NCAI, NIHB, NCUIH Coalition Letters to House and Senate on COVID-19 4th Package

Letter from NCAI, NIHB, NCUIH, et al to House Leadership re: COVID-19 4th Package (April 15, 2020)

Letter from NCAI, NIHB, NCUIH, et al to Senate Leadership re: COVID-19 4th Package (April 15, 2020)


Letter Text                                                     

April 15, 2020

Re: COVID-19 Recovery Legislative Proposal (Phase #4)

This letter is on behalf of the undersigned American Indian and Alaska Native (AI/AN) organizations, which collectively serve all 574 federally recognized AI/AN tribal nations. The recommendations outlined in this letter encompass critical funding and policy needs to help protect and prepare AI/AN communities to effectively respond to the current 2019 novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

As the urgency, infection rate, and death toll of the COVID-19 pandemic intensifies, it has become increasingly clear that Indian Country needs significantly more resources to protect and preserve human life and address the grave economic impacts tribal nations face due to the closure of government operations and tribal enterprises to protect the health of their citizens and surrounding communities. AI/AN communities are disproportionately impacted by the health conditions that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) notes increase risk for a more serious COVID-19 illness, including respiratory illnesses, diabetes, and other health conditions. We urge you to include the following recommendations as you work on a phase 4 package to stem the COVID-19 pandemic. In addition to the specific funding and policy requests outlined below, tribal nations are strongly urging maximum flexibility in the use of new and existing funds to be able to comprehensively address COVID-19 response efforts.

This letter is one of three letters addressing: economic development and employment; tribal governance and housing/community development; and health, education, nutrition, and human services. The language included in this letter covers the health, education, nutrition and agriculture, and human service needs for Indian Country. For your convenience, we have created an abbreviated list to coincide with the specific funding and policy requests found later in the letter. This abbreviated list previews how the letter is organized.


Health Section 1: Critical Funding and Access Needs

Health Section 2: Critical Infrastructure

Health Section 3: Technical Medicaid/Medicare Fixes

Health Section 4: Technical Amendments Needed 

Health Section 5: Legislative Amendments and Reauthorizations


Education Section 1: K-12 Educational Needs

Education Section 2: K-12 Education Infrastructure and Broadband Needs

Education Section 3: Higher Educational Needs

Education Section 4: Education Infrastructure and Broadband Needs

Nutrition and Agriculture

Nutrition and Agriculture Section 1: Critical Funding and Access Needs

Nutrition and Agriculture Section 2: Infrastructure Funding and Broadband Needs

Human Services

Human Services Section 1: Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF)

Human Services Section 2: Veterans

Human Services Section 3: Indian Child Welfare Services

Thank you for your consideration of the recommendations outlined in this letter. We look forward to working with you to ensure that Indian Country’s concerns and priorities are comprehensively addressed, as we respond to the COVID-19 pandemic.


By NCUIH, posted on Thursday April 16, 2020
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