Minnesota Native News Special Report: U.S. Senator Tina Smith talks about federal assistance for tribes during the Coronavirus pandemic

Minnesota Native News Special Report: U.S. Senator Tina Smith talks about federal assistance for tribes during the Coronavirus pandemic


Tribes across the U.S. have been expecting their share of 8-billion dollars from the federal CARES Act that was passed at the end of March to support those affected by the Coronavirus pandemic. Some of those funds just started to flow to tribes the week of May 4th. Reporter Melissa Townsend talked with Minnesota’s U-S Senator Tina Smith, who sits on the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs.

They talk about the delay in the disbursement of the $8-billion promised to tribal governments, problems in the way the money is being allocated for each tribe, new financial assistance for tribal casinos and a possible investigation into Indian Affairs Assistant Secretary Tara Sweeney over her conflict of interest in allocating federal assistance to Alaska Native Corporations that was intended for tribal governments.