Tribal Nations Federal Coronavirus Funding Under Debate and Scrutiny

The ruling handed down last week reversed an opinion from U.S. District Judge B. Lynn Winmill, who said federal courts didn't have jurisdiction to enforce a ruling from the Coeur d'Alene Tribal Court against non-tribal members, Boise State Public Radio reported. The appellate court disagreed.

Washington DC-- A judge has ruled in favor of tribal nations in their bid to keep Alaska Native corporations from getting a share of $8 billion in coronavirus relief funding - at least temporarily. U.S. District Judge Amit Mehta in Washington, D.C., issued the decision late Monday. He says the U.S. Treasury Department can begin distributing money to 574 federally recognized tribes to respond to the coronavirus pandemic but not to the corporations. In the meantime, he's considering the larger question of whether the corporations are eligible for any of the funding. The decision comes in lawsuits that at least 15 tribes brought against the Treasury Department.