billion for Native education programs including colleges and universities and the Bureau of Indian Education schools.